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Salute Coffee Company opening downtown café

Business that started in the South End in 2014 is expanding

Salute Coffee Company, which opened at the corner of Regent and Armstrong streets in the South End in December 2014, plans to open a downtown location May 1. 

It's moving into a space in the historic building at 73 Elm St.

“It's a space that from the moment I stepped into it, I wanted to smell the coffee brewing,” said Salute owner/operator Tania Renelli. “It looks like it was meant for a café, with exposed brick and high ceilings.”

Salute's primary focus is high-quality coffee and related beverages, but it also sells from-scratch baked goods, sandwiches, salads and soups. A lot of the ingredients it uses are local.

“It's that dedication to quality and to supporting local that really does set us apart from the major chains,” Renelli said.

Salute has borrowed an idea from national coffee chains, though. It has a drive thru at its South End location.

“In the north, we get a little harsher weather than people in Southern Ontario, and we wanted to be able to offer that convenience,” Renelli said. “It's not the fastest drive-thru, though, because we're making handcrafted beverages.”

It seems customers appreciate Salute's focus on quality. During's visit to the South End location Easter Monday morning, the tables were packed with chatting coffee lovers.

Renelli said she hopes this success continues with her new downtown store. 

While it's true there's already several popular downtown cafés — Old Rock Coffee and Kuppajo Espresso Bar come to mind — she said she thinks there's room for her business as well.

“We all bring something different to the table,” she said. “It's nice to have variety. It is the spice of life. To be able to have different options to choose from for your lunch or morning coffee is great.

“There's a lot of really great shops downtown, and I'm happy to be joining that league. I definitely think there is room for all of us. There's an opportunity for us to support each other and grow the downtown business.”

Watch for updates on the new downtown Salute café on its Facebook page.