The Battle of Coffee

 
 

The best coffee in Antigonish for the friendliest student price

Now, before I start, I must add that I am not a coffee expert and I do not claim to be one. This is just my guide to the best cup of coffee in Antigonish. I’ve been living in Antigonish now for four years, and I think I’ve cracked the code on what places sell the perfect cup, at the best price.

Finding the perfect cup of coffee can be really hard, but once you find that sweet spot that makes the perfect cup, it’s hard to let go of it.

I never used to be a coffee drinker before coming to university, imagine that. Even in my first year I prided myself in not needing any aid in the morning to get my system going. However, now that I’m in my fourth year I can guarantee you that by the middle of second year I became a loyal coffee drinker. I’ll admit, I hated it at first, but the late night of paper writing was not kind to me, so I used to just drink the coffee while secretly despising it. Now that I like the taste of coffee, does that make me an adult?

Alright, so let’s get started. Right off the bat, I’m sorry to all the loyal Tim Horton’s drinkers, but that coffee isn’t even in the top five of good coffee, it’s watery dirt. There, I said it. As for McDonald’s, you are not bad. If I had to pick between the two of you for a place to get coffee I’d have to go with McDonald’s without question. I see you, but you do have room to improve.

I’ll start with Pachamama. Now, I am a big fan of this little but blossoming spot. The food and snacks are delicious and vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free friendly! Big win in my books, coming from someone who has celiac disease. As for the coffee, it’s not bad coffee to say in the least instead it just does not mingle well with my taste buds, also the price isn’t too friendly to my tight student budget I’ll be honest.

Oh, Tall and Small, you own my heart, but not precisely my coffee heart. I should correct myself; your drip coffee does not hold my heart. But! Your latte’s, well that is another story, I am a devoted latte customer at the T&S. If you ever really want to treat yourself with any specialty coffee latte, cappuccino you name it, then Tall and Small is your answer. Plus, Collen and Leah (shout-out) make some wicked coffee art with a kind smile. For someone who operates on a student budget, I must admit to spending too much money on lattes.

So, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, who’s the coffee winner? It’s Sodexo coffee! I’m just kidding, far from. It’s the Waffle Bus! This may come across as a surprise, but I mean should it? It’s no secret that this place makes some of the best food in town, so it’s only natural that their coffee is also the jackpot. It’s so smooth, and always piping hot, I recommend going with the light roast, plus they have brown sugar to put in your coffee, it’s a game changer. Plus, if you bring in a reusable mug, it’s only $1.50, saving the planet while also fixing your coffee needs for a great deal.

Like I said before, I am by no means a coffee connoisseur, but four years of testing out new places in the nish, I think I found the perfect spot. By all means, you can disagree with my top coffee. Before you do, test out the Waffle Bus’s coffee. Who knows, you might agree.

 

Local Love

 
 

Support local businesses

Have you ever had a cherished store in your own home- town shut down? If so, you know the feeling of having to hear the heartbreaking news of your absolute favourite local store close its doors forever.

This is becoming more and more common in our society; locally owned businesses that used to flourish with customers are now at a point where they do not have enough customers to generate the type of revenue they would need to keep their lights on. I’m encouraging you to start or continue supporting the local businesses within your own town. 

When you choose to spend your money at a local business whether a restaurant, art gallery, coffee shop, or grocery store, you’re supporting the business and the individuals that help run it. 

Take places in Antigonish such as the Townhouse, The Waffle Bus and the Tall and Small Café, all three of these businesses sell delicious food. The ingredients for these dishes are coming from farms in the surrounding area, fresh vegetables from Bethany Gardens, farmed chicken from Loch Abar Farmers or fish from fisherman living in the area.

The point is, these farmers and fisherman also making a living off be able to a sell their products to these businesses, but they’re only able to keep doing that just as long as the doors of the business keep ringing.

You might think yes that’s all wonderful, but I don’t have the money for locally priced foods and that’s a fair point. When you eat local it tends to be a bit pricier than say something like McDonald’s (which might I add is corporately owned, and has mass produced food which is not only bad for the environment but also bad for you, I digress) but trust me it’s really worth it. It might seem like a pain paying that little extra, but in the long run you’re helping out more people than you can imagine.

Investing your money into these businesses means keeping a community alive, a community that you might very well depend on for your own job, family, or school. When local business die, there are jobs lost, and people will have to migrate out of the town to find other jobs, soon it’ll become a ghost town.

When you purchase local, you’re also able to get to know the people who own the business, who by the way really appreciate you and they want to get to know you. You end up building connections and relationships that you otherwise might not have had. It’s pretty hard to build a connection with a huge company that only cares about getting your money and not getting to know you.

I hope my words to you have made you change your mind a little bit. Next time  you’re feeling hungry or wanting to pick up some new groovy home décor, consider supporting a business ran by your neighbor.

In my closing words, I’d like to give my farewell to Fixed Coffee & Baking. As a Newfoundlander I was stunned to hear the news like the rest of St. John’s last Wednesday that Fixed will be closing their doors permanently on March 10. I’ll miss your delicious coffee, food, laughs and warmth, and your sparkling drinks in the sweet muggy summers. Yet another business falling victim to the lack of local support.

 

Meet Kelly Ann Farrell

 

Farrell’s artwork for sale at the Tall and Small

If you find yourself rushing into 342 Main Street before morning class or if you have time to sip on a coffee while you study, be sure to take a moment to look at the walls. The ordinary warm cherry interior of the coffee shop is beautifully decorated with a smattering of colourful paintings. From beach scenes to portraits to depictions of houses around town, artist Kelly Farrell has taken over the Tall and Small with her dozens of canvases. 

Born and raised in Antigonish, Farrell has, for a while now, become a well-known artist and icon in her community. She is an active member of the L’Arche community in town and is currently featured on the artists’ page of the L’Arche International website. Farrell has undoubtedly made an impression with her work in her home community – and she certainly has our attention. 

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A member of Hearts & Hands in Antigonish, Farrell is a workhorse in the art studio on the corner of West Street and Highland Drive. Mentors Tina Angustia and Glen Mattie at the Studio can attest to Farrell’s work ethic and ability to motivate herself when it comes to her work. Angustia commented, “Kelly is always looking for what to paint next”. Smeared across the upstairs walls where Farrell creates her work are blown-up photographs of her subjects. These photos are strewn on her workspace, hanging on the door frame by her desk and serve as her primary perspective when she begins her projects. Along with painting, Farrell also enjoys photography and drawing.

When asked about her favourite part of working at the Studio, Farrell answered, “The people.” Farrell shares space upstairs with several of her friends and fellow artists. She signed, “The people are silly… there was a Halloween party where people made funny faces in a Photo Booth and people danced. Glam (her nickname for Glen) had a lemonhead.” It goes without saying, the everyday events in Farrell’s involved life are worth documenting. And that is what she does - so brilliantly well. 

Farrell’s art isn’t solely a vehicle for her talent in visual arts. It is also a means of communication. Her paintings are all snapshots of the beautiful memories she has, the people who mean the most to her, and the unforgettable places she’s been. While at the Tall and Small on October 25th for her artist’s Meet and Greet, Kelly signed about her variety of canvases on display. She picked up a couple paintings leaning on the west-most wall and signed, “When I was with my sister in Orlando, Florida, with palm trees… and kayaking.” Several of her paintings reflect her other interests and hobbies outside of making master pieces. “I like summer. I enjoy taking pictures, boats, biking, kayaking, the cottage, and spending time with my sister.” Farrell also enjoys some of the finer things like the rest of us. “I like pizza, playing pool, drinking wine and having tea (Twinning’s especially!) … [with friends and family].”

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Candidly, coming into the Studio to check out Farrell’s work felt like an interruption. Immersed in her work in progress, a painting of her brother’s new car, it almost didn’t feel right to take her out of her zone. However, as soon as she was asked to explain her love for creating, the list of reasons went on. As Farrell explained why painting makes her happy, she wrote out and drew her reasons. She paints a clear picture. Farrell’s constant running dialogue, in the form of fine art, will not be stopped. It is her way of consolidating communication, fond memories and emotion for others. Her art is a universal language we can all understand and enjoy on different levels. It is clear to everyone around her that more than anything, Farrell loves what she does, and this message is conveyed in each of her canvases.