Owner wants customers to feel at home in coffee shop

It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been to The Buzz Coffee House, the feeling should always be the same.

The Buzz Coffee Shop owner Scott Henderson behind the counter. The Buzz Coffee House was opened by Henderson in an effort to bring an “authentic” coffee shop to Nanaimo.

The Buzz Coffee Shop owner Scott Henderson behind the counter. The Buzz Coffee House was opened by Henderson in an effort to bring an “authentic” coffee shop to Nanaimo.

It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been to The Buzz Coffee House the feeling should always be the same.

“I want them to feel at home,” owner Scott Henderson said of his customers. “I want them to feel comfortable enough that when they walk in that door they feel right at home.”

Perhaps it’s that philosophy that helped earn The Buzz Coffee House the Best of the City’s Best Place to Meet for Coffee.

“It’s a great feeling,” Henderson said about the award. “It’s amazing.”

The idea to create The Buzz Coffee House, which has been at its present location on Dufferin Crescent for just over a year, came nearly a decade ago when Henderson and his wife, Kara, felt that Nanaimo lacked an authentic coffee shop.

“We found that there wasn’t a coffee shop in Nanaimo that we really liked. There were too many inconsistencies. You’d go into a coffee shop and have a cup of coffee and it would be great. Then the next time you go in and have a cup of coffee it’s terrible,” Henderson said.

At The Buzz Coffee House it’s all about community and supporting other local businesses. The Buzz serves up coffee from Britannia Beach’s Galileo Coffee Roasters and North Vancouver’s Moja Coffee and many of their baked goods come from Village Bakery in Qualicum.

In addition to supporting local businesses, The Buzz also hosts a variety of community oriented events, such as live music and book launches. They also have plenty of local art around the store that is available for purchase, with 100 per cent of the sales going to the artist.

“Our vision statement is community,” Henderson said. “Whatever happens in here, if it doesn’t suit community, it won’t happen.”

Employees at The Buzz Coffee House are regularly trained and are taught early on about the importance of high-quality customer service.

“It’s easy to forget when you’re in the customer service industry that the customers are the ones that are actually paying you,” Henderson said.  “What they need to realize is that it’s still the customer that pays them. I don’t pay them, the customer pays them. Every time somebody comes in here, somebody pays them.”

While The Buzz Coffee House has taken home the Best of the City’s Best Place to Meet for Coffee, Henderson knows that the shop must remain focused.

“I think for us, we need to remember that you can go from glory to the bottom of the pile pretty quickly by losing focus and vision,” Henderson said. “We gotta stay on top of it because there are lots of places that were busy five years ago and now are closed. There were lots of places that were clean and now are dirty because they let their standards down.”

The Buzz Coffee House is located on 1861 Dufferin Cres. Please visit www.thebuzzcoffeehouse.ca.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com