Il Dolce Far Niente – One Sweet Year

Sometimes we need a change. Sometimes we need to try something different. Sometimes we need to grab a hold of what’s good and enjoy it for all it’s worth.

Over a year ago, I needed a change. I needed a different job and a new path for myself. I needed a place of employment that didn’t feel like work, but instead was fun and enjoyable and a benefit to my psyche. I found all those things and more at IL Dolce Far Niente Espresso Bar in Wolfville.  On October 28th, IL Dolce Far Niente celebrates its One Year Birthday and I want to tell you all about it’s owners and operators, what it means to me to have worked there this past year, and a bit about how customers near and far have embraced this very special, unique and extraordinary addition to Wolfville. It has been One Sweet Year!

At my age (29-ish), making a life change, like switching jobs, can be a scary thing but when you get that feeling that it’s worth it on so many levels, then just do it! I had caught wind, through many sources that there was this really cool “coffee shop” opening in the old Atlantic Lighting Studio space at 16 Elm Ave. Like many others, I slunk over and tried to peer through the papered-up windows but could see nothing. But then I heard Ken and Debra Morrison were the owners and operators of this new “coffee shop” and it wasn’t long after that that I applied for my current position with IL Dolce and I haven’t looked back.

Ken and Debra Morrison are well known in Wolfville (and beyond) for starting the Coffee scene in Wolfville. They owned and operated the Coffee Merchant from 1987-1995. I personally can’t thank them enough for starting me off on my caffeinated journey through university and life (which now continues everyday at work). Ken and Debra say “we needed a place to go to have coffee with friends because back then it was just Tim Hortons. And that wasn’t even in Wolfville then and so in 1987 the Coffee Merchant started on Elm Avenue and moved to Main Street in 1989 after we purchased and renovated the building it is still located in.” Ken and Debra sold the business as they had a 4-year-old at the time and Debra wanted to spend more time with her and not be distracted by business.

Ken and Debra always felt that when they sold The Coffee Merchant they had not accomplished the goals they had set for themselves, so there was always a void. Over the years, after their daughter had grown, they recognized there was a dire need for a coffee shop where conversation was a key factor in the atmosphere.  Debra says “Our experience in the Middle East and Europe made us realize there was a need for a place to have coffee, which provided personal service and an atmosphere of homey comfort and a touch of sophistication. In the Middle East service was always top notch no matter what you bought, it made you feel important and appreciated as a consumer.” Through these motivations, IL Dolce Far Niente was born!

The past 12 months have been an incredible journey for Debra and Ken as they’ve watched their espresso bar blossom into a haven of peacefulness and enjoyment for all who have visited. And even when IL Dolce is at full capacity, with all frothing wands blaring, soups and sandwiches flying out of the kitchen and the well-trained staff going full tilt, you can still leaf through one of the many periodicals or chat with your friends, with great ease and comfort.

If you have not visited us at the Espresso bar, let me bring you up to speed. IL Dolce Far Niente translates to “The Sweetness of Doing Nothing”… just saying it makes me feel more relaxed.  IL Dolce is a Euro-Style Espresso bar that serves illy Coffee (roasted in Italy) and holds an in-house bakery that produces the most decadent and wonderful treats (butter, almond, chocolate and ham and cheese croissants, scones, muffins, carrot cake, almond cake, date squares, butter tarts and more!) The drinks are made as you order; weighed, measured and timed so that each beverage is of the highest quality. Debra says, “Our design was influenced by the architecture of Italy, some of the Middle East, of which both are connected.  Also we wanted a place of tranquility.  We have way too many electronics these days and we wanted a place where people could come and talk, relax and get away.” What does this mean folks? Well, IL Dolce does not provide wireless Internet to its patrons, yet another innovative and conscience business decision of Ken and Debra’s.

I encourage you all to find IL Dolce Far Niente Espresso Bar on Facebook and keep updated with what’s happening. We post our special treats, events, contests, and more. Our lunch menu has expanded to include four sandwiches and homemade soup and with Christmas coming up, there’s many fun and tasty treats to purchase and give as gifts. And what a journey for me, as well, stepping into a completely different line of work, in an environment fuelled by class and quality service and products by those who know the business better than anyone, I was intimidated at first, but I think I’ve fit in nicely and going to work has never felt like such a perk! What a wonderful change! What a wonderful something different! What a sweet year (with many more to come!)