Stonestreet Cafe & Catering opened on the sunny day of August 20, 2002. Taking over the former Marvin's Coffee Cafe site, owner Doug Stuart had a vision of providing fresh, cafe-made, comfort food with a twist :) Having previously owned restaurants and cafes, he knew that the key to success would be familiar comfort food with detailed friendly service. The detail level of Stonestreet's service comes with having staff who genuinely care about the customers who visit the cafe...remembering their orders, their favourite items, their specific needs, plus tidbits about their personal lives and families.
People often ask "where did the name Stonestreet come from". Well, Doug and his wife Arlene saw the name of a winery in California and loved the name. Doug said, in the late 90's, if I open another daytime cafe, I'm going to call it Stonestreet Cafe. The stones outside of the cafe, on the sidewalk, made the name a perfect fit.
During the pre-opening renovations, Doug wanted the setup to be such that each staff person would not have their back to the customer. So the front counter tills were installed, the coffee machine moved from the back and the food bar was installed. So when a staff person would either be ringing in an order, or making a sandwich, or pouring a cup of coffee, then the staff person would always be able to see the customer and engage in conversation. This was very important to Doug. He was willing to give up asthetics and the cost of fancy furniture and fixtures, and focus the opening costs on ensuring the customer contact would be paramount.
Stonestreet Cafe was also the first cafe along the "Beacon Ave Strip" to have Community Tables. The tables are situated just inside the front door and at the back of the cafe. With each table having 6-8 seats, it has become a gathering place for customers to sit and enjoy. Doug has a small sign at both tables saying "this is a community table...please allow others to join...you may just end up meeting someone interesting". The community tables have been the cornerstone for customers to relish and enjoy. In fact, when the cafe is getting full and new customers enter the cafe, the regular customers will invite the new customers to join them at the table. Often the staff will overhear someone saying.."Oh..hi folks...this is a community table...please come and join us".
Stonestreet Cafe's menu is simple yet extensive...straightforward yet innovative...comforting yet intriguing. All of our soups are made in the cafe...from our own soup stock. We do NOT use a commercial, pre-package stock. Yuck. Our stock is made by filling a large pot with water, then adding carrots, celery, whole onions and a secret surprise. After boiling and simmering for a few hours...the stock is made! Customers often ask us "why are your soups so good", to which we reply "they are made with our own stock and a lot of love".
Each cafe usually has its own signature items, and Stonestreet Cafe is no different. Our Chicken Corn Chowder, Stonestreet Salad and Orange Sesame Dressing are exclusive to our cafe. You just won't find those items anywhere else!!! Bruce (Doug's brother) and Arlene (Doug's wife) were the creators of the signature items. Doug doesn't take any credit for it and gives it all to Bruce and Arlene. Bruce was also the driving force behind the soup recipes and to this day, his Creamy Mushroom Soup, Red Lentil with Mixed Pepper Soup and Beef Barley have become cafe favourites. Unfortunately, Bruce passed away on November 4, 2007 due to diabetic complications and his memory is still very alive in all of the soup recipes that he created.
In 2010, Doug looked to expand his budding empire and opened Stonestreet Cafe's 2nd location in Saanichton. With his belief of keeping it in the family, he brought his sister, Sherril, into the company as a business partner. Sherril took over the Owner/Operator role of the Saanichton location on Day One and has been a fixture in the cafe since. With her strong food & beverage background throughout parts of Canada and the East Coast of the United States, Sherril has brought a vast wealth of experience and knowledge into the company.
The catering business, well, was more of an after-thought. Doug wanted to include catering services with the cafe and thought "well, I'll put out a catering menu with a list of sandwiches, soups, salads, baked goodies and beverages...and see what happens. If someone wants a platter or two delivered to their office, then we'll do it". The first couple of months after the cafe opened, the orders trickled in and the food and beverages were delivered to local offices. In the fall of 2002, the 'word of mouth' began to spread. The cafe was receiving more phone calls and more emails for catering. In November 2002, a regular customer asked "could you cater for my 60th birthday?". Doug said "sure"...not really knowing what he would serve. So after meeting with the customer, he decided that he needed to "step up" the catering menu and created another menu for receptions and gatherings, ie. appetizers and 'finger foods'. The first 'reception-style' event was for 30 persons and Doug did it all himself. Afterwards he thought "we could really do something with this...". Fast forward to a month later, bookings were coming for Christmas parties. Doug thought he had 'hit the lottery' when, in his first year, he had 6 bookings for Christmas parties!!! The customers loved the food that was presented, the staff that showed up to serve and cleanup (including sweeping the floors) and the fact that Doug worked every party.
In the spring of 2003, the 'catering tsunami' hit!!! Doug was getting calls for larger events....companies wanting catering for daylong workshops, retirement parties, grand openings and celebrations. This was not limited to other events such as weddings, anniversaries, memorial gatherings, art shows, and yes...even a divorce party (yes...a divorce party). Doug quickly created additional menus and greatly increased his inventory of catering supplies and fixtures.
Over the next few years, Stonestreet Cafe became a familiar face with many catering events on the Peninsula and Victoria. Doug's love and appreciation for the warmth received from Sidney, North Saanich and Central Saanich always made those clients a priority :)))
In the early spring of 2007, Doug partnered with the Mary Winspear Centre (the community & conference centre 'jewel' of Sidney) to become one of their Preferred Caterers. This arrangement jettisoned the amount of business that Stonestreet Cafe & Catering received and was (and still is!) very grateful for the opportunity to provide catering services at the Centre.
Stonestreet Cafe & Catering has been very proud to be the caterer, at the Mary Winspear Centre, for such events as the Annual Sidney Fine Art Show, Saanich Peninsula Arts Council, Peninsula Business Women, BC Pension Corporation Staff Appreciation Days, Municipal Information Systems Association (MISA) Conference, Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities (AVICC) Conference, as well as many other private corporations and businesses.
The addition of the Saanichton location has allowed for a greater reach for catering services. The Saanichton location currently does a very brisk catering business to the local organizations and offices in the Central Saanich area.
Today, Stonestreet Cafe & Catering provides catering services for an average of 200 events per year. With the vast amount of business, Doug and Sherril have never lost sight of what matters most....taking care of the client's needs, ensuring all is delivered, setup and served on time, doing a full cleanup....and most important...as the owners...showing up to every event!!!
We are a Cafe and Catering company serving up good food, drinks and hospitality. Come in for a great meal :)