Name of business: Golden Gecko Coffee
Owner: Jacob Healy
Neighbourhood: Baby Point
Store address: 282 Jane St, Toronto, ON
Years at this location: 3
Tell us about your shop!
Golden Gecko Coffee has become a truly unique community coffee shop. Offering a range of drinks and food, it's a place where members of the community can come and connect or relax with a book or mobile device!
Baking over 70% of our food in-house, customers are delighted by our selection of both traditional baked goods along with variations of favourites, which we create daily in our kitchen. Roasting our own coffee, we know what goes into every cup!
What makes your shop unique?
We're located within a small business area where servicing the community is vital. We provide a safe space for families to spend time together, along with a space for new mums to come and relax with others. Our customer base ranges from new borns, all the way up to 90+ years old - and everyone can have a unique experience at our shop!
How long have you been here? What had you get started in this business?
This bricks and shop has been in operation for just under 3 years.
I started roasting coffee as a hobby and then at farmers markets along the lake shore. I love coffee and, coming from Australia, grew up with espresso drinks from local shops that just knew how to do good coffee.
Arriving in Canada 9 years ago, it was hard to find that local shop that made quality coffee. Life circumstances presented me with the opportunity to start one of my own and I took it, growing the business from scratch into what it is today.
What do you find most rewarding about your shop?
Even in the three years we've been here, my biggest reward has been seeing life events unfold right in front of me. Babies have been born, children have left home, parents have retired and yes, we have had some friends pass away as well.
This was something that I truly wanted to create when I started, but never knew would be possible. Becoming part of a community can be challenging but somehow, my little corner coffee shop has become a part of the family for so many people.
What was your biggest lesson so far in running this business?
So many lessons have been learned, from developing a stronger sense of patience through seasonal changes, to accepting that not everyone is going to like the style of our store. But for me the biggest lesson has been to remain true to yourself.
The underlying reason why I established this business was something that I wrote when I first started, and that was to create a sense of community. I had no idea how I was going to do it, but I have ultimately stuck to that theme. How I did that and when I did have pivoted constantly as we learned what worked and what didn't. But in the end, holding firm to that simple thought has developed us into the place we are today.
How is your customer service better or different than other stores?
My true belief is that customer service is the best way to separate yourself from competitors. We greet people as they come through the door and engage them with light conversation while preparing their order. We will do what we can do meet their needs and we offer a variety of options for nearly every drink and food item.
It's also the little things, like helping a new mum with a stroller get through our front door, or making sure kids have what they need so dad can sit and relax for half an hour. It is these little things that we want to provide so that people appreciate coming to the store and tell their friends about us as well.