There are no words to describe our love for coffee. So you understand how delighted we were when we cross paths with Marie-Laurence Guindon the co-owner of La Finca in Montreal. While we were sipping her freshly ground beans and feasting on an impeccable grilled cheese (cheat day), we asked her some questions about our shared passions (you guessed it, fine jewelry and coffee).
What’s the story behind La Finca?
I started working in a coffee shop when I was at school and I absolutely loved it. The idea of opening my own place grew on me ever since! However, I knew I had to wait for the right timing and the right partner. I met Geneviève Loignon-Houle (co-owner of La Finca) a couple a years ago through a common friend. It was a friendship ‘’coup de foudre’’! We started travelling together on many different occasions, and our adventures brought us to El Salvador two years ago. We visited coffee plantations, learned a lot from coffee producers, and followed our Barista classes in San Salvador. After our trip, we made the decision: we were to open a coffee shop together.
Everything at La Finca is handmade (we at Mejuri know this well). What are some challenges faced as a result of this utmost dedication to quality?
The biggest challenge is to have an excellent pastry chef (for which we are very lucky)! We work with Alexandrine Grégoire-Guindon and she’s amazing. She guided us through buying the right kind of equipment, and she creates all of our recipes: sweet & savory. Thanks to her, even the croissants and the bread are made in house!
What’s the best part of owning a café?
Seeing the smiles on people's faces when they come into the café and their even bigger smiles when they taste our coffee. It is a privilege to serve coffee to our customers day after day, to get to know them by name, and learn about their stories…
What’s your favorite drink and food you serve?
Since I don’t drink any milk, I am big filter coffee/pourover fan. It’s possible to make truly amazing filtered coffee! The one we serve in the Chemex, a natural Ethiopian coffee called Nekisse, is just out of this world. For the food, we keep changing the menu based on what is in season, so it’s hard to say! I’ll have to go with the croissant: hard to make but so god damn delicious.
What’s the secret of a good latte?
So many secrets: a good bean, a good roast, a good grinder & espresso machine, the right grind, the right amount of coffee, the right amount of extracted coffee, a well-done milk… And a lot of love! This is why being a barista is not as easy as it seems.
Do you wear jewelry everyday?
Yes, I always wear some rings & earrings. I feel naked without them!
How do you like to style them?
I used to wear BIG statement jewelry; I used to work with a jewelry designer. Now, working so many hours in a coffee shop, it’s hard to wear these kinds of pieces. So I stick to small rings and minimalistic earrings.
Silver or gold?
Do you prefer to wear earrings, bracelets or necklaces mostly?
Rings! Earrings! Small necklaces! I unfortunately can’t wear bracelets and long necklaces – although I love them - because I’m washing dishes all the time and they get in the way.
Do you take off your jewelry when you go to bed?
Yes. My hands swell too much when I keep my rings on!
What’s your favourite February activity?
Hang out in coffee shops.
Where can you be found in your downtime?
At the yoga studio. On ski hills. At the bar with friends. In my bed reading a book.
What excites you the most nowadays?
The idea that we (Geneviève and I) have created a place where people feel at home.
What’s your favorite Mejuri piece?
Can’t stop thinking about that Twist Ring in gold!