November 20, 2021
Everything we do helps SKETCH in some way. Every purchase benefits SKETCH directly as we contribute a percentage of top-line sales for every bag sold.
We are also providing 3% of top-line sales to SKETCH artists who have provided labels for our coffee, allowing them to own their art and receive commissions for each sale directly.
In 2021 we also created Pick-Me-Up Espresso Dark Chocolate Bark, a co-owned project between SKETCH and Neighbourhood Coffee.
Please learn more and donate at https://www.sketch.ca/
November 20, 2021
You have to celebrate the wins and it's a big day for Neighbourhood Coffee.
Today we received the very first batch of our new packaging. Artwork was developed with Todd Lawson and we wanted to be able to highlight the incredible artwork of our artists representing each blend.
We are focussing an entire panel on our friends at SKETCH Toronto. They are helping marginalized youth through the arts and we are providing 1.5% of all top line sales from each bag to go directly to their organization.
Our new website and gift sets are helping us to end 2021 with a lot of pride after much hard work.
Our office smells great.
Gift local this year and thank you for all your support.
April 13, 2021
December 14, 2020
Toronto is vibrant because of the people who reflect a diversity of cultures and backgrounds that make Toronto unique in the world. There are over 250 ethnicities, speaking 170 languages who represent non-belief and most religious beliefs. They are all sexual orientations and hold a wide spectrum of political opinions, all living in harmony.
Neighbourhood Coffee is a company that is built on a foundation of inclusivity and the belief that neighbours should help neighbours and we can all become friends over a cup of coffee.
That is why we want to provide the opportunity to see Toronto through the eyes of a diversity of artists. How they see Toronto and to reflect how Toronto has affected them through the people, buildings and interactions that make Toronto home.
November 06, 2020
Written by Barry Hillier (co-founder, Neighbourhood Coffee)
I know it sounds crazy, but let me explain. I've been working in advertising and technology since the mid-90's. I've seen Toronto grow into a creative and technical hub and witnessed its' strengths and weaknesses as a bootstrap entrepreneur who built a digital advertising agency and several SaaS based systems, most focussed in the automotive sector.
After I sold my companies in 2017, I began working on a concept called eQuo, based on my own entrepreneurial experiences where I witnessed the downside of an ecosystem that let too many entrepreneurs fail for all the wrong reasons. I wanted to build a better ecosystem for founders. It's been a long process to bring something disruptive to the Canadian market, but we are almost there.
Why has it taken so long?
If you speak with entrepreneurs, they'll tell you that Canadians don't support entrepreneurs. Generally speaking, everyone is wonderful to your face, but when it comes to real support, networking, funding, advice, time or assistance, it isn't there. We compare it unfavourably to the support that Silicon Valley provides, where entrepreneurs get all of the above, often selflessly, through the belief that a rising tide raises all boats.
In May 2020, my family with friends launched Neighbourhood Coffee as a passion business. Initially, it was only available online, but as the lock-down eased, we got into some Farmers Markets as well.
Here is what I learned very quickly.
Farmers Markets are very small communities of diverse entrepreneurs with exceptionally varied backgrounds who can also be very close knit. They don't view other vendors as competition. Instead, they see the other vendors as friends trying to build a company.
They act like friends too and it wasn't long before we became aware of a "market code".
When our generator broke down, we couldn't make coffee, but a vendor allowed us to plug into his. He wouldn't accept a dollar or a bag of coffee for the gas used. Two weeks later, his credit machine died and needed batteries, but he was operating his booth alone. We ran down to the store for him. This type of behaviour was repeated time and time again, throughout the market, whether other vendors turned to one another for change or help putting a tent up or taking it down. Everyone helped each other build their business.
The code included two prices at the market. One was the retail price and the second was the vendor price. Vendors know how hard it is to build their business and they give breaks to help each other out. This sometimes involves swapping products, with a benefit of allowing vendors to recommend other vendors to their customers. A bakery consistently told customers to come to us for a coffee to enjoy with their pastry, and we did the same for them. The customer base was meant to be shared, not controlled.
We discovered how many entrepreneurs started their bakery, cookie company, kombucha company or "whatever" company as a passion. For some it was part-time and there were vendors who quit their jobs to focus on their company full-time. It was a week by week endeavour to keep the company moving forward, but they loved it.
Everyone wanted everyone else to succeed and was there to offer guidance on what markets to avoid and which ones you should try to get into. They discussed what banks to use, where you could find packaging and how to create a better e-commerce site. If there was a question, someone would try to help with an answer.
The ecosystem was great.
It's an ecosystem that I would love to see transition in our innovation ecosystem. In the meantime, I'm so glad I had the chance to find it and experience it and become part of it.
To discover our coffee, go to www.neighbourhoodcoffee.ca
To learn more about eQuo, go to www.equoshift.com
May 02, 2020
Neighbourhood Coffee may be located in Toronto, but Coffee originated in what is now Ethiopia.
According to legend, it comes from the Ethiopian region of Kaffa, and was discovered by Kaldi, a 9th century goatherd who noticed that his goats became particularly animated after they ate the berries of a certain tree.
May 01, 2020
Today is exciting for our team, as we're coffee lovers who have turned our passion into a small business for our neighbours to enjoy. We love it that you visited us and we hope that you not only enjoy what we make, but that you spread the word.
We’re hoping to grow our business one satisfying cup at a time.