The Story Behind the White Rose Coffeehouse
The White Rose Coffeehouse in Walkerton, Ontario was founded in 2006 by Nathan Bowman and Josh Benninger.
Nathan was a computer repairman and Josh had just quit his factory job. A mutual friend invited Josh to meet Nathan at the downtown storefront that he was renovating for some kind of internet café, and the rest is history.
Being young and naïve, they decided to become business partners before they even got to know each other. Josh recalls that it was a difficult decision because of the financial risk and total lack of experience, but he knew that if he turned down the opportunity, he would have regrets for the rest of his life. Before long, the lack of experience became obvious when they ran out of money, hadn’t yet finished renovating, and still had to try to learn how to make food and beverages to sell. It was a huge uphill struggle but they had crossed the point of no return.
Nathan had to get a full time job to pay the bills because for at least 2 years, the café was losing money.
Slowly but surely, a clientele formed and the café became self-sufficient. Nathan and Josh dissolved the partnership amicably, and Josh continues to be the owner/operator.
Despite the lack of business and barista experience, Josh did have some useful knowledge, particularly about health and nutrition, so as he learned to cook and make drinks, he was able to incorporate what he knew into the menu. Focusing on homemade food and organics, the White Rose also has gluten-free lunch and dessert items, as well as vegetarian options. And shelves for dried goods and a freezer for frozen goods was added so that customers could purchase organic and other health items-everything from, local and organic meats to exotic and Fairtrade spices.
On Thursday nights at 7PM, there is live music, or possibly a documentary or movie screened on the projector. The atmosphere is very friendly and many people make new friends at the White Rose. Many renovations and improvements have been made in the past year, but it is always a work in progress.
Address: 307 Durham St Box 1063, Walkerton (GOOGLE MAP LINK)