EOCC Community: Bru Coffee + Beer House

Coffee shops and places to grab a cold beer are not in short supply, but how often do the two come together under one roof? Bru Coffee + Beer House, located in the heart of Oliver, has become the answer to this since it opened its doors in 2015, offering visitors high-quality coffee, local beer and a venue suitable for socializing or meetings. Bru achieved early success, claiming the 2015 Best New Café prize from Where magazine and amassing a dedicated following of regulars, which has only since continued to grow.

 

The Backstory

Owner Tina Wang is no stranger to coffee shops or bars, but she often found the former uninspiring and the latter too loud. As a solution, she decided to formulate a concept that would combine the best of both worlds.

“I think there are many young professionals who want to have meetings, but they don’t know whether to bring their meeting to a coffee shop or a bar,” she says. “At Bru, everything is here. I want to focus on high-quality coffee, drinks and food.”

Wang’s goal is also to educate people about quality coffee and local beer. Bru supports local breweries and family-fun businesses, offering a unique selection of brews—of both varieties—stand apart from the usual suspects populating menus around town.

What’s In A Name?

Wang originally wanted to use her middle name, lan, which translates to “Blue” and would have dropped the “e” to be “Blu”. The name eventually evolved into “Bru,” a nod to Wang’s initial concept while capturing the essence of the business.

“The logo is also simple, but the coloration represents what we do,” she explains. “One side of it has the colour of coffee and the other side signifies beer. I didn’t like the colors at first, but it grew on me because of the meaning behind it.”

 

Standing Out From The Crowd

Wang’s key components of success are quality, transparency and supporting local suppliers. Everything prepared at Bru uses natural ingredients while avoiding preservatives and added sugar. The business maintains a strong emphasis on transparency, educating visitors about where Bru’s products come from and providing information about ingredients.

“Everything is made with a health-first focus,” Wang says. “I have strong values, and everything at Bru revolves around my values.”

And while Bru focuses heavily on using local products wherever possible, Wang would like to branch out and explore unique beer offerings from further afield as well. She notes Aphrodisiaque by Dieu du Ciel from Quebec as one such example.

“We support them because they don’t have their own brewery, and they are from Quebec,” she says. “We like supporting businesses like us. We help each other.”

The Key To Success

Wang’s best tip for aspiring business professionals is simple: keep learning. Industries are ever-changing, and it’s imperative to keep up with new trends and learn new ways to improve your business.

What’s Next For Bru

In the coming years, Wang would like to see Bru be a driving force in elevating Edmonton’s coffee and beer scene while helping consumers make smart choices about what they eat and drink—and exposing them to new breweries and coffee roasters along the way.

“I want to educate people and inspire them.”

For more info on Bru Coffee + Beer House check out her website

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