It was a quote from French post-impressionist painter Paul Cézanne that sparked the The Carrot Coffeehouse‘s name and overall philosophy: “There is coming a day when a single carrot freshly observed will set off a revolution.” Located on the reenergized 118 Avenue strip, The CarrotCoffeehouse is a community arts venue created in 2006 by a group of artists known collectively as Arts on the Ave. Instead of opening an office for the organization, they decided to open a coffeehouse because there was nothing like it along 118 Avenue – otherwise known as the Alberta Avenue area.
“We are from the community, for the community,” explains Executive Director Christy Morin. “We are all about keeping artists here in Edmonton.” The Carrot Coffeehouse is completely volunteer-driven. There are only two employees on the payroll, one full-time and one part-time. When Arts on the Ave opened the business, they knew it was going to take a lot of dedicated effort to make it work. Luckily, the community embraced the mission and has come through. “Being volunteer-powered, we knew it would be a real risk to see if volunteers wanted to come in and be a barista,” Christy says. “It’s just amazing to see the huge heart that Edmontonians have.”
That diverse group of volunteers helps make The Carrot Coffeehouse a city-wide attraction. “It’s a really neat vibe,” Christy says. “The Carrot is something special, and Edmonton has made it a really wonderful place in the Edmonton art scene.”