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Bricks, Mortar, Heart and Soul: The Dock on Queen

Updated: Sep 18, 2019

Name of business: The Dock on Queen

Name of owner: Mimi O'Bonsawin

Neighbourhood: Leslieville


Store address: 932 Queen St East

Years at this location: 2

Tell us about your shop!

We are a home-grown coffee shop with a full bar, live music, and local beer on tap. We wanted to bring a little piece of Northern Ontario (our home) to Toronto, so we partnered with Old Rock Coffee in Sudbury to be the first to serve you their award-winning coffee.

We're Indigenous-owned and run, with a staff that serves smiles, warm chats, as well as high-quality drinks and snacks. Our live music nights, comedy shows and special events are not to be missed!

What makes your shop unique?

We wanted to make The Dock a welcoming spot for all. Our space is adorned with big couches, rustic decor and a large canoe over the bar; it makes people feel as though they're nestled in the north.

We have unique drinks that are hand-crafted in-house, and have partnered with local breweries, pastry shops, and food vendors to make it all come together. The Dock is open late on weekends, serving up stuff like our own signature Espresso Martini, and open early every day to make sure we start your day on the right foot! Catch some live music at night, or come see local art being exposed monthly.

How long have you been here? What got you started in this business?

2 years. We're a family-run business and extremely passionate about coffee and providing a space for artists, musicians, writers, and people from all walks of life.

Before opening The Dock, did you have experience that prepared you for running a brick and mortar shop?

My partner and I are both artists. This is our first try, and we've had the help of my dad, who is a business owner in Northern Ontario.

I think we were pretty fearless in bringing together this shop.

What do you find most rewarding about running your shop?

We have some amazing regulars and have had some incredible events come through our doors. Our staff has been with us since day one, and it really does feel like a family space when you walk in! We are all about the LOVE!

What is most challenging aspect of running your business?

Letting people know about our awesome live music events. We have some of Toronto's best up and coming artists come through, and I wish more people in Leslieville knew about the shows and dropped in. There's some really great stuff happening here.

Tell us about the kind of people who frequent your shop!

People from all walks of life! Lots of artists, working people, writers, mothers... We love them all!

How is your customer service different from other shops?

Our staff is a part of the family. We're all connected and strive to make everyone feel welcomed. It was important for us to have friendly and warm people on the team.

What's in the future for you and your business?

We're always crafting new drinks, hosting amazing events, and growing our "Dock family." Thank you to everyone who has supported us this far!

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