Margot and Nathan Jantz moved from the bursting Vancouver coffee scene to the small community of qathet, British Columbia. We chatted with the duo to learn more about specialty coffee in qathet.

- What is 32 Lakes’ origin story?

Margot: When we moved to the Sunshine Coast, the third-wave offerings we loved in Vancouver weren’t available up here. So, Nathan being Nathan, had a roaster built for him so we could roast our own coffee.

Nathan: In 2017, we opened the 32 Lakes Cafe and Bakery in Powell River. We ran it for a while, then sold it in 2019 to another couple. It has a great local following and has turned into what we wanted out of a cafe, which is a way for us to interact with customers and provide different offerings for them.

- What is the specialty coffee scene like in Powel River?

Margot: We are passionate about intricate single origin offerings, and the lighter coffees have been well-received. Nathan: In the six years the cafe has been open, we have never had any issue with people complaining about the coffee. Though, it’s usually a sweeter coffee option when we brew a coffee on drip. If you throw a Kenyan coffee on drip, it’s probably not going to fly.

- What is your ethos and approach to sourcing coffee?

Nathan: We’re really focused on relationships. As a small business, I like to work with other businesses, and instead of trying to specialize ourselves, we rely on the experience and technical analysis of the coffee traders that we have developed relationships with over the last 12 years.

- What are you excited about for the future of 32 Lakes?

Nathan: Becoming a leader in providing high-quality, well-roasted, fresh coffee in grocery stores is something that we are passionate about.

Margot has worked hard to ensure that all of our coffee distributed on Vancouver Island is delivered with electric vehicles; we have become a carbon-neutral company. We want to focus on buying coffees that are grown in good ways for the environment and farmers—something we look for is Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee. I am kind of the coffee dork and Margot is more of a businesswoman and focuses on our company being a vehicle for community and environmental change.

August 17, 2023 — Zara Snitman

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