For a freelance writer, the prospect of a new coffee shop opening in your neighbourhood is nothing short of thrilling. Working from home in any capacity can be quite isolating, which is why cafés often serve as mobile offices, collaborative work spaces, and boardrooms for the city’s freelance workforce. Design a well-lit space with plenty of seating, easy access to outlets, good coffee, and fresh, local fare, and you’re sure to attract an eager crowd.
Armed with this knowledge, Jonah Creed opened the second location of his CREEDS Coffee Bar on January 21, taking what he’s learned (and is still learning) from his vibrant Annex café and bringing it to Leaside. At 1595 Bayview, the former site of Second Cup, CREEDS is shiny, bright, and welcoming.
“The idea was to have big tables and comfortable chairs and create a space where people want to spend time,” Jonah explains. “This is somewhere people can stay all day and work without feeling as though they have to go anywhere else.” There’s even a large, round table at the back for meetings, and monitors (currently displaying his parents’ private digital art collection), which can be hooked up for presentations.
As a father of two, Jonah also knows how important it is to have a place where you can enjoy a good coffee while keeping your kids happy. CREEDS makes its own hot chocolate and apple cider, and has already become a popular spot for families after school and on weekends.
“We want to be a gathering space — somewhere everyone feels welcome,” Jonah says from his perch at the back of the shop, where he can often be found working and engaging with customers, as he gets to know the community better.
Keeping that strong sense of community in mind, Jonah has sourced nearly everything on the CREEDS menu from local vendors. All espresso drinks, brewed coffee, and cold brew come from Toronto’s Pilot Coffee Roasters. You’ll also find a wide selection of teas (and tea lattes), Kombucha on tap, scones from the St. Clair West favourite, Baker and Scone, nut-free cookies from Sullivan & Bleeker Baking Co., and fresh sandwiches, soups, and salads.
Jonah is slowly converting cappuccino drinkers to the CREEDS’ signature coffee beverage, the cortado, a Spanish coffee made from espresso mixed with an equal amount of warm milk to reduce the acidity. His 8-year-old daughter recommends the eggy scone, while his son, who’s 6, always goes for the Sullivan & Bleeker s’mores cookie.
Beyond coffee shop hours, the space is available to rent for special events — a business Jonah is growing and perfecting in his Annex location. There are also plans in the works for special CREEDS’ hosted events like trivia night and live musical performances coming to Leaside soon.
Beyond coffee and community, what sets CREEDS apart is that it also happens to be a dry-cleaning depot. While it may seem like an unlikely combination (coffee up front, dry cleaning collection in the rear), it’s proved to work remarkably well. While the café business is fairly new for the Creeds family (the Annex coffee shop opened in 2015) their long history of entrepreneurship dates back almost a century. In fact, Jonah’s grandfather, the famed Eddie Creed, was highly regarded for his luxury department store Creeds & Co., the hub of exclusive high fashion in Yorkville until 1991. Also in the fur business, the family transitioned from fur sales and storage to dry cleaning in the mid-1990s. Their couture dry-cleaning business provides pickup and delivery service across the GTA.
Jonah artfully combines his family’s business acumen with his commitment to customer service and passion for a good cup of coffee to create a refreshing new addition to the Leaside community.