Delicia Cafe opened its doors on Saturday, April 8 — packing a bit more excitement to the already-loaded week of Easter/Passover/Ramadan celebrations.
The news came after three months of New Westies having to pass by the “Opening Soon” sign at the location that previously housed the doughnut shop, Donuteria.
During this time, the café also built a 7,000-plus following on social media — all of whom got sneak-peeks into the store's interior, team and baked pastries through its Instagram posts.
Since its opening, the four-day-old eatery has been seeing a “really good” reception, said Kasra Sharifi (goes by the name Kevin), who runs the café and bakery along with his wife, Mehrnaz Pakbonyan.
“We got some good welcome from businesses and people around here,” he said.
For its opening week, Sharifi said, the café included hot and cold drinks, pastries, sandwiches and cheesecakes — offering a variety of vegan and gluten free options.
“But, interesting thing… my wife put Australian cappuccino on the menu, and it became very popular in the last three days,” he added.
An Australian cappuccino is creamier than a regular cappuccino.
“It has more foam and chocolate in it.”
Sharifi and his wife moved from Australia to Canada about 10 months ago. With Pakbonyan having more than 13 years of experience working in the restaurant and café industry there, the duo decided to bring her expertise to New West.
Sharifi, who has worked as a mechanical engineer and mortgage broker, helped her set up the business, and will continue to play a role in managing it as well.
On a bright Wednesday morning, this reporter decided to grab a cup of their Aussie cappuccino to go.
Located on Columbia Street, the cafe is sandwiched between Royal City Paws Pet Centre and the Paramount Gentlemen's Club.
In contrast to the busyness of the rush hour outside, the inside of the café was quite peaceful — with large chunks of sunlight falling on its wooden desks and chairs, mint green walls and rows of chocolate avalanches, cherry greek yogurt danishes, spinach and feta strudels and more.
“All are freshly baked at the café this morning,” said Sharifi, who was at the store, and is part of a six-member staff team.
This reporter decided to go with a regular chocolate croissant, and paired it with their popular cappuccino. As the coffee machine whirred in the background, Sharifi suggested that the cafe's menu is set to expand soon.
Between sips of the Oz-style cappuccino, this reporter thought aloud: would the café add the Australian coconut-coated chocolate sponge cake — the lamington — too?
To which Sharifi hinted, “It may come later on.”
Delicia Cafe & Bakery is located at 656 Columbia St.