Worldwide, I would guess that there are a lot of people who have no idea where Manitoba is located. Winnipeg, its capital and my hometown, is considered pretty small town when compared against the big cities of the globe. Gimli, MB is one hour’s drive due North from Winnipeg, on the shores of Lake Winnipeg.
With a population of about 1,900 people, one wouldn’t necessarily expect to find much coffee culture. Or maybe you would, considering that Gimli is famous for its Icelandic community, and Iceland is in the top three countries of coffee consumption per capita. In any case, I was pleasantly surprised to discover Flatland Coffee Roasters on Centre Street.
Flatland is one of those lovely independent coffee shops that takes immense pride in providing the best product possible, in knowing where its beans come from, and in being part of the community. As you can guess from the name, the owner of the shop roasts his own beans right in town, still a rarity in this province. The owner Chad was happy to chat, and I definitely got the vibe that it was the kind of place where people chilled and chatted in true small town tradition.
Unfortunately for us, roasting happened to be on hiatus when we visited; Flatland quickly outgrew its original roasting operation and is in the middle of expanding! In the meantime, the shop was using Phil & Sebastian Coffee, a great substitute if you ask me. My drink of choice, any time I see it’s available, is an almond milk latte. I’m not lactose intolerant or anything, but I genuinely prefer the taste of almond milk in lattes, where the nuttiness compliments the coffee flavour.
The shop itself is minimalist in design: a single shelf of product, one long bar, a few tables, and one lovely unfinished wood counter at the window. In short, everything a good coffee shop needs. At the moment, it’s very nearly a one-man show, with Chad at the helm of both the roastery and the bar.
Now I just need to wait until the roastery is back up and running to make another trip to Gimli!
Final verdict? Flatland Coffee is worth the trip on its own, and is made that much better by the nearby lake views.
What’s the furthest you’ve gone for a good cup of coffee?