Letter: Coulter Berry building won’t stop coffee

Dear Editor,

How can a beautiful building plan cause so much agitation and tension? The Coulter Berry saga in Fort Langley appears to be giving some people the jitters.

By court affidavit, Diane Morrison of Wendel’s Cafe claims, “If the development proceeds, I believe it will have a long term negative effect on the success of Fort Langley as a heritage touristic destination, which in turn will impact my ability to successfully carry on business.”

Tourists will stop coming to Fort Langley to drink coffee if a new building is built with a third floor?  Presumably the scale and density of such a development will destroy Fort Langley as a destination, causing the caffeine business to collapse.

As a Fort Langley resident and java junkie, this should be cause for alarm. If the resident coffee-drinkers aren’t sufficient to support a local coffee industry, tourists are needed for business viability.

But is there any relationship between building size and coffee consumption by tourists?

Fort Langley’s first specialty-coffee business, Spill the Beans (circa 1994), was located in a big new building, Heritage Manor, which replaced the little Chaz Reid house. When the Township issued the permit for that three-storey building, there was fear it would dwarf the community hall and ruin the town.

A couple years later, the little Chevron station on Glover Road was demolished and replaced with a much bigger building, together with another one on the adjacent vacant lot on Mavis Avenue.

That comparatively massive re-development included a coffee shop (Wendel’s). Some wondered how the village could possibly support a second coffee shop.

Today, speciality-caffeine concoctions can be had at Euphoria Chocolates, Republica Coffee Roasters, Village Tea & Coffee, Infusion BouTEAque, as well as some of the restaurants.

You can even get a latte at the big new Lee’s Market.

The newest coffee shop is attached to a big three-storey building, beside a four-storey building. Lelem Cafe, serving J.J. Bean, is a business venture by the Kwantlen First Nation in space owned by Langley Township.

Republica Coffee Roasters recently announced plans to come roaring out of Gasoline Alley into the proposed Coulter Berry building, most of which would be three storeys.

Building size or architecture does not appear to have any direct or indirect connection to caffeine consumption. Wendel’s claim about their ability to successfully carry on business because of the size of the Coulter Berry building is hard to swallow.

I’ll have a cafe mocha with real cream and maple syrup, instead.

Brenda Alberts, Fort Langley

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