Every good thing has a good story behind it, and The Grounds Coffeehouse + Bakery is no exception. My story began eight years ago, when I started a cupcake business from home. It didn’t take long until the cupcakes were taking up all my extra time… and my kitchen space! After two years of making them at home, the demand got too much for me to handle. Although I had a business partner to share the work with, it was time that my home business expanded to a storefront.

From Day One, the shop was busy. We would go through hundreds of cupcakes, seven days a week. However, even though the business was thriving, our business relationship was seriously flawed. After a year in our shop, we made the decision that I would sell my half to my partner. I cried for about a month. I felt like I was mourning the death of something, and in some ways, I was. I was so proud of the business we built. It was so successful, and I felt like it was all for nothing. At least, that’s how I felt at that moment. I knew I would go on to do something bigger and better. That didn’t happen until three years later.

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My father, who was a huge coffee fanatic and coffeehouse fan, passed away suddenly in 2012. That broke my heart. He was only 62 and I never got to say goodbye. I knew I had to do something to honour my Dad, but I just didn’t know what. Until about a year later, that is. I was sitting at my kitchen table sipping a hot tea, thinking how much I used to enjoy visiting with my Dad at the coffee shop when it hit me – I needed to open a coffeehouse. I had been toying with several business ideas at that point, and this just made sense. I would mix my love of food and sweets with his love of coffee, and it would be a match made in heaven!

Dream come true: Rachel Mowat enjoys a delicious coffee drink outside her coffeehouse.

It all happened very quickly. I started looking for a location and came upon the vacant commercial space at The LOFTS. Within a week, I had signed the lease and hired a contractor. It was all working so wonderfully and falling fantastically into place. It took two months to build the shop, from flooring and plumbing to electrical and drywall. I watched as the cold concrete slab transformed into a beautiful modern/rustic coffeehouse. My Dad would love all the light that comes in through the giant windows, he would love the warm atmosphere, but most importantly he would love the coffee!

Today the Grounds Coffeehouse + Bakery is a place where students and professors, locals and seniors can sit and enjoy good food and drink together and feel like it’s their place.

Congratulations Rachel! Rachel is the owner of Grounds Coffee House + Bakery in Thorold, Ont. She wins an autographed copy of Anita Stewart’s Canada: The Food, the Recipes, the Stories.

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One response to “Rachel’s Story: Remembering Dad”

  1. Allan Young says:

    Congrats Rachel your Father would (is) be so proud of you

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