We clearly have a caffeine addiction, but we dare you to try a Detour coffee roast and not crave it all the time. When we heard The Cannon was opening on Ottawa Street we were thrilled at the notion of going antique shopping and then discussing our finds over a latte. We too love the business partnerships that have developed all over the city. Hollie and Jane at White Elephant, Meg and Linds at Sweet Ice Cones, Kate and Liz at Needlework. And now Anne Cumby and Cindy Stout at The Cannon. All the power to you ladies! We instantly felt a connection with the girls at The Cannon. When we ask about them opening up on Ottawa Street, Anne explains, "It was never a question of location for us. We always talked about the project in the sense of opening a coffee shop on Ottawa Street. Cindy and I are both cafe fans and just knew that this street was poised for one." After learning the costume shop that formerly occupied the space was downsizing, Anne and Cindy jumped at the opportunity to secure their dream location. "The huge windows were the real selling point for us," says Anne, "As we stood in front of the windows and looked out onto the street that we love, we knew that this building could be beautiful and could be our home."
The girls knew the interior design would be a big job for them so they reached out to friend and Toronto based designer Lisa Ljevaja of Little Industry. "Lisa is a brilliant designer with a modern vision and an affinity for classic design," enthuses Anne, "We were blessed to have her on board, as her aesthetic lined right up with our vision for a clean, open, modern space that felt both luxurious and relaxing." The space itself didn't lend too much to that, so they pulled up carpet, covered the ceilings and built essentially everything you see in the space. In their conquest, four layers of sub-flooring that accrued over the years were torn up exposing a true gem in the building. "There are hexagon tiles in the entrance way that are original to the building," says Anne, "After much restoring, they add the touch of history that we were craving." And new history has been made. Cindy and her dad, a retired cabinet maker, used dead stock cabinets from her uncles old company to build the bar. A dear friend of theirs, Jeff, who is both a local musician and secret carpenter built the beautiful table in the front window. And the note-worthy industrial light fixture hanging over it? That was designed by their friend Enoch Khuu, a budding industrial designer out of Toronto.
Cindy and Anne met originally in Toronto, but both relocated to Hamilton at different times. While their husbands were playing basketball one evening, Cindy described her dream of opening a coffee shop to Anne. The whole time, Anne felt herself wishing she could be a part of it. When their husbands returned, they announced 'Girls you are going to do your dreams together.' Anne tells us, "It turns out they had been talking about the same thing and concluded that we would be a great fit for each other."
"We couldn't have a cafe without serving amazing coffee," says Anne, "Your space could be the most stunning place on the planet but if you serve terrible coffee, there is no point." She and Cindy set out to find what we thought to be the very best of locally roasted coffee, and as it turns out there was no shortage to choose from. As a result, The Cannon serves
. "We use Detour the most because of Kaelin quite honestly," explains Anne, "He was crucial to getting this cafe open. The Detour team trained us, helped us source equipment, answered one million and five questions and cheered for us every step of the way. We would not be the cafe we are without having teamed with Detour in this project." As a result of all their support and the quality of their product Detour became a main supplier to The Cannon. "Jason from RedHill and Stephen from Speakeasy were also really helpful in understanding their product and equipping us to make the best coffee we can out of their beans too," says Anne, "We have met so many amazing people in Hamilton's coffee community and are so happy with all the connections we continue to make."
The girls are gearing up to launch their full menu. "Our plan is right in line with our original vision of gourmet grilled cheese and delicious house-made soup," Anne describes, "Our philosophy with food is the same as it is with coffee. Source it local, make it well." The menu currently consists of a daily soup that they post on facebook and twitter, along with a featured grilled sandwich, a variety of muffin tops and outstanding cookies made by Cindy. "We are also bringing in treats from some of our favorite places in Hamilton such as De La Terre Bakery, and Cake & Loaf," says Anne. We tried out their weekend brunch and it was incredible. If you aren't instantly sold on the menu item named Waffles of Insane Greatness, the description is pretty convincing. The waffles are topped with toasted walnuts, local fresh pear, maple syrup and a goat cheese infused whipped cream from Hewitt's Dairy. Stephanie was in total heaven while eating this dish. Jacklyn sampled a beautiful little roasted vegetable, chevre quiche from Cake and Loaf, with a mixed green salad with grapefruit vinaigrette, slivered almonds and dried cranberries.
Above, Waffles of Insane Greatness
As they are still establishing the cafe, The Cannon currently operates on a donation structure. "We have suggested donations for each item and it allows each guest to participate while we are getting started and finalizing a few items with the city," explains Anne, "People have responded really well." This format has proved successful, as customers are engaging with Anne and Cindy throughout the process and have become a part of the shop's story.
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