Lara Cusson and Ruthy Shvalbe want to have a coffee with you
At long last
the dilapidated laundromat on the corner of Agricola and Woodill Streets is being picked up, dusted off and reimagined. Later this summer Cafe Lara
will come to life in a renovated version of the 2347 Agricola Street building, aiming to be a neighbourhood space that’s comfortable, inviting and a celebration of the social side of coffee culture.
“I think everyone has a story of the first coffee shop they started going regularly,” says Lara Cusson
—the cafe’s owner and namesake, who’ll be working alongside manager Ruthy Shvalbe
to open it. “I remember the first coffee shop I liked going to was in 2005 and it really became my home away from home, and luckily I chose a place with the best coffee.”
A Montrealer who’s made Halifax her home, she has worked in the food and drink industry since falling in love with that first cafe. And now she’s fallen in love with Halifax, in particular, the north end.
“I really like the idea of bringing people together,
and community, and I think coffee is a great way of doing that,” she says of her project. “I think it’s something that appeals to everyone and people from all walks of life.”
Since deciding she wants to leave her mark on the local small business community, Cusson has spent time researching coffee shops of all types, scoping out as many as possible in other cities she visits. Cafe Lara will focus on serving top-notch java drinks, a well-curated menu of food (that’ll also be convenient for grab and go customers), LF Bakery pastries and providing a space that’s a lot of different things to the different people who stop by.
“I want to create seating for every type of person that might come in—a young mother with a stroller, a bar area for people looking for a few drinks, space for students who might want to study,” says Cusson. “I’m trying to keep the type of customer and what their needs might be in mind.”