Caffeinated Conversation with Halifax based The Ville Caffeine Bar Owner Jenna Oosterholt

10 Apr. 21
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Small businesses make up the heart and soul of Canada’s economy. Let’s Nurture has recently launched a project to celebrate small businesses across the country.

Next up is another Nova Scotia gem, The Ville Caffeine Bar. We had the opportunity to learn about what goes on behind the scenes of this unique approach to coffee.

The Ville is owned and operated by Jenna Osterholt.

This ambitious entrepreneur opened up shop in 2018 as the first Caffeine Bar in the industry. Caffeine Bars are here to show people that there is more to caffeine than espresso and coffee. Oosterholt has successfully equipped this space with fresh ingredients, an inviting atmosphere, upbeat music, and excellent service. Oosterholt is in the works of opening a second location downtown Halifax and we are so excited to see her plans unfold.

“Caffeine Bars elevate the consumer experience and allow them to quickly understand the difference between a Coffee Shop and a Caffeine Bar.” – Jenna Oosterholt

“We serve easy drinking, easy eating, easy going vibes all day long. “ – Jenna Oosterholt

Wednesday, April 2021
Name: Jenna Oosterholt
Name of Business & Location: The Ville Caffeine Bar, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Q: How did The Ville Caffeine Bar come to be?

A: I was 24 years old and was ready to start a business of my own. I wanted to open a Coffee Cart on the waterfront but that idea quickly expanded into a storefront location.

What inspired you to open a business in Halifax?

I don’t know if there was a true moment of inspiration, I always knew I wanted to open a business I just didn’t know what. After many years in the restaurant industry, it sort of just clicked one day like an ‘ah-hah’ moment, that I should just open a restaurant of some sort of my own!

What type of online programs are you currently using?

I currently use wix.com for my website and Instagram, Facebook, Sage for Accounting purposes, and Google Drive.

When choosing these programs, what were the main deciding factors?

Cost is always a big one for small businesses but usability is also big for me, as I don’t have all the time in the world!

What is the message that you want to send people visiting your website for the first time?

I want them to know that there are a lot of things you have to do on a website to drive traffic. I am someone who would prefer to have just photos but search engines specifically seek out text. Hence why there is so much text on our home page!

Have you noticed a change in your business productivity or customer reviews since using

No, I haven’t.

Is there a downfall to any of the programs you are using?

No.

For the setup of the programs, was it a one-time cost or a monthly fee?

With Wix, you just purchase the domain name yearly.

How much of The Ville Caffeine Bar budget is used for online services?

I am not going to lie, very little if there is even a budget at all for online services. We are a face-to-face business!

What has been the biggest takeaway from running a business in 2020?

The biggest takeaway is how important it is to build a strong, loyal clientele. They supported us through the pandemic big time! And I am happy we do all we can to make sure they enjoy our food and beverages, but also our service.

Are there other small businesses in Nova Scotia that you consider to be role models?

I love Elliot and Vine, Bar kismet, and Obladee.

What do you miss most about pre-pandemic Halifax?

I miss seeing everyone’s lovely faces and big smiles! Can’t wait for the masks to be a thing of the past!

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