Truro men combine skills to open new cafe
TRURO, NS – A new cafe in Truro has a good thing in the works.
The Coffee Barn was designed by brothers-in-law Tom Pyke, Gordie McInnis and Jeff McInnis, who drew on each other’s strengths to embark on a commercial venture in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic last November.
“We were all sort of out of work for COVID related reasons and with that, we really didn’t know where to go, didn’t know what to do,” said Gordie McInnis, director of The Coffee Barn. “There weren’t a lot of jobs, we weren’t really dying to take advantage of the CERB-type thing; we wanted to work for the money we had. And one day we were sort of just sitting in my driveway and we were like, “What can we do to get our own paycheck? “
The trio choose a coffee. The original intention was to open The Coffee Barn in East Truro, however, that plan fell through at the last minute and left the guys in need of a new location. An online search revealed a spot available at 178 Robie Street, next to Gold Car Wash.
“It sort of happened in a 24 hour period when the deal fell through on the east end… and we rushed out, found this place and opened it in a matter of weeks. It was pretty cool, ”McInnis said.
The Coffee Barn uses locally sourced produce including coffee beans from Aroma Maya Coffee Roasters in North River, meat from Circle of Life Hobby Farm in Murray Siding, and fresh bread from Foodland in Bible Hill.
Sergio Garrido, from Aroma Maya, has developed a company-exclusive coffee blend, which has received rave reviews on social media. The Coffee Barn also offers espresso-type drinks, iced coffee, and a variety of sandwiches, including a hugely popular breakfast waffle sandwich.
The family dynamics of the business are working well, McInnis says, as the three men possess valuable skills that are critical to The Coffee Barn’s success. Pyke has established business relationships with vendors, while Gordie, who previously worked for a payday loan company, brings financial expertise, and Jeff is a well-known chef in the area.
“By combining the three skills, it really made sense that we were opening something like a restaurant. “
Due to COVID-19, The Coffee Barn only offers take-out and drive-thru service. They are hoping to open up indoor seating in the future and are also considering an expansion to a second location in the Truro area.
Guys understand that the competition for money in the restaurant industry is tough in Truro. However, they strongly believe in their product and are confident that small businesses can thrive in the area with the support of the community.
And so far, they haven’t been wrong.
“It’s really great,” said McInnis. “We are from this community; a lot of our friends and family are here and each had their own opinion as to whether it would work well or not and we are happy to say that.
“It’s inspiring,” he added. “It made me think to myself: what opportunities are they lacking in Truro? It really shows what is possible in a small town if you have people behind you who believe in you.