We did it.
Exactly one year ago today, Bangbelly Café opened its doors for the first time.
Having spent many months preparing, rebuilding our space, training staff, and perfecting the various and sundry details, we were finally ready to pour our first cup of coffee on July 21, 2018.
We began with the idea of a place where community could convene to exchange stories, share ideas, or simply chat about their day, while enjoying the highest quality coffee, pastries and light bites.
From the outset, we wanted to knit ourselves into the fabric of the community by offering up something that we felt the island was yearning for, and by listening closely and adapting to our customers needs.
Our vision for a mom-and-pop coffee shop on Fogo Island, has blossomed into so much more than we could have imagined in just 365 days.
While our fundamental principles haven’t changed, our offerings have since expanded enormously. What started out as a small-scale coffee shop has turned into a booming café, and we believe this growth is a direct reflection of the support and interest of our community..
After the initial rush of our first summer season, we weren’t sure what to expect heading into the fall and winter. Would we see enough business? Would the locals still be interested? Did our novelty wear off, and what if we hadn’t lived up to expectation? Despite our uncertainty, we made the decision to remain open, even after the tourists began to wane.
With this decision, came an opportunity. We understood that the volume of customers would naturally deplete in shoulder season, but this presented us with the chance to offer up a whole host of new events and special offerings. What initially seemed like a challenge became a rewarding adaptation.
From regular Movie Nights to our popular Take-Home Suppers, we began to develop a roster of experiences that kept us engaged and inspired through the long winter months.
Following the new year, we determined that Bangbelly would need to adapt once again. In order to grow our menu, and provide a larger selection of options, we would need to rethink our kitchen altogether. We would also need a more spacious dining room able to seat the increasing number of patrons we were so lucky to welcome.
In March of this year, the café underwent its second set of renovations, and we pivoted once more.
Relaunching on April 17, just in time to host National Canadian Film Day, we saw immediate benefits. The space could not only accommodate more people, but it could also do so with a greater amount of flexibility; and, our kitchen team could really start to get creative!
In the Spring, we continued to develop our calendar of events, introducing both Music Night and Trivia Night, which were both far more popular than we could have guessed.
As we rolled into the summer months, we again wanted to expand and decided that Supper was the next logical step. So, for the month of July we are serving up Southern BBQ-inspired dishes, as well as some delectable appetizers and frozen treats for dessert. And, who knows? Perhaps August will present a new set of opportunities.
We have definitely seen an abundance of change in this past year, which only makes us more excited for Year Two. Where we will be this time next year is anybody’s guess, but what we do know is that we wouldn’t be where we are today without the tremendous amount of support we receive from our friends, family and the community. Our success is truly yours.
And, of course, our unwaveringly patient and talented staff are, in large part, why we consider this first year such a success. They are the true backbone of Bangbelly, and its driving force.
So, join us today, July 21, in celebration of our first birthday, and enjoy some FREE CAKE from 4:00 to 5:30 PM because you deserve it!
Come have a slice, a chat, and maybe even high-five our amazing team as we honour the founding idea behind Bangbelly: fresh food, ethically-sourced coffee, and community.