Owners Ryan and Kristy Taylor‘s local empire began when Ryan opened a small coffee cart. His stand became a favourite among tourists. Eventually, the cart turned into a vibrant café in the heart of Quadra Village.

Photos: Caffe Fantastico

Caffe Fantastico is a Victoria staple, a local favourite hangout spot, and of course, serves an amazing cup of coffee. Now, Ryan and Kristy have brought Caffe Fantastico coffee to three locations. Tre Fantastico in the Parkside Hotel and Fantastico Bar-Deli downtown are the two newest locations, and are all tied together by the coffee. The original Kings Road location is the roastery and the headquarters for the company. It’s even the home of a small rooftop garden where veggies and herbs are grown to be used in food at all three locations. Additional ingredients come from TOPSOIL, a sustainable urban grower located next to their dockside location. This is part of Fantastico’s local focus.

The original location is also the home of Fantastico’s roaster: a new Loring brand machine–completely smokeless and changing the sustainability game for the coffee industry. “It’s the gold standard for smoke,” says marketing manager Brad Swaim. “It produces high quality roasts with limited resources in terms of energy, especially compared to the older ones that most roasters operate on.”

This choice of roaster reflects the commitment to sustainability that Caffe Fantastico tries to live by. “That’s something they hold strong in their values,” says Swaim of Fantastico’s owers. “It’s rooted in their culture and how they do business.”

“We have a pretty extensive recycling plan,” says Swaim. They also use compostable materials as often as possible, and donate all used coffee grinds to Community Earth–a local non-profit founded by high-school students who turn coffee grinds into compost for farmers.

For Ryan and Kristy, sustainability includes fostering a vibrant community–especially since they are members of the community, living in Quadra Village. “They’ve always tried to support the people that live in the community,” says Swaim.

The company support local artists, displaying their work in all three locations. They partner with various community organizations like the Roxy Theatre. Caffe Fantastico also hosts a wide variety of events, including open mic poetry nights every second Wednesday, frequent live music performances, and coffee tastings.

For the full schedule of events, or to find out more about this local gem, visit caffefantastico.com/

-Ryann Anderson