Coffee lovers, rejoice! There’s a new brew for you to try

Ever since CommonWealth Coffee Co. opened on London’s beloved Richmond Row, the shop has been busy. Owner Kari Egan, who was busy preparing beverages with her fellow baristas, said that there have been no empty seats since the coffee shop opened.

CommonWealth Coffee Co. is Egan’s newest venture in London’s hospitality industry. She also owns ice cream shop Roli Poli Ice Cream Co., known for its rolled ice cream and other treats such as ice cream tacos. The shop opened in 2017, after the owner took an ice cream technology course in Guelph and learned about the popular ice cream style.

LondonFuse. Ice cream shop owner delves into the world of coffee. CommonWealth Coffee Co. owner Kari Egan making a latte in her coffee shop in London, Ontario.
CommonWealth Coffee Co. Owner Kari Egan loved the coffee scenes in cities like Calgary, Vancouver, and Montreal so much, she wanted to bring it to the Forest City.

Egan is proud of Roli Poli’s first year.

“How do I even say it? It’s been an amazing journey,” Egan said. “It’s been an incredibly successful and busy shop, something I didn’t expect.”

She added that she learned how open Londoners are to trying new options in its hospitality industry.

“I think they’re on the verge and they’re ready to try new things,” Egan said. “They’re just welcoming and just open minded. It’s really great.”

CommonWealth Coffee Co. is a great place to try something new, whether it’s a new favourite beverage, or a new place to get your favourite beverage.

A different brew

The coffee shop was filled with people chatting, students studying, calming music, and of course, the inviting smell of coffee.

“People like to come in here and do business meetings,” Egan said. “People like to come here and hang out to study, do their work, visit with friends, [and] catch up.”

LondonFuse. Ice cream shop owner ventures into the world of coffee. CommonWealth Coffee Co. owner Kari Egan making a latte in her coffee shop in London, Ontario.
All kinds of beverages, from espressos to tea lattes, can be found at CommonWealth Coffee Co. Photo by Emily Stewart

Commonwealth Coffee Co. is what Egan envisioned for the shop, which was inspired by what she calls the “vibrant” coffee scenes in Vancouver, Montreal, and Calgary. She said those shops also had white walls, bright lighting, and calming music for coffee lovers of all kinds to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere.

“There’s a melting pot of people that come to London from different communities across Canada,” Eagan said. “London has a good coffee scene, but I want to bring something that will elevate it a little further.”

Egan then came up with the idea for the third wave coffee shop. She explained a third wave coffee shop is a higher quality coffee shop that focuses on artisan beans, their origins, production results, and the quality of the coffee itself.

“It’s comparable to a fine wine,” she said of the kind of coffee you can find at the café.

She’s partnered with roasters with a commitment to ethical sourcing and sustainability. The featured roasters are St. Thomas’ Las Chicas del CaféCalgary’s Fratello Coffee Roasters, Vancouver’s 49th Parallel, and Toronto’s Patera Caffe. Egan, a Londoner, lived out west for half of her life before moving back to the Forest City and opening Roli Poli.

“I wanted to honor where I’m from, where I went, and where I went back to,” she said.

Regardless of your usual coffee order, there’s sure to be a drink for you at CommonWealth.

What’s on the menu?

Egan’s passion for all kinds of coffee, from a shot of espresso to cold brews, is reflected in the variety of beverages served.

In addition to nitro coffees and teas, you can find coffee on tap, cold brews, tea lattes, espressos, and baked goods from Petit Paris Creperie and Patisserie. Frequent visitors of the Covent Garden Market know of the French bakery’s pastries and colourful macarons.

If you’re looking for a quick bite to eat, you can grab plenty of treats from Petit Paris such as bagels at CommonWealth Coffee Co. Photo by Emily Stewart

Egan added that she will use Roli Poli’s ice cream for some of the desserts at CommonWealth, and use CommonWealth’s coffee for some ice cream at Roli Poli. However, that is the most crossover that will happen between the two, as they are separate businesses with different marketing strategies.

Egan explained that Roli Poli is a “hip and trendy” ice cream shop, whereas CommonWealth aims to be a refined coffee shop to occupy your whole day.

After visiting CommonWealth Coffee Co., it’s easy to see why anyone would spend their day there. If you’re looking for a new place for your next coffee run, be sure to stop by CommonWealth and try one of their brews!

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