Cafe Case Study: Pilot Coffee Roasters, Toronto, Canada on Bay + Bloor Street

Modbar - 09.21.20

This post is another in our Cafe Case Study series. We interview cafe owners to learn about the vision behind their space.

Pilot Coffee Roasters is now in the process of re-opening their locations in Toronto, Canada. We are excited to highlight some of these openings.

Check out how the amazing Pilot Coffee Roasters family got started here.

Use these case studies as inspiration for your own cafe dreams or simply to get a behind the scenes look at some beautiful coffee spaces around the world.

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The Details:

Pilot Coffee Roasters. Manulife Centre on Bay Street + Bloor Street. Toronto, Canada.

All photos courtesy of Pilot Coffee Roasters

What made you want to open a cafe?

This Pilot Coffee shop is located within Toronto’s Manulife Centre which is a major part of one of the city’s largest revitalization projects in recent memory. It’s a year-long initiative that reimagined an entire neighborhood, and being a part of that buzz was extremely exciting.

There was so much anticipation of what this area would become, and that created an opportunity for Pilot Coffee to introduce ourselves to curious visitors from across the city.

How would you describe the brand of your cafe?

Much like all of our cafes our identity is built around quality and customer service. We wanted to design a space that showcases the best of our offerings and establish a local admiration for specialty coffee. The Yorkville neighborhood was generally untapped by specialty cafes, so it provided an opportunity to lead education through above-and-beyond customer service. To achieve this, we put quality and innovation at the forefront and positioned the cafe as an immersive specialty experience.

What equipment are you using to make coffee?

All of our equipment is provided by renowned specialty brands and partners that we see as leaders in their field. Our Manulife Centre location features a three-group Modbar Espresso AV, Mahlkönig PEAK grinders, Puqpress precision coffee tampers, Marco Jet Brewer, Mix 3 Marco Hot Water Tower, and Dispenser.

Describe your bar or customer flow. break this down for us. how did the equipment influence the flow? or vice versa?

Our signature Pilot Coffee design elements highlight the Modbar Undercounter Espresso system, including oak cabinetry, metal detailing, and high top bar with seating. We’ve also added unique stadium seating on either side of the cafe for customers who aren’t on-the-go to sit and enjoy their coffee. It’s a small yet significant touch in such a high-paced environment.

Describe the location/ demographics of the area where you opened. why did you choose this area?

The Manulife Centre is located within Toronto’s Yorkville neighborhood. It’s a premier luxury retail destination with very affluent community members. Yorkville is aptly referred to as ‘The Mink Mile’ which captures its role in the city: fine dining, high-end boutiques, galleries, design studios, Victorian homes, ornamental gardens, and yes, a specialty cafe by the name of Pilot Coffee!

What’s one thing that makes your cafe special?

The clever architects at Williamson Williamson Inc. were inspired by our paper plane logo and used this to guide their design. They came up with a cafe footprint that resembles the folds of a paper plane, which is such a unique way to speak to the Pilot Coffee Roasters brand.

Interested in connecting with the Pilot Coffee Roaster team to learn more?

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