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You can follow the aroma of coffee to healthier, happier communities like Westman Village in Mahogany, a resort-style community with 18 residential buildings. Calgary-based Analog Coffee was one of the first retailers to open there for both Westman Village residents and the community at large.
Mahogany resident Hannah Lam is a tutor who uses Analog to meet students. Using a public space instead of her home offers security for herself and her students. In addition to academic learning, Lam says her students passively absorb the rules of public etiquette and learn how to focus in the midst of chaos.
“It’s so close to home and so accessible to everyone. There’s fantastic atmosphere and it accommodates everyone, even people in wheelchairs,” she says.
There’s a different energy in a coffee shop that can provide perspective. A place to “go to” or even “get away from.” Long-time pals John Gavros and Mitch Honpzias live in the same neighbourhood in Calgary’s West Springs area. They love their families but also love a few minutes alone in their local Starbucks on 85th Street S.W.
“It’s five minutes of solitude,” Honpzias says with a laugh. “With the Wi-Fi you can just log into work, get your business done and say hi to your buddy. You can focus without being interrupted at home.”
Maggie Boyes, who lives in the Wentworth district west of the Starbucks, bought a duplex there because the walkability score was high and as a retiree, it was easy to get out of the house on foot. She admits she’s not a coffee person and more often than not you’d find her and her husband having dinner at Fergus & Bix next door.
“I’d go to the bar before I’d go for coffee,” she says with a wink.