A different kind of café just landed in downtown Montreal. Café OSMO, located in the landmark Notman House tech campus owned by the non-profit OSMO Foundation, wants to serve as a pulse point for entrepreneurs, developers, and the general public.
Emma Williams, a former program manager at FounderFuel, helped spearhead the concept. "Because OSMO is located in a space started and supported by Montreal's startup community, it's a lot more than just a café. We wanted to create a physical space, a nurturing ground, for Notman House where people could meet up. The intention was always there to build a café, a restaurant, to service the house, and the broader community."
The finished café owes its existence to the generosity of Daniel Robichaud, a self-described serial entrepreneur and angel investor whose company PasswordBox was acquired by Intel Security in December 2014. Sophie Fidler, a location designer at Breather, handled the look. OSMO comes from osmosis, Williams explains. "That's what we're about. We want to exchange ideas, have them collide, and grow this ecosystem as the heartbeat of Notman House. There are so many co-working spaces in Montreal, but not a lot where the public can interact with the startup community. So OSMO is a tech focused café, but it's a public café too, and we want everyone to interact."
And drink good coffee. Dartmouth, Nova Scotia's Anchored Coffee, served at some of Montreal's best independent cafés, was chosen to anchor OSMO's coffee program. The Wi-Fi equipped café also plans to build a relationship with a local pastry supplier. "By March we'll have lunch items," adds Williams. "Bowls, salads, sandwiches. There aren't many places around here that serve healthy lunches." [Update, March 4: OSMO has partnered with Hof Kelsten and Le Kitchen] A large terrasse will be renovated in time for summer, and once OSMO obtains its liquor permit, look for a nice little beer and wine list as well. OSMO's official launch kicks off this Thursday at 5 p.m.
Status: Café OSMO, 51 Sherbrooke Ouest, corner Clark, (514) 657-2833. Open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.