Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Packing up the Old EVC

They say that it takes 5 years for a business to establish itself as a success. They also say that London is one of the hardest cities in Ontario to open a business. Perhaps both of those things are true, but neither seemed to apply to us. The East Village Coffeehouse took off from its first moments and built up momentum despite having no street sign for the first 3 years. I still marvel that this could be the case. Nonetheless, the day arrived when our lease was expiring and we knew we had to pack up and leave.

 We gave ourselves a month to pack up right so that nothing was damaged and all was transported safely. The machines we use are heavy yet delicate, so moving them is not easy. We also had a lot of antiques that had to be taken down gently, and many many boxes of breakables to pack. In actuality, we didn't know how much was in that little space until we started to move stuff. Box after box left the premises yet it seemed to make no difference in the amount left to pack and transport. That was disconcerting.


Our plan was to get all the ornamental stuff out first, then the breakables, and last the machines and larger furnishings. We don't own a truck, but Shawn and George put theirs at our disposal for most of the move which really helped with the bigger things. That said, some of the biggest stuff was tootled down the street on  a dolly, much to the surprise of motorists on Dundas. We joked about being EOA and seeing people making off with any kind of stolen goods in such a "bad area", even freezers, in the middle of the day.

Finally the day came when we had to assemble a moving team to get the bigger stuff out. We were the picture of efficiency - people on both ends of the move and a low trailer with lots of carting devises to help us. Then, of course, there is the unexpected. One of our signature red and white counters could not fit through the door. We had built it by hand inside the space and had failed to measure for future moving. Yikes! The whole team put their collective brains together to resolve the door problem but after more than an hour it seemed clear -- we needed to take a reticulating saw to our counter and cut it apart in some choice spot where we could mend it later. That did the trick.

With our premises now emptied we had a day to clean, repair and have an inspector take a detailed report of the conditions we were leaving behind. Given our landlord, we had to be sure that all was not only in order, but witnessed by our lawyer and a third party so that there would be no opportunity for foolishness later. With pictures taken, video shot, notes assembled, and all last minute details taken care of we turned our keys over to our lawyer to return to the landlord. A chapter of the EVC had closed, but a new one was about to begin.


  1. Wow! The old place looks so different when it's empty! I look forward to seeing the new place. Missin my fave coffee, with honey, cream, and brown sugar! :)

  2. We're missing our coffee too! Yeah, it was a bit of a shock to see the place empty. But then when we saw the EVC stuff in the new space we knew the magic would return. The sign from the street front of the old shop is already up in our dishroom and it looks tiny in there. I'll do a blog soon on the renovation with more pics!

  3. Honestly, I think that there’s no definite time for success. As long as you get up in the morning and do your work, have loyal consumers coming in and a few new ones, and still have some products and services to offer, we can say that it is doing well and will continue to thrive. I wish you all the best!

    Everett Tyler @ General Store-All