As cafes in the lower mainland are debating over banning wifi and electrical outlets in order to create environments that nurture conversation and engagement, while others feel financially obligated to meet the needs of the new working class, the West Village Cafe in Surrey is embracing complexity in favor of bringing people together.
It seems like the debate over wifi and devices in cafe culture falls along several dividing lines: comfort vs cafe profitability, technology vs collaboration and conversation, and work space vs social space.
Paul Bhangoo, the owner of West Village Cafe, doesn’t accept these divisions, and believes that if your focus is on community, everyone will be welcome, like a village. So they have created a space that could meet the various needs, and a menu that would make staying longer not only appetizing and nutritious, but profitable for the cafe.
The space has an open and clean vibe that welcomes natural light for that much needed boost of Vitamin D to keep you feeling positive whether your working on that proposal or trying to feed your kids.
If you’re on your own and need to sit down to get some work done, you can do that and enjoy a local coffee roast or a freshly baked croissant. With the way seating is arranged, who knows, you may end up having a conversation. I know I have. Each time I have visited, I have met someone I know, or I have made a new connection.
You can sit down with family and enjoy a home cooked meal, play a board game with friends and enjoy a glass of wine, or meet to collaborate with your team over beer. Paul sees this as a place where people can come to “as an oasis. A place where people felt welcome.”
The West Village Cafe isn’t complete until “everyone is fed and happy,” so they have created a menu that boasts not only “healthy” food, but food and ingredients that are locally sourced and can be made fresh in-house.
The West Village Cafe is also a Change Maker too. No, not because they are sponsoring our series, but because they are active in the community and partnering with other organizations to create change and help others.
- They partner with a local church each Christmas to provide presents for school children in need.
- They have fed over 4000 people at the Vaisakhi parade in Surrey.
- They support and host young entrepreneur networking events
- They support and open their doors to other community members trying to make a difference, like Ellebox, who we featured in Episode 2 of the Change Makers.
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