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  • Writer's pictureDominique

Meet your new local coffee shop

Six years ago, Kaitey and her husband Kevin were on the search for a hobby farm with a horse stable around Carleton Place. As they drove through the downtown, they fell in love with the quaint Hallmark setting and changed their plans. They ended up buying a 100-year-old Victorian home near Bridge Street. It was a decision that would eventually lead to Carleton Place’s newest coffee shop: Foundry Collective & Coffee Bar.

A first attempt

If you live in Carleton Place, you are fully aware that the locals are a friendly bunch. Kaitey and her husband became friends with the one of the owners of a local brewery who connected them with other entrepreneurs who had recently moved to town. “Being around all of these young business savvy people got us thinking about leaving our own mark on the community.”

Their first project in the area was selling ice cream by the beach out of a horse trailer that they converted into an ice cream truck. They did that for a year, but got to the point where they had to prioritize where they were putting their efforts. “Between raising young children, working in the public service, running the business and Kevin’s real estate studies, something had to give.” They sold their ice cream business to another couple and figured they would start another small business, this time a coffee shop, when they retired.

The stars aligned

By the time Kaitey returned to work after her maternity leave, Kevin’s real estate business was starting to take off. The couple felt it was a good idea for one of them to hold on to their stable government job. But that all changed last summer when Kevin heard that the owner of the local vacuum shop was looking to sell his space on Bridge Street. When Kaitey saw the building, she could envision what it could become, and she couldn’t let it go. “You only live once, right?”

Leaving her 9 to 5 government job was a big decision, but her previous experience with the ice cream shop thought her that it had to be done to balance being an entrepreneur with being a mom of three. She drew up a business plan and got to building the Foundry Collective & Coffee Bar, in a literal sense. The old building needed a lot of repairs. The couple is currently working with an architect to rebuild the interior from scratch. Once complete the main level will serve as the coffee shop and the upstairs as a membership based co-working space. “I have so many ideas for events that we can host in that space to bring the community together.”

Local partnerships

Sustainability is something that Kaitey tries to incorporate into Foundry where she can. She recently purchased a lot of their equipment second hand from a local coffee shop that had closed its doors. They’ve decided that packaging will be fully compostable or reusable. However, the most important step for sustainability is through their partnerships with suppliers.

Their coffee roaster operates out of Smiths Falls – Mighty Valley Coffee. Kaitey found them through the farmers market around the same time that the couple had bought the Foundry building. “Not only is their coffee absolutely delicious, but we also love that they can tell us the story behind every bean. They use single origin and specialty coffee that is ethically sourced to high-standards.”

They are also partnering with another local business, called Forage Hyper Foods, who will supply mushroom tinctures as an optional add on to coffee orders. Their mushrooms are locally sourced and sustainably wild-harvested from the Canadian Boreal forest.

Leaving their mark

Kaitey’s vision is to be able to offer a local hangout space that she wished she’d had while on mat leave. “There’s not really that kind of place in Carleton Place, like there is in Almonte, where moms can chat over a fancy latte, students can hangout and casual dates can take place. I want those connections to happen in my space.” Kaitey is onto something. As more people work from home, many locals are looking for those more spontaneous social interactions that were missing for so long during the pandemic.

Foundry Collective & Coffee Bar is expected to launch in late Fall of this year. You can follow their renovation journey on Instagram.

This blog post is part of a Dewberry Face series that highlights local small businesses.

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