by Nancy Gardiner
Northern News Services
NNSL (Feb 12/97) - "When it's 40 below, there's not a lot of people wandering the streets of Yellowknife," says Javaroma owner Brendan Bell.
Residents tend to want something close by. So, with this in mind, he launched a second Javaroma outlet, just a few blocks south of the first one in the Centre Square Mall.
Bell's latest is on the main floor of the NorthwesTel tower. It's called: "Javaroma Gourmet Coffee and Bagels."
He also hopes to attract the apres-movie crowd at his new location for late-night dessert by candlelight. The daytime crowd comes from the NorthwesTel tower and vicinity.
This Javaroma is open from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. - the one at Centre Square mall closes at 7 p.m.
The food fare includes low-fat bagels, soup and salads. A best-seller is the Javaroma club.
Community groups are also finding the coffee shop is a great place to meet.
"After NACC, people started to meet here in the evenings -- the choir and Tai Chi come here after their practices," Bell says.
If you don't want to go out for a drink in this town, it offers an alternative, he adds.
The coffee in the used is Seattle's Best, which is shipped to mining camps and communities around the North The aural ambience includes Cuban rhythm and flamenco recordings. Live music, likely acoustic guitar, may be brought in at some point.
"We want to give people an experience with mood and lighting. We hope they come in and meet someone friendly, enjoy what they eat and have a nice time," Bell says.
Local artists have also contributed to the decor.
Anne Peters provides handcrafted pottery mugs and salad bowls and Abe Miller studio supplies earthenware plates.
"Eventually, all commercial plates will be replaced by local pottery and all of it will be for sale -- a sort of gallery for people to see their pottery."
There's handmade paper by Alex Borowiecka, tinted in natural dyes and hanging on one wall. and Andrew Hammond's bone mask and shaman painting on another.
Attention has also been paid to the "baristas" (Seattle-speak for coffee bar staff). "We train staff with the Disneyland philosophy. Everybody cleans, I clean, the manager cleans. We wouldn't ask our staff to do something we wouldn't do ourselves."
Good staff is a high priority, Bell says. There are 15 full- and part-time staff members, but this is one business endeavor that's been a family affair from the beginning.
Bell, who is 25 years old, credits his parents with being a "huge help." His mother, Arlene, helped with testing recipes at home and his father, Mike, helped with accounting and banking.
His parents also helped with start-up equity and "they come around all the time to help out. And they believe in the project."
Bell's brother, Adrian, is largely responsible for the design and color scheme -- terra cotta and blue walls, with grey and black flooring, evoking the deserts and a rockscape.