Keeping it local is what this student-run café is all about
Stressed out by the end of semester rush? Why not try the best kept secret on campus? It’s a little safe haven slightly out of the way that sells coffee for a dollar, (when you bring a reusable mug), and the best homemade earl grey cake.
The history of Café X is a bit of an enigma. No one’s quite sure how this student-run operation came into being.
According to co-manager Laura Hudspith, “it probably started as a kind of pirate ship operation in the Visual Arts building.”
No matter its humble beginnings, Café X has since grown to encompass two locations, one in the EV building, the other in the Visual Arts building.
The EV location is a little out of the way on the 7th floor and serves more as a take-out counter than café. Regardless of its location, it is filled with a steady stream of regulars who chat casually with the cashier about the latest treats on sale.
The VA location features the same counter space with a small lounge which is perfect to study and talk with friends. Not to mention the art gallery right next door where one can take in the latest exhibit.
Aside from the friendly atmosphere, the food and drinks are the highlight of Café X. Everything is vegetarian with many vegan and gluten-free options. According to Hudspith, over 14 local businesses and students cater the food that is served. The number of suppliers leads to a diverse, ever-changing variety of food. Furthermore, the knowledge that every sale directly helps a Montreal company and not a corporate conglomerate is a bonus.
The prices themselves are very affordable. The goal of Café X is not to achieve a profit. Any and all money goes directly to staff and running costs as well as the occasional emergency repair. The cafe itself receives no money from the university. The only item donated is the space itself.
With all of this it is remarkable to think that the organization is run, in its entirety, by a group of fine arts students. The group itself changes over time but the spirit of the group remains.
At the present time there are no plans to expand beyond the current two locations. Even so, groups from other faculties have expressed an interest in starting similar ventures. For the time being, however, Café X is the only student-run non-profit cafe.
The buzz surrounding the organization has escaped Concordia. Back in March, co-managers Allison Kelley and Hudspith sat down with the Montreal Gazette for an exposé. Hudspith looks back at this event fondly but stated that the goal was never to gain outside credit.
“Although the review in Montreal Gazette was great, Café X has no interest in catering to outside clients. We are really about Concordia and its students.”
Visit Café X at EV 7.750 or VA-229 for operating hours see http://www.concordiafoodcoalition.com/food-on-campus/where-to-eat/