The Positive Impact of Small Business in Oakville: Kerr Street Cafe

Interior of Cafe
The Positive Impact of Small Business in Oakville: Kerr Street Cafe

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Nolan A Machan

Nolan A Machan

Nolan Machan is the Publisher of OakvilleNews.Org and has over 41 years of local Oakville knowledge. He is committed to providing Oakville residents with the most up-to-date information about our great town.

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Kerr Street Café exemplifies the success of a small small business and the impact it can have on the local economy.

In 1998,Alex Flye started working for caterers in Atlanta, then the Bahama’s and finally in Muskoka for the who’s who. A local girl found her love in providing excellent food and service.

She met the Waitzer brothers back in 2008. Sean and her hit it off from the beginning, and in May 2010 they opened up the Café. It was one store front, and was primarily designed around a catering kitchen to support Flye Catering. It didn’t take long for the spot to become a go to destination for the local foodies. Sean is a New Zealander – where coffee reigns king, which is why the coffee is amazing. Getting a seat became increasingly more and more difficult.

In 2014, Sean decided that he only way he was going to have ultimate control of their café’s coffee was to roast it himself, so Brother’s Coffee Roasters was formed. Initially, the beans were prepared for catering and café customers. However, soon the customers wanted to have the taste of Kerr Street Café available at home, and Sean made the coffee available at the Café for home use.

In June 2015 Kerr Street Café closed for an expansion and renovation. It was nerve racking for the Sean and Alex with concerns about cash flow that was combined with the fear that their customers would find another location to frequent. However, what actually happened was the community waited for this dynamic twosome and attentive staff to re-open.

Coming into the newly renovated Kerr Street Café in August 2015 was like coming home for the regulars. The food, staff, and especially the coffee were just like we remembered; it was just in a larger space. The expansion allowed more people to enjoy the food, and now Flye Catering had its own place to hold private parties in the evening and a full restaurant kitchen. The seats went from 18 to 50, coffee sales went up a 150 percent, and staff increased from three people and now hovers at 23.

Bag of Coffee

Since the Cafe has expanded, Brothers’ Coffee Roasters’ sales have increased by 150%.

Brother’s Coffee Roasters now is operating at increased capacity, and offers local classes on becoming a Barista which includes working the top machines, making the perfect flat-white, to understanding how to do pour overs that bring out the rich flavours of specialty beans.

On the weekends, Kerr Street Café is a buzz as every table is occupied with contented customers, and a couple minutes’ wait for a seat isn’t unusual. The impact on the street and community is noticeable as new people find employment and other merchants benefit from increased pedestrian traffic.

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