‘It’s kind of a social thing, they don’t just eat and leave, you know? It’s almost like a family affair’
It may be a business, but the owners of Java Bean Cafe feel like they’ve created a family.
The colorful cafe at 175 Chancellors Way has become a place where residents can have coffee and chat. It also offers a catering service for events.
“We have (university) students who order a cup of coffee and sit around for hours, but we love them because we feel like they feel at home that way,” co-owner Rohan Aggarwal said. .
“They like the classy vibe and quiet atmosphere here.”
The business is owned by Rohan and his wife Sakshi. Together they offer home-cooked meals and baked goods and coffee from local vendors.
“We try to use those things that you would use at home,” Sakshi said of the food.
“We have a few students, we know their instructions. They come, sit down, have breakfast and say, ‘Okay, I want this for lunch,’ and they leave and come back, and we’ve got everything ready for them.”
Popular dishes on the menu include pressed paninis, such as turkey delight and chicken pesto, as well as waffles which can be sweet or savory.
“People really like our coffee,” Sakshi said. “My dad and his dad both said, ‘When people come back to you, it means your business is successful.'”
The Aggarwals took over the cafe in December 2021 from a previous owner who converted an old cafe, called the Carbon Cafe, into the Java Bean Cafe. When they became the new owners, Rohan said they decided to keep everything, including the name.
“He laid the foundation for our success, because he was the one who made the changes,” Rohan said of the former owner.
Since arriving in Canada in 2019, Rohan says they both dreamed of owning their own business. When the cafe went on sale last year, Sakshi said they saw it as an opportunity, as it allowed them to spend more time with their six-year-old son. The couple hope to teach their son life skills and the value of money.
“I pay him when he works,” Sakshi said, “He knows money isn’t free, you have to work.”
The couple also run two ghost kitchens, Ti-Amo Pasta and Forever Waffles.
Seeing customers return to the cafe and through online ordering, the Aggarwals hope to one day open more cafes and expand their restaurant business.
“Once we’re very stable with what we’re doing, and once they know our name, we want to expand into Guelph, Kitchener and Waterloo,” Rohan said.
For both of them, their business is all about fostering a sense of community for residents because it provides a great product.
“They come, they interact, they sit and eat. It’s kind of a social thing, they don’t just eat and go, you know? It’s almost like a family affair,” Sakshi said.
The Java Bean Cafe is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is on Uber Eats, Skip The Dishes, Direct Local Eats, and Order Up.