Arlington Five

arlington five storefront

Brewing Community One Cup At A Time

It’s impossible to wonder what Arlington Five offers when strolling by. The oversized COFFEE facade makes it clear, but you’ll quickly realize they’re about much more than delicious, ethically sourced beans. 

Jessie Duffy, owner of Arlington Five, grew up in hospitality, both of her parents worked in the industry. Her career started off by slinging espresso in a hotel, but moving to Australia to work in a café changed everything. 


Gathering Places

A culture has amassed over the years that coffee shops are a third place. You have your home, your workplace, and your favourite coffee shop. This third place is centred around plugging into your laptop and disappearing from the world around you.

When Jessie worked at a café in Australia, she witnessed the opposite. It had a community hub vibe, a place to gather and connect with those around you. No screens or headphones, just eye contact and conversation. She knew it was time to bring this to her hometown.

“Together is the only way forward. I wanted to create a space where we can be neighbourly,” says Jessie.


The Bigger Picture

Arlington Five has an ethos of sharing, everything they do is for the community. Throughout 2020 their kitchen was used to make meals for Cooking For A Cause, a social program that used to run out of Parkdale Food Centre. Today, they’re expanding their kitchen to grow their business into catering and marketing, with the hopes of returning to more community programming surrounding food. These core values are extended to when their staff arrives in the morning, sees someone who could benefit from a warm drink and meal, and immediately receives it. 

“My heart is always filled when I come to work, and I notice a houseless person sitting on our patio, who’s clearly having a rough time, and in front of them, I see one of our freshly-baked scones, a coffee, and water. This is what my team is oriented in,” says Jessie.


Business Ethics

Coffee is a tool to bring community into Arlington Five, and the coffee is more than just delicious. It’s important to Jessie to source their coffee ethically and to be transparent about that process with her customers.

“Our coffee roaster partner, Lulo Coffee, is completely aligned with our values. They’re super thoughtful and intentional about every facet of their business,” says Jessie.

Centretown is Jessie’s work home and the place that brings her so much joy. She’s seen a shift in the neighbourhood over the past decade and says it’s become even more intimate and connected.

“It’s never felt more vibrant and diverse. We’re connected with so many other businesses in the community, it has true village vibes,” says Jessie. 

Arlington Five Sandwich | Photo: Darren Brown Photography

Arlington Five Art | Insta: @arlingtonfive

Arlington Five Coffee | Insta: @arlingtonfive

Arlington Five Cuisine | Photo: Darren Brown Photography

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