The Only Cafe.

The Only Cafe
2678, W 4th Ave. Vancouver, BC
Xiao Tong Huang


He crossed his left shin over his right and leaned into his own warmth. cupping one hand to his knee as the other hand graciously accepted the the invitation to fold itself into the creviced lip of his hand-crafted mug.  “Basically,” he parted his mouth- “What I want to create is something that feels like your friend's house, like home.” His eyes smiled. "An atmosphere where people can merge into a feeling of community, with ease.” 


The space is about our people.

"People know how they want to live, happily and this is important to them- and in turn to me, to us. I recognized If I was not open minded from the beginning about creating this space, I wouldn’t be able to have a space to learn or to grow in.” 

His laugh folded out between his breaths. 

“I am very particular with my coffee. I want it to keep it’s quality. Quality is found in experience. This is why I keep an open mind. Open to how I create a space of home. New ideas are where I absorb new inspiration. I listen and welcome thoughts because I know some day I will need these ideas too.” 

He truly saw me when I walked into the space

David, seems to effortlessly craft a space, that ensures every person that walks through the door is treated like family. It’s about hearing the wise words of another and recognizing that their experience matters. Just as he greeted me upon my arrival, David consciously greeted Amy the next customer who waltzed in the door. 

“We have a customer, Amy. The first week we opened, she requested nut mylk.”  Swallowing between gulps *his eyebrow furrowed* we don’t have almond mylk.” Giving voice to her request, Amy insisted her experience would be more enjoyable with a splash of almond. “We will have almond mylk tomorrow, you have my word.” David promised. 

“Personally, I am not okay with the idea of buying manufactured milk. I don’t feel comfortable serving this, even though Amy would have been please with the effort, it wasn’t what I wanted for the space and it was out of alignment with my integrity. Instead, I sourced in almonds. Raw. I soaked, blended and made fresh small batches every day, and I introduced the ever popular, almond mylk latte to our menu.” 

The Almond Latte stands strong on it’s own, as does Amy every time she walks through the door- because she was seen, heard and valued. “Amy is now our regular customer, a part of our family.” 

Without thinking, I double sipped my housemade latte- recognizing between my dry winter hands and and the imperfect outline of my porcelain cup that David had understood the most important ingredient- the value of another experience.


I sipped again.

next sip, to be shared.

Laura Darcy