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Ottawa Favorites: Bridgehead

By: Tonya Bruin

Ottawa-Favorites-BridgeheadBridgehead coffee has a truly unique story. Starting in 1981 as a project in the basement of a church offering the first truly fair trade coffee to market in Canada, Bridgehead quickly made a name for itself. Over the years, Bridgehead has had many owners who have attempted to keep the name alive and also maintain the fair trade aspect of the brand. Through some success and some failure, Bridgehead has seen the ups and downs of the retail/restaurant world. In 1998, Bridgehead was once again restructured and laid its roots in Ottawa, Ontario. Now there are 21 stores located all around Ottawa and the brand is continuing to thrive! Serving exceptional organic and fairly traded coffee to a thirsty, caffeine-hungry Ottawa population has proved to be a lucrative business as the brand continues to grow.

The Bridgehead Effect

Since Bridgehead isn’t a large corporation run by a millionaire who lives in the tropics, you can really feel the “small business” aspect to the daily activities. Each Bridgehead location is allotted a monthly community outreach budget where they aim to support different local events and charities. Between free coffee stands at different festivals and gift basket donations to different causes, Bridgehead makes itself a beacon of good in a world full of corporate greed.

Bridgehead Supports Local Businesses

Bridgehead is also a supporter of many different local businesses. An example of this is the hiring of the Ottawa handyman service To Do-Done to handle any of the handy-man type needs a business like this may have, from putting the finishing touches on new stores to making sure existing locations stay in picture perfect condition.

Jobs in Communities

A great thing about Bridgehead is the number of jobs they provide to both young and old Ottawa residents. Many people have gotten their first job experience from Bridgehead and have learned valuable skills while in college or university. Bridgehead has the tendency to promote from within providing excellent employment opportunities and a future with the company. Many people’s success can be attributed to their job at Bridgehead.

Food Options, Too!

Bridgehead was made famous for its coffee, but also understands that offering food is a great pairing with superior coffee. Enjoy an assortment of locally sourced treats and vegan and gluten-free options as well. Bridgehead’s Kitchen & Bakery prepare fresh, organic, hand-crafted bread, pastries, sandwiches, and salads sourced from local farms and fair trade growers as much as possible.

Bridgehead has been a driving force in Ottawa’s communities with its support of local businesses and charities and its commitment to always providing a fairly traded coffee. Few companies can hold a torch to what Bridgehead has accomplished!