A delicicous concoction of "something blue, something welcoming and something Canadian" kicked off a fundraising campaign for Newmarket-based Rose of Sharon Sunday at Cardinal Press Espresso Bar.
The Main Street coffee shop partnered with The Meeting House to launch the Meeting House Fog, raising about $400 for the charity that supports young mothers at the Jan. 27 event, with $1 from all sales going forward to be donated to Rose of Sharon.
Cardinal Press owners Omar Saer and Ashley Torgis said they had been thinking of creating a specialty brew for charity for awhile, but were never really able to settle on what they wanted to do. Saer said they had joked with Will and Sara Dyer, active members of The Meeting House, about doing a fog drink (a tea latté) for The Meeting House.
Cardinal Press was already supplying the Sunday coffee for The Meeting House, Saer decided to talk to Simon Downey, the lead pastor in Newmarket for The Meeting House, about bringing the idea to life.
Downey gave him three parameters for the drink: "something blue (the Meeting House colour), something welcoming, and something Canadian".
Saer and Torgis thought about it.
"What's more Canadian than maple syrup? Then we looked at our tea wall and the blueberry tea just stood out — our something blue! Instantly, we thought about pancakes, and were confident we could make a drink that tasted like blueberry pancakes," Saer said.
He finally came up with the combination of blueberry tea, steamed milk, maple syrup, and cinnamon that tastes like a hearty plate of blueberry pancakes: The Meeting House Fog.
The event also featured a pancake breakfast by donation, with all proceeds going to Rose of Sharon.
By 12:30 p.m., the coffee shop was packed. Representatives of Rose of Sharon, Caitlin Gladney-Hatcher and Jill Jambor, were in attendance to thank everyone for their support.
Mayor John Taylor, Deputy Mayor Tom Vegh, and Ward 4 Councillor Trevor Morrison also dropped by. At the end of the day, more than $200 was raised in Meeting House Fog sales for Rose of Sharon, as well as another $200 in direct donations.
Saer and Torgis are both originally had careers in the film and television industry. Saer grew up a nomad, moving all over North and South America in his youth, but settled in Canada, while Torgis is from Mississauga.
After meeting in Toronto, they chose Newmarket to settle in to be closer to family. Two years ago, they bought Covernotes Coffeehouse on Main Street when the owners retired and they rebranded as Cardinal Press Espresso Bar a year ago. Saer and Torgis said that they have integrated into the community and love it here in Newmarket.
The Meeting House is part of the Bethren In Christ churches that began in the late 18th century out of the Mennonite tradition. They believe in the word of Jesus without the rules and rituals found in religion and bill themselves as "a church for people who aren't into church."
Based in Oakville, there are 18 locations throughout Ontario. In Newmarket, they meet Sundays at Silver City.
Rose of Sharon is a charitable organization providing support and educational services to prenatal and parenting young women under the age of 25 across York Region for more than 30 years. These include individual counselling, prenatal and parenting programs, life skills workshops, and high school education. Rose of Sharon also provides young mothers with access to baby clothing, women's and maternity clothing, food, diapers, baby formula, and women's toiletries.