2 weeks in Montreal

Dany Marquis

Sunday morning, I was woken up by an armada of birds. I think it was buntings. Happy whistling, there were hundreds of them who came to rest in the maple tree next to my bedroom window. What a pleasant noise is this frenzied squawking coming from these little feathered animals who are finally finding their country. So I let this noise shake me out of my Sunday torpor, telling myself that we had gotten through it. Birds don't lie.

However, I tried to get ahead of spring with a two-week stay in Montreal at the end of March. I didn't think it was worth bringing a hat and mittens, telling myself that I could surely act like a lizard on a terrace somewhere... Well, that wasn't the case and until I took the train back to the house, I froze my ears going from one café to another throughout my stay.

I had a few business meetings, a visit to SIAL and cafes to visit on my agenda. I visited a lot of coffeeshops. A lot. It’s been a while since I’ve been to the Red City and the coffee scene has really evolved. So I went into a café, ordered an espresso and a cappuccino, chatted a little with the barista and watched him work. I assessed his or her technique, his equipment, the state of his counter, and asked what coffee he or she used. I sat in a corner, carefully tasted the drinks, checked the milk in the cappuccino, tasted again, let it cool a little. I observed the customers, the traffic, the movements of the barista, the ergonomics of his work space, his general attitude.

It was very informative. I've tasted some great coffees, as well as some really bad ones.

And don't expect a list of achievements from me, but rather an observation of incredible wealth, of a cluster of dynamic independent cafés. There I met passionate entrepreneurs who decided to live differently, from their love for coffee, for the love of service. Because beyond the product offered, there is the service, the atmosphere, the music, what I like to call the alchemy of a coffeeshop.

Because the market has evolved, as has knowledge. And despite having seen certain aberrations from jaded baristas whom I would have fired on the spot, I generally saw professionals who were serious in their approach. Gone is the McJob image. Serving good coffee requires know-how, knowledge and interpersonal skills. I would even say above all interpersonal skills. We can teach the rest but the know-how is more delicate, subtle. Why do I feel better in this coffeeshop instead of another? However, they have the same equipment, the same coffee, from the same roaster, the same cups, the same coffee/milk ratios, similar grinders, a reception counter configured in the same way, etc. Well, that's the magic, the love, the emotion, and that can't be bought :-)

I also came away from this stay reassured about my work and the direction of the company for the next three years. And I'm really excited about what's coming for Brûlerie du Quai. I will keep you posted as plans come to fruition.

Danny Marquis

Tribe leader, entrepreneur, 418 far-east, coffee, motorcycles, martial arts, part-time zen. Father of 4 champions.


  • Dany Marquis

    Bonjour Mme Bouchard,

    merci de nous avoir averti concernant les fautes d’orthographe dans le dernier texte publié sur notre blog.

    Je viens de publier le texte qui aurait dû être publié. Une erreur est survenue lors de la mise-en-ligne, et c’est le texte brouillon qui a été mis de l’avant. Erreur de copier-coller…

    Je suis sincèrement désolé que la lecture du texte vous fûtes moins agréable à cause des erreurs d’orthographe. Et je vous assure que tous nos textes sont passé au peignes fins avant la publication. Vous pouvez d’ailleurs voir nos anciennes publications et jugez par vous même.

    Vous comprendrez donc que nous n’avions pas l’intention de manquer de respect à qui que ce soit.

    Et si jamais, par une autre terrible malchance, un membre de mon équipe publierais un texte comportant des fautes d’orthographe ou des coquilles, vous pourrez m’avertir directement par courriel au lieu de laissez un commentaire sur le blog.

    Merci d’avoir parcourut le texte, et j’espère que vous serez en mesure de l’apprécier davantage dans la version corrigée.


    Dany Marquis

  • Charlotte Bouchard

    Dommage qu’il y ait tant de fautes de grammaire, ce serait plus agréable à lire… C’est une question de respect pour les lecteurs…

  • LJC

    C’est une histoire tres agreable Dani. Je lis votre blog creatif pour etudie le langue dans un moyen interessant…:)

  • Isabelle Rioux

    Une saucette en ville fait toujours du bien. Ça nous aide à non seulement nous situer mais à nous dépasser. Bravo pour ton dynamisme Dany! Le Funambule est fier de servir ton excellent café. Passe nous voir!

  • Mathieu Tremblay


    j’ai vraiment aimé vous lire et suis bien content que vous ayez aimé votre séjour dans notre coin. J’ai même ressenti l’espace d’un instant un frisson de joie en dévorant vos mots qui transmettait une émotion.

    Vous devriez écrire plus souvent :)

    Je vous souhaite bon succès!!!

    Bonne journée

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