La Merceria on Adelaide is one of the perfect havens that makes you believe the giant chain coffee shops will never win. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first visit to La Merceria or your 500th; it’s impossible not to be immediately enchanted by owners Sandra Rojas-Chinni and Marcelo Chinni’s genuine hospitality, their expertly made espressos, and their artfully decorated and furnished cafe. It’s the kind of place that makes you think that literary greats of bygone eras would have sat there all day if they had the chance. We caught up with Sandra Rojas-Chinni, one half of La Merceria as well as a proud Torontonian and Colombia native, to find out all about the little coffee shop that has spawned a catering and interior design side business simply because the regulars tend to want to take a piece of La Merceria with them every time they leave…
Give us a snippet about you. What should people know?
My passion is product sourcing for the home, making our surroundings beautiful and enhancing daily rituals with meaningful and inspiring products. I’m lucky to have been able to turn my passion into my work.
What makes La Merceria special in your opinion?
The combination of cafe and shop. Inspired by our South American upbringing (Marcelo is from Argentina and I’m from Colombia) through which we express our attention to detail, our love of coffee and food, aesthetics, entertaining and all combined our idea of the good life.
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
…Torontonians appreciate culture and diversity. Our background is why customers embrace our business, so it feels in a way that in Toronto you can have the best of both our worlds.
What are three things you simply cannot live without?
Of course, my family, but on a material level: good bedding, good towels, good dishes – all the essentials that become our “daily pleasures.”
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
It’s very hard to choose just one. There are so many great places in the city, but our family is all about classic comforts, so our go-to place is Terroni. It’s where we have had most family gatherings, birthdays and dates. The consistency of the food over the years is just amazing!
Besides coffee, what’s your favourite drink/cocktail and where do you go to get it?
Margaritas at Playa Cabana Hacienda on Dupont.