As if choosing where to buy your morning coffee, afternoon brew or all nighter fuel isn’t hard enough… there’s a new coffee shop in town and Charts is sure to be on your list of places to hit in Wolfvegas. When Il Dolce closed in the fall, a coffee lover like myself was eager to see if a new café would fill this large bright space. Meanwhile Jesse, a corporate businessman living in Victoria BC, caught word of the empty space in Wolfville from his parents who live in the Valley. Seeking a route out of the humdrum of corporate life, Wolfville wasn’t always on the top of Jesse’s list. He had hid sights set on Halifax but when this came up it seemed like the right opportunity. So he bought the business and was back in Nova Scotia within a week.
The inspiration for the name Charts come form Jesse’s childhood growing up living all over the world and the time he has spent living abroad on his own. The walls of the coffee shop are adorned with maps and the space is filled with comfy couches and the scent of fresh baked goods. Though he didn’t grow up in Nova Scotia he went to school at St Francis Xavier and even lived in Wolfville while working at Atkins, the former much loved restaurant that once occupied Privet House’s former home. So I would say opening Charts is a bit of coming home for this wandering soul.
Now what about the coffee… After many tastings Jesse narrowed in on North Mountain coffee for their great taste, small batch roasting and emphasis on fair trade. And delicious it is. The team at Charts is striving to serve immaculate espresso drinks, everything from cappuccinos and Americanos to lattes and Americano mistos. The shop offers more than just coffee though. All the baked goods at Charts are prepared in house by Jesse himself or the other employees, many of whom are Acadia students. They are a compilations of family recipes and his own adaptations of Google’s finest. I can vouch for the deliciousness of the compass buns (cinnamon buns). They also prepare lunch; two permanent soups and some sandwiches to choose from (including vegetarian) and are hoping to add a more exotic soup on rotation soon. All the ingredients are sourced as locally as possible including meat from Oltan’s farm here in the Valley.
The atmosphere at Charts is truly unique. Such a bright large space, with couches you sink into and no wifi to impede your de-stressing, Charts aims to encourage conversation and relaxation. And once they get their music up and running it will be just that. In warmer weather look forward to a sprawling patio and drinking your coffee in the sun without too much traffic from foot traffic, since Elm Street tends to be quiet. Unless it is Saturday, however then it is hard not to stop in on your way home from the market for one last treat.
A coffee shop seems to be just the beginning for this entrepreneur. He has big plans for Charts in the future, such as hot breakfasts, mocktails and even possibly a wine bar. You will certainly have to keep checking in to see if any of these dreams come to fruition. They may seem lofty but so does quitting your job and moving across the country for a good cup of coffee.
With no experience in managing small businesses Jesse has an uphill battle ahead of him. However, so far the trails and tribulations of running his own business, such as forgetting the float on opening day have not gotten him down and a love of coffee and a great team behind him will surely make it all possible. So make your way down to Elm Street sometime soon for a relaxing afternoon and a cup of coffee and welcome Wolfville’s newest entrepreneur.