1. Thom Bargen
2. Little Sister Coffee Maker
Thom Bargen opened four years ago as a new adventure for owners Thom Jon (TJ) Hiebert and Graham Bargen. Their dream came true when they opened a coffee shop in their favourite neighbourhood, West Broadway.
“We treated the process with a lot of romance,” Bargen says. “To our surprise, it started to work, and we transitioned into treating it like a business.”
Bargen says that since opening, the shop’s growth has been steady and consistent. The pair focuses on maintaining community values and their passion for coffee while expanding their catering business.
“We really feel honoured to be a part of so many people’s lives,” Bargen says. “Many of our baristas have designed menus, murals you see on our walls (and) product collaborations. It’s the people that grow connection.”
The pair expanded their business this past March, opening a second location on Kennedy Street and Graham Avenue. Bargen says that the energy from the downtown location is an exciting contrast to that of their original location on Sherbrook Street, and the new community has been receptive to their work and environment.
“Our favourite part about our work is the product. We opened the shop because we were coffee nerds,” Bargen says. “We love coffee, and we love learning how to improve the brewing process.”
Hiebert and Bargen had the opportunity to travel to Colombia with their roasters Phil & Sebastian to learn more about the origin and production of their coffee. Bargen says the experience was incredibly valuable.
Baristas from Thom Bargen will participate in the Prairie Regional Barista Competition, previously held at Festival Hall in Inglewood, Calgary, which is another dream come true for the duo.
“We love our city, and we know we can continue to be a part of its growth in the core of our town,” Bargen says. “We really hope to be a catalyst for growth in core density, as that is the future of Winnipeg.”