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Café heaven for Dawn and Mike Berry at their Red Brick Café


Owning The Red Brick Café isn’t just a job for Dawn and Mike Berry, it’s like inviting friends in for a coffee. Every day almost a quarter of the village’s 1,000 residents visit this 550-sq.ft. café, located in the village of Sundridge, three hours north of Toronto.

By Mike Berry


We’re the only employees at our little piece of heaven. We have indoor seating for 15 and four seats outside on the sidewalk for the warmer months. In July, we sold our quarter of a millionth cup of coffee since we opened our little café five years ago.

Both Dawn and I had zero experience when it came to running a café. We were both from the auto industry. When we attended our first Coffee & Tea show in Toronto in 2010, we realized exactly how much we didn’t know about the coffee industry.

We’ve always found the sustainability seminars to be very informative. The coffee plantations are affected by the changing climate and by diseases that impact the coffee growing plants. At these sustainability seminars we learn of the severity of the situation, the global impact on the coffee market and of the steps being taken by our industry to help the farmers battle the hardships in bringing us our coffee beans.

Even the environmental impact of owning a café was addressed in seminars covering how we could “green” our business. We use compostable cups and have replaced all of the light bulbs with energy savers. We have a program where anyone can bring in a bucket for free coffee grounds for use in gardens and composters. Basically, we are as environmentally friendly as we can be.

We look forward to more Canadian Coffee & Tea shows to reconnect with friends and industry contacts and to see what will be trending in the future.