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The Dog days of Ancaster

By Kevin Werner, News Staff

As the old saying goes, every dog has its day, and the Brown Dog Coffee Shoppe hopes to have a few of them in Ancaster.

The Cambridge-area based company, operated by Rosemary and Curtis Chandler, opened their eighth coffee shop in Ancaster May 31 at 402 Wilson St. E. in the heart of Ancaster.

“It’s a beautiful building,” said Rosemary. “And it’s in the downtown area. We are really excited about opening this shop…”

Brown Dog restaurants have steadily expanded over the last few years in the Hamilton area.

Rosemary said her husband has always been in the restaurant business in the Mississauga area. When the couple relocated to Cambridge, their dream had been to operate their own place, “to call our own.”

They found a lovely old mill in St. George and decided to open a coffee shop in the historic building. Success came quickly, and they found themselves with their second coffee shop in Paris, Ont.  Even though Rosemary said the couple never intended to franchise their restaurant, they jumped into the tough business and made the Waterdown location their first franchise.

“Our success has come from word of mouth,” said Rosemary.

Brown Dog replaces Coffee Culture, which closed last year. Rosemary said  that while the building is up for sale by court order, the franchise operator already has a signed lease.

“We have no concern,” said Rosemary “We signed a lease, and the owner has to abide by it. We wouldn’t be opening up if we had any concerns.”

Rosemary said the restaurant currently offers 26 seats, but the couple is talking with the city to expand the facility’s capacity to 70 seats. She said parking is the issue for staff.

The coffee shop will have a front and back patio for people to enjoy one of the Brown Dog Café’s specialties, said Rosemary.

And even though Tim Hortons is only a few blocks away on Wilson Street, Rosemary is undeterred by the competition.

“We are unique,” she said. “We are not Tim Hortons.”

Rosemary said people are encouraged to “make themselves at home” on the café’s first floor. The restaurant also has the second floor available, called the “Dog House,” for parties and other get-togethers.

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