For a couple of years, Josh Campos was a familiar sight on Spadina (and I do mean on Spadina).
As the sole proprietor and barista at the Coffee Lab at Richmond and Spadina, Campos packed a closet-sized glass display window with a state-of-the-art machine and some of the world’s finest imported beans.
According to Campos, his Spadina shop – a top contender for one of the city’s most unusual cafes – had the previous Guinness world record holder for the world’s smallest cafe beat by just four square feet.
The Coffee Lab went through a couple of iterations over the years, including a location inside Willow Books on Bloor, but it looks like its days slinging brew are over: Last week, Campos announced the Spadina shop would be shutting its doors, so to speak, for good.
“This past Saturday was our official last day at The Coffee Lab,” Campos wrote on Instagram last week. “It’s been a long journey since we started back in 2014. Lots of highs, lots of lows, and lots of coffee.” He added that the business will soon be pivoting to online subscriptions, as well as some other new coffee-related ventures.
The Coffee Lab was actually home to a rotating roster of specially-imported beans from all over North America and as far away as Japan – so it makes perfect sense that Campos would focus on his passion for sourcing. Proof that whenever fate closes a door, it opens a window. (Or whenever it closes a window, it opens, uh, a coffee subscription business.)
UPDATE (01/22/2020): Turns out Campos hasn’t abandonded the Spadina storefront at all – just pivoted to sandwiches. While the Coffee Lab will indeed become a subscription-based coffee business, Campos has turned his enclosure into a tiny sandwich stand, offering pulled chicken and pulled pork sandwiches for a variety of sauces for just $4.99.
Read the full farewell post below.