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More than java at Coffee Culture

South end cafe and eatery is "social hub"
coffee culture larry 1
Cheesecake anyone? Coffee Culture owner Larry Moore displays a couple of the sumptuous desserts offered at the cafe located at 494 Big Bay Point Road. Sue Sgambati/BarrieToday

From corporate culture to Coffee Culture, Larry Moore is enjoying his latest career reinvention.  

Moore owns and operates Coffee Culture Cafe and Eatery at Big Bay Point Road and Yonge Street.

It's his first foray into the food industry after owning a gas station, a car wash and a long corporate stint with Canadian Tire.

The Barrie businessman is sold on the culture of his cafe as he describes the ambience.  

"It's the rich textures, the coziness of it," Moore said looking around his shop.."It has that feeling that wraps you. Makes you feel welcome. It does become the social hub that way as well."

Coffee Culture offers a wide range of eats including the classic clubhouse, chicken caesar wrap, bagels, soups and salads.

Cheesecake Factory cakes in a glass display case just inside the door instantly tempt customers along with brownies, muffins, scones and cinnamon buns baked fresh up to five times a day.

Of course, there's coffee and Moore says the "utterly delicious" lattes are very popular.

There are about 70 Coffee Culture restaurants in Canada and Moore is proud to be part of a Canadian chain.

But he's learned that operating a restaurant is a huge commitment for a married father of two young children. 

"It has demanded 80 to 100 hour weeks for me. I worked 150 days straight at the outset.  But I knew I was getting into that. That's what it takes to build a successful business."

Moore opened eight months ago and his favourite part of this labour of love is knowing his customers by name.

"I know their choices. I'm getting to know them personally," Moore said. "One specific customer comes in every Friday with his son so we try to make that special for them. And that's what makes the difference between an average business and a great business."

Customers cross every demographic from seniors, high school and college students to mom's with kids.

There are the friends of all ages who settle into big comfy chairs in front of the fireplace to catch up over coffee.

"That's become a real nice chat area for most people. It's hard to get a seat there most times," Moore said. "People are discovering it's a great place to come and meet a friend."

Almost every chair has a plug so laptops are welcome for leisure, study and business meetings.

Moore has seen a lot of first dates too.

"It tells me it's a really comfortable area for people to come. I can't stress that enough," said Moore. "One of our slogans is 'come for a taste stay for a visit' and that's what happens." 



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Sue Sgambati

About the Author: Sue Sgambati

Sue has had a 30-year career in journalism working for print, radio and TV. She is a proud member of the Barrie community.
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