Andreas Vecchio, owner of Caffettiera – Caffé bar
“I consider myself to be quite the connoisseur of Italian culture, especially when it comes to Italian cuisine, gastronomy, and wine. I know a lot on the subject!
Many people have come up to me over the years to say that I should open a café downtown. I would always reply that there are already loads of great coffee houses in the city.
But in reality, what these people were trying to say is that there weren’t any Italian cafés downtown.
I started developing a business plan with my associates but after some time, I realized I didn’t need associates to open a café—I could do it myself! I kept one associate with a 10% stake in the business: my cousin, owner of the Cloakroom bar.
We undertook the project together and quickly came to realize that the downtown core was definitely lacking in Italian coffee houses. It’s a business model that is very European: not many employees, lots of foot traffic, and an ultra-fast service. The small locale that we found on Stanley turned out to be perfect—people feel that European vibe the moment they step foot inside our café.
The pandemic slowed us down quite a bit. But with a little help, especially from PME MTL, we remained calm and were able to maintain our current concept, which is to say, we offer the most “authentically Italian” experience possible. We offer only Italian products, aperitifs, and coffees—no North-American beverages whatsoever. If someone wants a large coffee to go with their pastry, well, they’ve come to the wrong place! Haha!
Have things gone back to normal in the Golden Square Mile? Well, the office towers are still quite empty, but the vibe, the energy, makes me think of pre-pandemic times.”