Toronto baristas reward customers for 'disloyalty'
In the coffee "geekdom," loyalty ain't worth beans.
In fact, being disloyal to your neighbourhood barista will get you a free coffee, thanks to a new initiative by independent coffee houses in Toronto.
Matthew Taylor, co-owner of Mercury Espresso Bar in the city's Leslieville neighbourhood, launched the Toronto Coffee Conspiracy in his shop on Tuesday, complete with a "disloyalty card" for his customers.
Customers are encouraged to check out the goods at a group of seven coffee houses across the city – Dark Horse Espresso Bar, Sam James Coffee Bar, Crèma Coffee Co., Manic Coffee, Lit Espresso Bar and Blondie's Coffee Bar.
Each time they visit a new coffee house, they can get their disloyalty card stamped. Once they've collected enough stamps, they will receive a free coffee at the coffee bar that gave them the disloyalty card in the first place.
"This is a great way to get customers involved in what we do," he said. "The sharing of the customers, the coffee geekdom."
The point of the card is to not only get people to discover specialty coffee but new neighbourhoods as well, Taylor told Canada AM in an interview Tuesday.
"Each neighbourhood kind of has their own feel and we want people to discover Toronto at the same time," he said.
Taylor said he got the idea from a similar initiative in East London. He then called up his close friends -- who all work at different coffee houses around Toronto -- to get them on board.
"We thought it was a great idea," he said. "We've got a great coffee community here in Toronto and we thought it would be nice to try it here."
Here are the locations of the coffee houses taking part in the Coffee Conspiracy:
- Blondie's Coffee Bar & Restaurant, 1378 Queen St. W.
- Crema Coffee Co., (two locations) 3079 Dundas St. W. and 53 Bloor St. E.
- Dark Horse Espresso Bar, (two locations) 682 Queen St. E. and 215 Spadina Ave.
- Lit Espresso Bar, (two locations) 221 Roncesvalles Ave. and 810 College St.
- Manic Coffee, 426 College St.
- Mercury Espresso Bar, 915 Queen St. E.
- Sam James Coffee Bar, 297 Harbord St.