Cabin Organic Café: supporting local and fair trade

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Anna Smith has an enormous passion for organic, fair trade and supporting local.

She opened Cabin Organic Café, Huntsville’s newest downtown coffee shop, on Canada Day long weekend as a secondary business inside Living Wood Design, the woodworking boutique that she and her husband, Andy Gamper, own.

“The main reason we moved to Huntsville was so that we could homestead and live a healthy life with our kids,” said Smith. “We grow and eat organic food and raise chickens and ducks at our home. We are all about sustainability and being as environmentally friendly as possible.”

After seven years of running Living Wood Design with Gamper, she wanted to open Cabin after realizing there was a gap in the community she felt they could fill.

“There was really nowhere in town to get all-organic coffee, tea and smoothies,” she said. “The coffee industry has so many ethical issues with child slavery and a lot of pesticide use and it is ultimately damaging developing countries. We wanted to set ourselves apart and do something different. We’re really passionate about fair trade and local ingredients and research a lot about whatever we are bringing into the café.”

All of their coffee is organic and fair trade and comes from Inspire Coffee Roasting Company in Baysville, all of the water used to make their drinks is local Muskoka Springs water, and all ingredients of both the drinks and the foods they serve are organic.

Cabin’s menu currently features organic bread and pastries from the Oxtongue Baker, smoothies, four types of dairy-free milk alternatives (oat, almond, coconut and soy), all-organic sweeteners and syrups made from cane sugar or agave, superfood drinks such as Matcha and Blue Matcha, holiday drinks such as peppermint, hazelnut and gingerbread lattes. Coming soon are raw vegan energy balls and smoothie bowls that will be topped with granola, nuts, fruit, and coconut and can be made dairy-free.

Bring your own cup for a 25 cent discount on your drink, or you can pay an extra dollar to have your drink served in a mason jar that you can take home. All hot drink cups and lids are compostable and are made from recyclable material, and they use Ingeo cups, which are made from vegetable matter, for smoothies and cold drinks cups. Smoothie bowls and spoons are made from bamboo and sugar cane and are also compostable.

Cabin Organic Café recently expanded their seating and Smith encourages customers to grab a book from the store to read while they sip, or bring their laptop in to relax and work.

“We want to provide a comfy, cozy, place where people can just relax on the couches or at a table and enjoy themselves,” she said.

Smith is all about supporting local and fair trade in both her family and business lives.

The café is decorated with local art and plants from a local business, all of which is available for sale.

“It’s important for us to hire and support local people and support artist development here in Muskoka,” she said. “That’s why it was so important for us to integrate that into Cabin as well with what we sell.”

For the month of November they are donating five per cent of sales from Cabin to men’s mental health initiatives for Mo’vember.

And on Saturday, December 14, Cabin will be hosting a market pop-up shop in partnership with The Great Vine. Both stores are bringing in local artisans to showcase and sell their work, giving the community a convenient way to shop local for the holidays. If you want to book a table to sell your goods, contact Anna Smith at [email protected]

Finally, Smith and Gamper also donate a portion of profits from both Living Wood Design and Cabin Organic Café to Healthy Villages, the Honduras-based non-profit program they founded that supports various health and education funds. It’s a cause close to their hearts—before Living Wood Design was born seven years ago, they lived and volunteered in Honduras helping run schools, medical brigades and women’s health initiatives. Their dream in the future is to travel to Honduras every year with their five kids.

Cabin Organic Café is located at 44 Main Street East. Follow them on Instagram @cabinorganiccafe.

4 Comments

  1. Well done, Anna! It’s terrific to see your ethical investment in Huntsville (with ancillary support to local towns and villages). The provision of healthful food and pairing with The Great Vine are also brilliant initiatives. I’ve always felt that more businesses should extend their auspices into complementary uses: It’s good for both businesses, and it’s certainly good for the Town.

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