Funky. Fresh. Fun. Those are the words that come to mind when I think of Morning Owl.
This place has become one of my new favorite coffee joints in Ottawa, and it is undoubtedly a unique place with a very cool vibe. Complementary to the cool vibe are the friendly owners, Jordan and Sarah. I conducted a short Spotted Interview with them a couple of days ago, and you can read about it here.
Morning Owl is a coffee + sandwich shop located on Rochester Street, right in the heart of a government area. They mainly cater to the civil servants, and are open Mon-Fri. When I asked Jordan and Sarah whether they would consider opening on the weekends, they quickly explained that although they may not be open Saturdays and Sundays, it doesn't mean they aren't working. On the off hours, they are either busy planning for the shop, baking, or grocery shopping for Morning Owl.
Below is a picture of their only storage space. Because of the limited storage space they have, the food is guaranteed to be fresh.
Jordan and Sarah first saw a similar fridge on Rachel Ray's cooking show. They loved the retro look and feel of the Big Chill fridges, and decided to order one for themselves. While they did experience many challenges getting the fridge over the border, they finally managed, but with a hefty price tag attached. You gotta love the complications of cross border shipping.
The fridge was not the only challenge they faced. The current Morning Owl building was once a 100 year old house that needed to be re-built from scratch. The O'Leary's spent a long year and a half gutting the place, and renovating it into a trendy cafe.
They have certainly put a lot of hard work into the place, and their hard work radiates throughout it. What I love most are the little details.
They have fresh cut flowers displayed throughout the cafe, and the owl theme is seen throughout as well.
Look at the cute little porcelain owls behind Sarah.
Look at their personalized washroom sign...now that's detail!
What's also great about this place is that everyone who works here truly cares and loves what Morning Owl has to offer. All of their staff are either good friends or family members. Pictured beside Jordan is Sarah's best friend, a woman who loves her bread. Jordan's mom also works at the shop from time to time.
You are probably wondering about the food and coffee, right? Well, I can say nothing but good things about it.
Jordan and Sarah both completed an intense barista course at Midwest Barista School, and have a great coffee menu to prove it. Morning Owl serves Intelligentsia direct trade coffee.
Direct trade coffee differs from fair trade in that the coffee is purchased directly from the growers instead of going through a middle man. You can read more about Intelligentsia coffee on their website.
With my Oz connection, I had to order their Australian flat white. While the Oz stuff does have a stronger coffee taste, Morning Owl's flat white did not disappoint. The coffee had an excellent after taste, and I really enjoyed my cup of java.
Beebs ordered one of their signature lattes, which is a latte with a flavor shot of choice. She went with Jordan's recommendation and ordered the Snicker's flavored latte. If you have a sweet tooth like Beebs, you'll really enjoy their signature lattes.
On my first visit to Morning Owl, I ordered a turkey wrap with sun dried tomato tortilla, Havarti cheese, marinated eggplant, and hot peppers. Only top notch ingredients are used.
On my second visit, I ordered an Italian trio sandwich with Art-Is-In Bakery's awesome 12-grain fennel bread.
The sandwiches were unbelievably tasty and fresh. It tasted like something that would come from my kitchen, but better!
Besides coffee and sandwiches, Morning Owl also offers baked goods personally baked by Sarah and her wonderful family. I had a devil's food cake cupcake with cream cheese icing. I practically inhaled my cupcake, it was so good.
Morning Owl also offers catering services, and do cater to large group functions when requested.
This place really is superb, and I'm sure you'll love it as much as I do!
538 Rochester Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada