Posted on 7th Feb 2013 @ 2:21 PM 14 comments
Transcend Coffee to Close its Downtown Edmonton Location
Earlier this week, we at Transcend Coffee made the difficult decision to close our Jasper Avenue café in Edmonton. The last day of operation will be February 28, 2013. This was not an easy decision to make, but it is the right decision for Transcend at this time.
I would personally like to thank our customers and the entire downtown community for welcoming us, for supporting us and buying our coffee. I am extremely proud of the work that each and every one of our staff, managers and trainers did at Transcend Jasper. My sincere thanks goes out to each one of them.
We achieved some impressive things over the nearly two years we were open downtown. We added a food menu and a music program that added to the atmosphere and community of a vibrant downtown café.
Unfortunately, despite continued revenue growth, Transcend Jasper did not achieve a sustainable level of profitability and even our most optimistic projections did not show that trend reversing. While we were eager to join the downtown community, we found that the large size and design of the Jasper Ave location made it virtually impossible to run a sustainable coffee-centric café. In our deliberations, we investigated a number of possibilities to re-invent the space, perhaps adding more food or other products, but Transcend is not a restaurant, we are a coffee company and at the end of the day, we decided that we needed to re-focus on what we do best, and that is coffee.
The establishment of the Elevation Room, the live music venue that operated in the basement of the Jasper Ave location, was one of the most interesting and unexpected developments of running a downtown café. We were happy to provide a place where a unique music community could be established and hope that it can continue in some form. We will work with Joe Gurba, who was instrumental in starting and running the Elevation Room, to hopefully find a new home where that community can flourish.
For the past year and a half, we have also run a small kitchen out the back of our Argyll location to supply baked goods and unique savory items for our three cafés. The closing of the Jasper Avenue café means that we will need to wind down that food operation as well. Unfortunately the kitchen is simply not sustainable with orders from only two cafés. We will begin to investigate new options from high-quality food producers to supply our Garneau and Argyll cafés and our customers with delicious food that pairs well with our coffees and other beverages.
Transcend’s other two Edmonton cafés, Transcend Garneau (8708 - 109 Street) and Transcend Argyll (9869 - 62 Ave) will remain open and will continue stronger than ever. They are both sustainable café operations and will be here for the long haul. We are more committed than ever to source, roast and serve the best coffee in Edmonton.
In the months to come, we will re-focus our time, attention and resources on coffee and areas of our business where coffee is central. Expanding wholesale sales, encouraging and training other coffee shops and cafés in Edmonton and across the country is a way that we can share our expertise and grow the quality coffee culture in Canada. We will also invest more time and attention to grow online coffee sales at transcendcoffee.ca. We will strive to understand coffee even better than we do today. We will continue to find some of the best coffees on the planet. We will experiment and learn and get even better at roasting coffee.
Closing our Jasper Avenue café was a painful decision. But I believe it was the right one. It will make Transcend Coffee stronger and allow us to continue what we do best. There is a great deal of potential for amazing coffee in this city and across the country. The future is bright for Transcend, and I am looking forward to the months and years ahead.
Founder & CEO