New coffee café for teens to open in spring

‘It’s nice to hear what they want and we want to fill those ideas’

Raissa Tetanish
Published on March 9, 2014

TRURO – A new coffee café is coming to Truro for teens.

Francois van Aardt, the youth pastor with Grace Covenant Ministries, and his wife, Olivia, are working on getting the doors to ‘Harvest Café’ open, and they hope to do so at the beginning of April.

“I wanted to do more than just a Friday night youth group,” said van Aardt. “We started thinking about an after-school program for teenagers. We have the room we can utilize, and an after-school coffee shop seemed like a good idea.”

While the café is still in its development stage at the former Princess Margaret Ross school on Willow Street, van Aardt is hoping to find enough donations from the community to get it up and running, and soon.

“Once it opens it will be self-sustaining,” he said, adding there will be coffee and tea, as well as snacks, such as pizza, available.

By working with the youth group since the ministries was established in September, the youth pastor said he’s been getting input from them. The youth in the group attend a number of schools, included Cobequid Educational Centre, Colchester Christian Academy and Bible Hill Junior High School.

“I’ve been getting a lot of input from them,” he said. “Because their schools are mixed, it’s nice to hear what they want and we want to fill those ideas of what they want. But, it’s all based on what we pull in for donations.”

Van Aardt said he’s spoken to a few people and businesses in the community about possible donations, but is looking for more. He and Olivia are hoping to get some newer coffee tables in the space, as well as replace the flooring. A lot of work has already been done inside the former classroom.

“We’ve torn down the chalkboards and painted, and built a stage and snack bar,” he said. “We want to do an open mic for the teens. We have the equipment for it already.”

While the café is an umbrella of van Aardt’s work with the youth group at the ministries, he wants all teenagers to know that they are welcome.

“Anyone can come to the café and not get involved with the church, or any church. It’s just something they can come and enjoy. We wanted a safe environment for them to hang out at after school where they can do whatever – finish their homework or hang out with friends,” he said.

Anyone wishing to make a donation of any kind can do so by contacting the Grace Covenant Ministries by emailing, or dropping by the church at 294 Willow St., Truro, Sunday mornings.

“It doesn’t have to be monetary. There are many different things people can give as well,” said van Aardt. “And because we’re an extension of the youth group, monetary donations will go into the youth fund, which goes into the Harvest Café.”

Twitter: @TDNRaissa