Parlour Coffee brews up quality, community
By Aaron Epp | Friday, January 13, 2012
Nils Vik opened Parlour Coffee last September. In addition to providing Winnipeggers with quality coffee, Vik hopes his cafe can be a social place where people interact with one another. Aaron Epp photo.
WINNIPEG, MBThe home page of Nils Vik's personal web site says it all: "I used to take photographs. I used to play music. I used to design things. I still like all of the above. Now I make coffee."
This past September, the 28-year-old entrepreneur opened Parlour Coffee, a café located at 468 Main Street that aims to provide Winnipeggers with quality coffees and teas.
Vik, who attends St. Benedict's Table with his wife, Melissa, started drinking coffee during a trip to Montreal with his architecture class in 2008. His professor forced him to try espresso, and he fell in love with it.
Unable to find the quality of coffee that he likes in Winnipeg, Vik decided to try his hand at opening a café.
"The appearance of the coffee shop can tend to look pretentious in the way that it's postured," he says. "But I guess who I am, I'm really against snobbery. We serve snobby coffee, but we are not snobby when we serve it."
Vik says that if his Christian faith influences the way he conducts his business, it's in his interactions with his customers, suppliers and landlord. He treats all of them the way he would like to be treated.
Vik also aims to create a community atmosphere in the small café. There is no Wi-Fi Internet connection, and a note at the end of the large menu on the wall behind the counter encourages customers to talk to their neighbours.
"The biggest thing for me was finding a place that was small. I really enjoy intimate spaces where you can have conversations with your neighbour," Vik says.
"The original coffeehouses were places of discussion. It doesn't really happen anymore when everyone has iPods and laptops to be plugged into. So I've found the shop has become a meeting placeit's not just a place to drink coffee in isolation. It's a really social space."