The Edmonton Muse February 2019 - Page 16

The Grizzlar opened last October and since then they have established themselves as an independent punk rock coffee shop. (That's really fun to say!) This cafe is pretty rad! From the art they have decorating the walls, to the mini record shop, the jukebox full a variety of classic punk rock tunes, and even the live shows they have here, this place isn't just a cafe, it is an experience. And their amazing ethically sourced, freshly roasted, high end coffee makes this place a caffeinated haven for many.

But, they are even more than that. The crew behind The Grizzlar coffee shop have a bigger vision than just being another independent business on the block. They are all about building a support network that directly influences and benefits their neighborhood by using that amazing coffee!

"If we want downtown to be better, we actually need to do something about it ourselves. We can't just build an arena and expect good shit to just happen, we actually have to actively look out for the community.' says co-owner Drew McIntosh. 'These problems don't go away by just telling them to 'Fuck off"."

And he is right! The state of homelessness has not benefited from the revitalization of the downtown core, it has just seemed to move the problem elsewhere. So, it is places like Boyle Street Community Services that need to work at reaching out to the community members that are in need. What a better way than to start helping out with everyone's favorite beverage, a delicious cup of coffee.

Boyle Street was the first place that carried Grizzlar's coffee outside of the shop, back when they first opened. Every month, the crew started off by donating 25 kilos of coffee per month, with a total of 220 kilos donated between October 1 and January 1. That 25 kilos per month has since grown to an average of 20 kilos per week to meet the higher demand, which amounts to $125 at wholesale cost, PER DAY. Unfortunately, this is not sustainable through a small, brand new and independent business.

"It came down to having two options - We can't do it, or, we can organize something to make it work. So, we decided to ask for help because by serving the community in as many ways as we can, we become more valuable that way and become a part of the solution". Drew also stated that the staff offers multiple needs of support and that their invaluable work isn't always recognized, "You can't help people that are not ready to be helped but at least our work, which is coffee, can be a part of it and help everyone out."