We sat down with Lynsae Moon, operator and co-owner of The Nook Cafe to learn more about her business and partnership with Full City & Supply.
TELL US MORE ABOUT YOU AND THE NOOK
My mom and I own the Nook together and we opened it in the summer of 2017. It’s something that I have wanted to do for a very long time having had experience working in the industry since I was a teen. I wanted to have a space where I could bring all my passions together- hostessing, taking care of people, my political and activist passions while creating a safe space that’s available to everybody.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN BUSINESS?
I had worked in cafes on and off throughout my teen and young adult years. I got married quite young, had my children, and was mainly a stay-at-home mom but did work a few hours a week in a cafe. When my (then) partner and I separated, I found myself in a position where I would need to go back to work. I applied at an expanding local cafe and was hired into an entry level position. Within 6 months I was promoted to an assistant manager, then a manager and then a general manager of several locations. So it’s definitely something I kind of just grew into business wise.
I also worked for an organization called “Live Local”, which was a program run on grants that unfortunately no longer exists. This educated me on the importance of local business and gave me a passion for food security. Both of these experiences planted the seeds and gave me the foundation I needed to open The Nook.
I come from a family of entrepreneurs, so the entrepreneurial spirit was always around me growing up. But I don’t really think of myself as a business person. The Nook isn’t just a business to me, it’s personal. The cafe is operated as an extension of myself. How we do things is congruent to how I want to show up in the world. The cafe came naturally based on my skill set and passion for local business, allowing me to live out my values. I definitely couldn’t do that working for someone else. Not every career path allows you to do that.
HOW DID YOU START WORKING WITH FULL CITY & SUPPLY?
Leigh and Michelle were recommended to me from the previous cafe I used to manage. Once we met, there were a couple things that stood out that made me want to move forward with our partnership. The first being that I think it’s really important to support businesses as local as possible and they are locally run right here in Edmonton. The second is that I also love supporting women in business so that was a win. I was also happy with the product they offer and felt there was room for us to grow together. I’m interested in working with suppliers with whom I can build a relationship with. Michelle and Leigh are those people.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE PRODUCTS THEY SUPPLY FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS?
Definitely the chais. Not only are they really great products, but I’m also happy because the chai company is a business local to Canada run out of Vancouver, so it allows more local product to be available. I also appreciate that they give me a wide selection.
Above that, their service is the best product they offer! Quick turn around, they deliver and I never have to worry about meeting a minimum.
TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR CORE VALUES AND WHAT THEY MEAN TO YOU
Creativity- Creativity is celebrated and encouraged in all aspects of our business. We give our staff the freedom to try new flavours, latte art, problem solve, etc.
We try to make the cafe as accessible to the arts as possible. We have offered residencies for artists and had one of the first of its kind here. We also have a free wall for visual artists to show and sell their work. Creativity isn’t just bound to art though, it’s also in the way we run our business. We have a creative business model, not just the typical business plan. We aren’t here to solely make money but to blur the lines in society, make people feel safe and while encouraging them to examine their unconscious biases.
Community-The Nook Cafe seeks to be a part of a strong network by joining with others and inviting people into our shared space. We don’t want to be the ones to decide what community looks like. We want the community to come to us and form naturally. We also recognize that a strong community exists in this neighborhood and we are honored to be welcomed into it.
Integrity- We are committed to considering the impact of our decisions beyond that of just ourselves. We strive to act as a sustainable business and maintain awareness about our impact on all people, places and things.
We are an environmental cafe, not just because it’s trendy, but because the planet really matters to me. We are also conscious of how we spend our money, trying to support places as local as possible. We are committed to offering superior products and services. And we are passionate about not only being Socially Conscious, but also Active.
Inclusivity- We aim to make our space available to everybody. Regardless of any barrier, perceived or actual, we want our cafe to be physically accessible, dietarily accessible and monetarily accessible. We are a space where marginalized communities are seen and know that we see and value them as a part of this community, of any community!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE BEVERAGE ON YOUR MENU?
I’m so boring. Really I just drink tea. But if I’m feeling fancy, I really like our Purple City tea latte. It’s Earl grey and lavender syrup, which pairs nicely with oat milk!
WHAT IS A FUN FACT ABOUT YOU THAT MANY PEOPLE MAY NOT KNOW
I am a very good singer and have sang in some prominent local choirs. I started singing when I was 9 and even attended a choral program in college.
HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU THINK COMMUNITY IS IN YOUR CAFE?
I think community is the backbone of my cafe which is why it’s one of our core values. I think there is a difference in just being a space in the neighbourhood and being intentional about building a community.
I also believe that community is built. It doesn’t just exist. You have to be active in creating it and seeking it out. I’m very aware that this neighbourhood has a lot of perceived negativity, but I believe it’s a really beautiful place. I’m not interested in pushing people out. I have come into a community that already exists and I have to allow it to shape me, not the other way round.
To learn more about Lynsae and The Nook Cafe, visit their website at https://www.nookyeg.com/