If you think Friday the 13th is an unlucky day to open a business, you should talk to Brett Tittus. He opened Bean There Cafe on Friday, January 13, 1995 and, 25 years later, the unassuming little cafe near the corner of Reynolds and Lakeshore is still a beloved spot among Oakville locals.
Brett’s career in the hospitality industry began in Edmonton, where he operated a convenience store and gas bar. When his girlfriend at the time moved back to her hometown of Oakville, Ontario, he followed her here and decided to set up shop in the town’s downtown core. He purchased a bakery called Heaven on Earth, renovated it and renamed it Bean There Cafe.
Since then, it’s been mostly smooth sailing, he says. He’s developed a loyal clientele, including a running group that he eventually joined and began training for triathlons with. Over the years, he’s watched different generations of customers come through his doors. “One of my customers who used to come here with his friends when he was 14-years-old just walked in the other month with his newborn baby.”
It’s moments like that that have made Bean There Cafe a “home away from home” for Brett. He met his wife at the cafe and even has his mail delivered there. He enjoys chatting with his regular customers in the mornings and spending time with his dedicated staff throughout the day.
He says the loyalty of the Oakville community is his favourite part of being in Downtown Oakville. “People in Oakville support downtown,” he says. “Many of my customers have been coming in for at least 15 years.”
The menu features simple cafe staples like sandwiches, bagels, lattes and coffee. “I don’t change the menu often but people come back for it so they seem to like it,” he says, adding that the smoked salmon on a bagel and chai lattes are some of Oakville’s favourite menu items.
In a world where large coffee chains are developing increasingly elaborate drinks and menu items, Bean There remains a reliable community staple for those who like simplicity, quality and friendly customer service. Reflecting on his 25 years in business, Brett says, “It’s never been crazy busy and I’m not going to be a millionaire, but it’s been a humble little place that everybody likes to come to.”
Bean There Cafe remains open for takeout only. Click here to view their menu and call 905-845-2928 to order ahead.