The Ministry of Coffee - Alex & Fadi

The Ministry of Coffee - Alex & Fadi

The Ministry of Coffee


279 Elgin St (& 1013 Wellington St. W.)
Ottawa, Ontario

Tell us about about when you first opened The Ministry of Coffee on Elgin Street.

We opened The Ministry of Coffee in June of 2013. We wanted to start a coffee company with the main focus is coffee. We decided on Elgin because of the density of the neighbourhood, and the diversity of the people who work and live there. We have since then moved across the street to 274 Elgin st this past July as we needed more room. We decided to stay on Elgin because we love the street and neighborhood so much.

What is the concept behind your coffee?

We are a multi-roaster cafe, meaning that every week we showcase a different roaster from across Canada. We also bring in roasters from as far away as Europe, and we are working on bringing some from Japan and Australia. This gives our customers a chance to try world famous roasters that they wouldn't be able to try without going to that roaster.

How important is “supporting local” to your business?

Essential, we use local honey, local milk, our eggs for baking, greens for our sandwiches. We try to buy from smaller companies that have the same care of their products as we do for our coffee.

Why did you choose Elgin Street as a place to open your business?

Elgin st has always been a hub for the downtown. There is such a unique vibe on this street, we see lawyers, students, tourists.. you name it, its such a diverse community. 

Over the past 5 years do you have a favorite memory on Elgin Street?

I don’t think we can nail it down to one, we have so many with our regulars. Our favorite part of this industry and Elgin st is the fun and unique people we meet, who come in every day and make us smile, and become part of our family. 


What is your favorite coffee based beverage?

Nothing beats a good pour over with a unique coffee. Ethiopians are usually our fave, but a lot of interesting and tasty coffees are coming out of Central America. I also enjoy our Cortado to start the morning off right.

When you aren't balancing the books, inventory and scheduling staff, what do you do for fun?

Spending time with family, both Fadi and myself have little ones at home.

When Ministry of Coffee first opened the doors were there any local businesses that provided a helping hand?

We had a lot of support from other small businesses that came in to support us. Bel Fiore (now our direct neighbor) for one has always been there for amazing support, as well as everyone at The Gifted Type, and all the restaurants and bars on the street. 

I would guess working around coffee all the time you are pretty caffeinated. Where is your favourite spot on Elgin to unwind?

We love Town and Citizen, as well as El Camino. Pure Kitchen is great to rejuvenate, Whalesbone for to grab a sandwich for a fast and tasty lunch. Elgin has a lot of great places for all times of day. The diversity in food and drink makes it so unique.


Why do you dig Elgin?

The people. Both the customers and fellow business owners. I love making them coffee everyday and chatting about whats new. They make this street what it is.

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