Our story begins with Lili & Oli, a small neighbourhood café alongside Montreal’s Lachine Canal that opened its doors more than 13 years ago.
It’s a friendly place serving excellent coffee that quickly drew in local people on a daily basis to linger a while and socialize. One of the founders, Patrick Hébert, had trained at the famous Café Olimpico, and that Italian influence is evident at Lili & Oli, with its warm welcome and community orientation.
Patrick’s brother Daniel joined the company several years later as a partner. His keen interest in coffee products and market trends, combined with a desire to control the quality of the coffee he served, led him to embrace the world of roasting.
While planning this new line of business, Daniel approached Éric Gingras, a friend of the Hébert brothers and a long-standing customer at Lili & Oli. Éric had recently sold his own business and was seeking a new challenge for his entrepreneurial skills and go-getter spirit.
So it was that these three very dynamic individuals came together in pursuit of adventure and discovery in a fascinating new world.
And the idea of Canal was born.
Canal aims to inspire people to savour the moment and explore the fascinating world of coffee in the same way that we discover interesting people and make new friends.
Our passion for coffee, its exotic origins and the people who cultivate it is contagious. Our customers all have their own tastes and habits, but they’re expressing an increasing interest in exploring this world. Through Canal, everyone can find a particular coffee they love, whether it’s a classic brew or something more extravagant. And they can explore new flavours, building on the ones they already know. Canal aims to both comfort and surprise people, while leading them on a journey to a broader knowledge of coffee.
It’ll be quite an adventure, and we’re happy to be accompanying you on it, sharing many enjoyable discoveries along the way.
We have the highest regard for people who work with nature, and for the fruits of their labour. We treat their product offerings with the greatest care, throughout the entire supply chain. We welcome customers of all kinds and respect their tastes, knowledge and appetite. Our actions are guided by conscience, a sense of responsibility and fairness.
We recognize our strengths and our vulnerabilities, and that brings authenticity to all we do. We learn from and laugh at our mistakes. We strive to remain accessible and close to our customers. And we see ourselves as curious explorers who enjoy experimenting and sharing our discoveries.
We celebrate human relationships and the invigorating energy they bring us. We are generous by nature and always looking to build bonds with our customers, partners, producers and co-workers. We take pleasure in meeting and exchanging ideas with people. We promote a culture of interacting with and helping those who share our passion.