Strange Love Coffee

Crafting a compact yet inviting coffee haven in a bustling city. Maximizing space for customer engagement and barista efficiency in a tropical, biophilic-themed ambiance.

275 sqft
Toronto, ON
Project details

Creating a Coffee Haven: A Space-Smart Solution

Strange Love Coffee is a growing local Toronto based coffee shop focusing on providing a unique coffee experience by utilizing specialized treated water and one-of-a-kind roasts that are hand-picked by a Coffee Sommelier.

The intent was to create a space that communicates Strange Love’s obsession with quality coffee experience while resolving two key challenges to fit a complex coffee production program within an off-centered triangular 275sq ft space as well as to drive passerby attention to an easily missed corner.

26’ counterspace was integrated into an 8’ storefront accommodating 5 baristas to seamlessly produce 1500 coffees per week.  The shape of the site to inform the design and the production line was carefully studied to minimize travel and movement for all the staff. Understanding that the end-user served are corporate professionals with stressful jobs, we devised Strange Love as a tropical retreat within the path. A floor-to-ceiling signage by the staircase wall to entice patrons and a loud custom wallpaper adorned with tropical plants introduced a biophilic experience into a small space with a severely limiting budget while drawing attention to an otherwise easy to miss corner.

Since a sophisticated re-engineered mineral water is one of the secret ingredients behind Strange Love Coffee’s award-winning recipe, we celebrated the filtration system by creating an illuminated display that showcases the raw industrial beauty of the system itself. The shop has a weekly rotation of custom roasted coffee, which is placed at the front counter for customers to interface with where the Baristas would proudly introduce the different roasts to the consumer. Additional products on open display atop custom wood shelving with brass hardware are available for purchase. The front counter is also mounted on hidden wheels and allows easy access for workers.  

From the loud material finishes, a malleable counter that snakes through the awkward site, water filtration and produce showcases, we created a space that help tell the client’s story and entice passerby to stop and smell the roasts.