Prolific 19th Century Novelist Inspiration
Honorí de Balzac, one of history’s consummate coffee aficionados, is a prolific and celebrated 19th century French novelist. His prodigious output was famously fuelled by copious cups of strong, black coffee consumed throughout the night. While earning a university degree in French Literature, Diana Olsen, President and Founder of Balzac’s, discovered a kindred spirit in Monsieur Balzac and his genuine passion for coffee. Upon graduating, she immersed herself in authentic French culture, spending a year and a half in France. Passing many enchanting afternoons in the Grand cafes of Paris, Ms. Olsen was inspired to bring this sophisticated celebration of coffee and social tradition back home to Canada.
Perfecting Her Craft
San Francisco was her next stop in 1993, to learn the craft of coffee roasting and bean selection at the West Coast Specialty Coffee Training Institute. In 1996, the first Balzac’s cafe was opened in Stratford, Ontario. Today, Diana oversees all aspects of cafe operations and coffee roasting from the Balzac’s Roastery in Ancaster, Ontario.
Balzac’s Coffee: Admirable Company Values
Balzac’s values are infused with everything their customers experience in their cafes. Artisanal, Sustainable, Local and Natural are the four cornerstones of their business practices. Each product is thoughtfully and diligently sourced. While they endeavour to keep an eye on efficiency and affordability, Balzac’s will not take shortcuts with their quality or preparation techniques. They strive to offer ‘Slow Food’ prepared quickly, not ‘Fast Food’. Balzac’s has been offering Fair Trade Organic coffee, sugar and cocoa since 1997.