Melriches Coffee & you – building community together

What is Melriches for if it isn’t about building community?

Success has in recent decades been defined mostly from a perspective of making money. A bigger house, a newer car, more exclusive clothes, the latest gadget. And all of these things do have an appeal. For a while.

So it can be really difficult to star contemplating that success might be something else. That it might be talking with your neighbours and finding something to laugh about together. That it might be about connecting one person to another and they both take note because of the little things you never thought they noticed. That it might be how you made the time to pause and listen to someone – and no one really minds – even when the queue is quite big. Cos they recognise what it means to care.

Sure, our furniture doesn’t match, our music policy isn’t consistent, sometimes our cakes even run out. We’re aiming for is to build community, to create connections, to share an environment where people share & engage – so please, help us out.¬† We might both need each other.

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The morning at Melriches experience – by Jess our barista

Melriches opens at 6am every day, so usually I’m up at 5am. It doesn’t take me long to get ready when it’s as early in the day as that. One of the first things I do when I get to the cafe is to make sure we’ve got enough cups available for the first morning rush – it can get surprisingly busy and fast even that early – it seems like there are people who can’t wait to get their first sip of coffee of the day and really¬† wake up.

Usually the newspapers turn up by 6.15. Ed the delivery boy drops off a copy of the Sun, Province & Globe and Mail and you can find them on the rack opposite the coffee counter if you’re quick.

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What’s the difference between an independent coffee shop and a chain like Blenz or Starbucks

Why Blenz & Starbucks are great at what they do.

Consistency, service, you know what you’re getting. Whether you’re in Liverpool, New York, Singapore

What makes Melriches great too

We know we make mistakes. Our furniture doesn’t match the way Starbucks does. We

What makes us different is that we make decisions here.

We recognise the importance of community – having a choice is important. We don’t want our neighbourhood to become another clone town.

We offer something different – different food, different drinks, different specials.

Join our community meet up table – every Wednesday have a coffee with your neighbours and chat. Our community table is by the window. We have prompt cards behind the counter if you’re stuck for striking up conversation.

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Introducing West End Stories

We’re really proud at Melriches to be part of the West End community. The original Melriches began trading on Davie Street in 1997 and we’ve seen so many changes in that time.

Yes we are a coffee shop, but we wouldn’t be anywhere without our people, our customers & staff, our community. We’re a place you can come to read the morning papers (usually on our news rack by 6.30am), we’re a place you can come in and escape the afternoon rain. We’re a place you can bring your first date or meet up with friends and chat about what’s new. A place to meet for business, to find new ideas.

Whatever the reason you come, we’d love you to share your community stories. It doesn’t just have to be in Melriches, it can be in the park, by the beach, at the hostel (HI members get an x% discount at Melriches), whatever. The only thing we ask is you tell us your favourite dring/food item or feature about Melriches. If you add what days or times you’re usually in for coffee and what you’re interested in chatting about, all the better for building community spirit. You never know where your introduction might lead.

This is a chance for you to promote yourself, your neighbourhood, and yes, your cafe. We look forward to hearing from you.

Sam, Dave, Julie, Ben – your team at Melriches



Community is at the heart of what we do.

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Melriches is on twitter

Check us out on our new twitter feed

What’s on?



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Coffee Spotlight

Where the coffee comes from, how sustainable it is, how the farmer is treated, how much he was paid, the terroir of the farm – any of these questions can come anytime. So it’s important not only to know the answers, but to tell as many people as possible – because these are the details that can connect people to what they have chosen, what they are supporting when they buy a cup of coffee at Melriches.

We’ve been using Rocket Fuel French Roast as our default coffee for a week now and the feedback we’ve been getting from regulars @david, @tom, @ donna has been really positive.

The reason we chose Rocket Fuel French Roast is:

It costs x – a bit higher than z, but the taste is worth it

All their coffee is fair trade

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This week’s specials

This weeks special:

Soup & sandwich deal – buy a soup & sandwich Mon-Fri & get 2 free stamps on your Bean Around The World Loyalty card.

Our soups this week are:

Monday – Broccolli & Spinach

Tuesday – Tomato & Basil

Wednesday – Minestrone

Thursday – Carrot & Butterbean

Friday – Morrocan Vegetable

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Wanted: Staff who know the value of engaging with other people

One of the hardest things about running a cafe is managing the people we employ. The easy thing to do is to go for a pretty face or choose someone who just happened to drop by when our last barista Phil suddenly announced his resignation – with immediate effect!

I recently saw an ad on Craig’s list by Blenz Coffee – Wanted – someone who can come to work at 6am with a smile! That made me smile. It’s a great heading and a great concept. The truth is, our staff our human beings. Sometimes they have their good days, other times they have their bad. But a positive determination makes all the difference.

Our staff get paid $12 an hour. It’s not the most in our industry and it’s not the least. You could say it’s within the market band. When we hire somebody at Melriches we tell them this. But we also say – you’re bright, and it’s valuable for us to have you for a while. We’ll help you to move on to the next level, to leave. Are you going to help yourself?

What do we mean? Well, the thing is, we want bright people, people with ambition, who will go on and make lots of positive changes. You might think you’re making coffee and working in a coffee shop because that’s the first impression someone might have when they walk in the door. But actually, you’re making human connections and you’re working in a people shop. Or should I say, having fun with people who just happen to be here drinking coffee. Why are they hear drinking coffee? Maybe it’s because the like coffee. Or maybe it’s because really what they’re looking for is a connection, somewhere they belong and feel valued.

The sooner our staff realise this, the more fun they have actually being here. It’s much easier for them to understand where they are and what they can do. It never ceases to thrill me when I see our staff looking after our customers. The more they do that, the more they want to experience that again too. And hopefully they will take that on to all the different parts of their lives. And when it’s time for them to leave us and move on somewhere new.

We’re lucky enough at Melriches to get a lot of customers through our doors. Sometimes our service might be a little slow, and maybe our staff won’t be able to chat as long as they’d like too. Every Wednesday at 10am we have a staff customer coffee hour. It’s a chance for us to sit down with our customers and have a chat over coffee. It’s a great way for us to get closer, so next time why not come round at 10am. We’d really like to hear your thoughts.

And we can always be reached via email, telephone or twitter. Thank you for all your wonderful support.

Xaviar De Santos,

Also the coffee shop manager

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