On the Edge Coffee
Another community-oriented business enriches Boyle Street.
If you are a regular customer at On the Edge Coffee in the Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market, you will quickly get to know Jodine Chase. She is the cheerful and lively “ambassador” of this family-owned and socially conscious business.
Over the years Chase and her husband Rob McLauchlin (along with several adult children) found themselves regularly talking about opening a coffee shop. Chase, whose career for decades has been public relations and communications, was surprised to find that she was really interested in making this pipe dream a reality.
The first catalyst occurred when Chase, who is of Icelandic origin, and members of her family began taking trips to Iceland, the “homeland.” On their visits, they noticed that a prominent cultural quality (one the Chase-McLauchlin family already had) was a habit of constantly serving coffee. More often than not, the coffee was an essential element of any gathering for visiting and chat.
But each time the coffee business idea came up, it was put aside. Some of Chase’s children had worked in restaurants, so they were well aware of the enormous effort such a venture would involve. Getting up at 5 a.m. comes to mind, along with many other such taxing activities.
Then the Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market opened on 97th Street “We contacted the market,” Chase says, “and asked some questions about costs.”
Chase’s family went ahead with the coffee kiosk at the market, but then the pandemic threw them for a loop. “We had to pivot so many times in so many ways,” Chase says. “We were dizzy.”
New ideas kept surfacing. The family Airstream trailer was put into service on Saturdays when the market bloomed outdoors during the summer. The trailer has also been showing up this summer at various outdoor events.
On the Edge will soon be roasting its own coffee on site at the market. “New technology allows us to have an electric roaster with zero emissions,” Chase says.
The company’s website, ontheedgecoffee.ca, states, “We believe coffee is one of life’s necessities. Brewing and selling coffee is a natural extension of our passion for the beverage and its ability to bring people together . . . We work with roasters who source beans ethically and pay farmers enough to help them earn a decent living.”
The Boyle Street community continues to grow and thrive. True, the movement often seems excruciatingly slow. But things are happening. On the Edge Coffee is a part of this.
Anita Jenkins is a retired writer and editor who lives in Boyle Street.