Where can one get fresh ground, pour-over coffee, chai lattes, and handcrafted chocolates in the heart of Petrolia?
At The Cottage, Petrolia’s newest cafe.
Around the start of June, The Cottage opened its doors across from Victoria Park in the building that formerly housed Bailey’s Jewellery. Since then, the cafe has been serving up specialty coffees, dynamic drinks, and tasty treats.
So far, business has been great, according to Jer Wilcocks, The Cottage’s assistant manager.
“As the days keep going we get more and more business,” said Wilcocks. “Word of mouth is traveling super quick.”
“Every time people come in, we hear the words: This is what Petrolia needed,” said Wilcocks.
The Cottage puts an emphasis on good coffee. The beans come in fresh one day after being roasted in London and are ground immediately before any coffee is brewed. Each staff member comes prepared with java knowledge and a professional espresso machine is used for every latte.
“There’s no pre-ground, open up a package, and brew whatever it is that you’re brewing. We can actually see the beans before they go into that pot of coffee,” said Wilcocks.
“The taste of it and the aroma of it comes through when it’s fresh rather than being in a bag forever.”
And because The Cottage is independent, the menu always features new inventions and creative twists on classic favourites such as the dirty chai latte, a chai latte with a kick from an espresso shot.
“We don’t want to be the same menu all the time,” said Wilcocks.
The Cottage is owned by David Hogan and David Rogers, artistic directors at the Victoria Playhouse Petrolia, and caters to VPP visitors, but Wilcocks said the cafe isn’t limiting its customer base to theatergoers.
Regulars are already loyal to The Cottage for their morning coffees and Wilcocks said younger customers, who are more inclined to drink specialty coffee, are teaching some older customers the ins-and-outs of cappuccinos, frappuccinos, and espresso.
When the Lambton Shield visited The Cottage a group of four young teens were enjoying specialty sodas flanked by pairs of old friends catching up over coffee and a latte sipper using her Macintosh computer.
Moving forward, The Cottage has applied for a liquor licence and hopes to start serving craft beer, wine, and cider sometime in August. Then, the cafe will begin hosting evening events like jazz nights giving people a relaxing place to unwind and listen to music.
“There’s going to be a lot more evening stuff,” said Wilcocks.
The Cottage is definitely bringing the urban coffee shop experience to small town Ontario.
“We do a lot of research about what’s happen in bigger cities so we can bring it to the smaller town,” said Wilcocks.
One may think a drive to Muskoka or the Kawarthas is needed for a vacation, but if one wants to go to The Cottage, it’s now open on Petrolia Line.
Visit The Cottage on Facebook to learn more.