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Café owner wants Canning to make new coffeehouse a home

Alice Hartling has opened The Village Coffeehouse at 9844 Main Street in downtown Canning, where she intends it to be a community space for the village and surrounding areas and a space to highlight local products and makers.
Alice Hartling has opened The Village Coffeehouse at 9844 Main Street in downtown Canning, where she intends it to be a community space for the village and surrounding areas and a space to highlight local products and makers. - Sara Ericsson
CANNING, N.S. —

Alice Hartling couldn’t find a space dedicated to specialty coffees when she moved to Canning five years ago.

She searched the town and surrounding areas, and found plenty of spaces that would host events and offer coffee and tea, but no café where the sole purpose was to brew fancy java.

So, she decided to fill the void and build one herself.

Hartling has named her new business The Village Coffeehouse to reflect that it’s not only for her own enjoyment of coffee, but a space she hopes becomes a community hang-out hub.

Alice Hartling felt inspired to open a business when she saw others setting up in Canning. She felt pairing that with her love of cafes and coffee was a good place to start.
Alice Hartling felt inspired to open a business when she saw others setting up in Canning. She felt pairing that with her love of cafes and coffee was a good place to start.

“This is a space where people can come, grab coffee, and spend time with each other. Whether neighbours or people who haven’t seen each other in a long time – people now feel they have somewhere to go,” she says.

The new café is open for brewing and is located at 9844 Main Street in downtown Canning. It’s the first business Hartling has run and is a process she is still getting acquainted with.

Hartling prepares a latte as café customers talk and laugh in the background. She says she’s not sure how the space will evolve just yet – it’s a bit of a blank slate.

She recalls feeling encouraged to open a business after several new shops opened in Canning over the last few years.

“Suddenly one day I just thought, ‘you know, I think I could do that,’” she says.

The paperwork and procedure sometimes made Hartling feel it was all an uphill battle, but months of continuously chipping away at the mountain of paperwork eventually paid off.

She began working toward the business in August 2018 and opened the café doors at the end of March.

“There are so, so many boxes to check. You’ve got the health and safety piece and county rules and you pair it all together. I just knew I really love cafes, good coffee and tea, and I’m at a point in my life where I could take that chance,” she says.

The café serves specialty coffees, teas, snacks and features art on its walls and music events to fill customers’ ears.
The café serves specialty coffees, teas, snacks and features art on its walls and music events to fill customers’ ears.

Art pieces by Kings County artists hang on the café walls for purchase and regular music performances from area musicians have been scheduled as the cafe settles into its new home.

Hartling says these ventures are part of her goal to highlight local makers. She also serves North Mountain Fine Coffee and features other local products for customers to sample.

She wants Canning and the surrounding area to make the space their second home, and to see it as their common grounds to congregate over a fine beverage and snack.

“I’ve had some people come in and say, ‘oh the tourists are going to love this,’ and they are absolutely right and that’s a great thing,” she says.

“But this isn’t just for that. My goal is to make it a community space, and that’s what I think we’ve done here.”

Sara.Ericsson@kingscountynews.ca

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