Goat Coffee Co.
By Terra Borody

Change is in the Air

Since opening in 2014, Goat Coffee Co. has been bringing buzz to the Pape Avenue strip north of Danforth. As long-time residents and members of the East York community, owners Damian and Anna  Michaelidis had grown a little dismayed by the lack of development in the neighbourhood. They believed the retail strip needed a solid dose of positive change.

“It’s up to the community to work together, support one another and change the neighbourhood. Be the change you want to see!” Anna says. " We decided to be the change here.”

Drawing on their combined experience in construction and real estate (Anna is the President and Broker of Record of Royal LePage Urban Realty) , the pair saw the run-down corner building at Pape and Sammon (previously a seedy Cash-For-Gold store) and envisioned a welcoming coffee house where neighbourhood locals could meet, socialize and connect, in addition to grabbing a  cup of fine espresso.

The interior benches, counters and tables were constructed by Damian himself using reclaimed wood from the 1800’s that was salvaged from the Distillery District. “We tried to maintain the essence of the building by revealing the true character and beauty  We restored the original brick wall, uncovered a beautiful tin ceiling hiding under layers of drywall and repurposed it for our coffee bar, we also installed beautiful herringbone flooring to give it a little wow factor,” Anna says.

It’s up to the community to work together, support one another and change the neighbourhood. Be the change you want to see! - Anna Michaelidis, owner

The Legend of Kaldi

As for the café's name and moniker, Anna explains that there’s more to the goat than just being the world’s quirkiest animals. Legend has it that a young Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi observed his goats dancing after eating bright red berries from an unfamiliar bush. Curious, he ate a few and instantly began frolicking with his herd. Filled with energy and excitement, Kaldi shared his discovery with a monk at a nearby monastery hoping to evoke divine inspiration. The monk disapproved of the berries and threw them into a fire. Immediately, an intoxicating aroma filled the air. The magical beans were raked from the embers and turned into the dark, delicious liquid now known as coffee. Thank goodness for goats!

The legend is referenced in the café's signature marquee sign that reads "Graze," and helps people spot the café from afar.

Large, open tables and ample seating indoors and out make Goat Coffee a choice spot to get some work done.

Goat cheese and ice cream

Goat Coffee Co. features a full kitchen with a passionate chef serving up a fresh and wholesome menu. Salads, sandwiches, and soups are offered daily for breakfast and lunch. Often, regulars come for the espresso and stay for the signature chicken and goat cheese sandwich. As for the coffee, you’ll no doubt be impressed with the latte art doled out by the expert baristas. In fact, Goat Coffee Co. was named one of the top ten most Instagrammable cafes of 2015 by BlogTO. It's also a popular hangout for kiddies who enjoy ‘babyccinos’ (miniature cappuccinos) and the open work space for colouring.

Since opening, Anna and Damian have become even more involved in the community, encouraging other entrepreneurs to open up in the neighbourhood. “We live and work here. These are our people so we want to make sure we cater to them. We put everything in place to make sure they feel at home. When [customers] come in here, they feel at home, which makes us very proud.” Anna and Damian have already expanded their services to include catering and have been keeping busy hosting special events.

Most Goat Coffee salads and sandwiches can be served with their signature goat cheese.
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