Dreamy Coffee Supermarket

Dreamy Coffee Supermarket connects independent roasters & coffee lovers

The roastery pop-up is open every weekend.

On the drab, industrial side of the Lachine canal is the Dreamy Coffee Supermarket. Andy Kyres, a co-founder of the Canadian Roasting Society (CRS) — Canada’s first co-roasting space, invited me to the relaunch of the weekend pop-up series in the roastery. 

The basic premise of the Dreamy Coffee Supermarket is to create a direct link between independent roasters and coffee drinkers — a comestible meet and greet. The CRS hosts, on an ongoing basis, around 20 independent coffee companies — some use the roastery every week while others, with a more limited run, might only roast once a month. 

Dreamy Coffee
CRS Co-Founder Andy Kyres pours a shot of espresso

But the CRS is more than just a place to roast beans — it’s a kind of coffee company incubator. “[The CRS] is a co-op roastery where people interested in a coffee project can come and we can help them get it off the ground in various ways. One of the ways is we rent time on our machines — another way is we offer different kinds of training and consulting,” says Kyres. 

His goal, ultimately, is to develop Montreal into a world-class coffee town. Outside of the business of roasting and selling beans, however, is the more nuanced aspect of sourcing green (meaning unroasted) coffee and developing relationships with coffee farmers.

That’s where Melanie Leeson comes in. Leeson is a consultant who specializes in green coffee procurement who works in tandem with the CRS. Her focus is on helping independent roasters source, buy and evaluate coffees and guiding them in their coffee menu development. Together Leeson and the CRS offer a full-service approach to starting a coffee company. 

Dreamy Coffee
Roasting machinery

But the roastery pop-up is much more than just a place to buy and drink coffee, the Dreamy Coffee Supermarket was created as a way to showcase the extensive work being done by the CRS.

“In the U.S. it’s such a more common model to have a roasting-café where you open your doors, almost like a factory tour, and show how it works. In Montreal, you don’t really see that very much. People who come in here have never seen a coffee roastery before,” says Kyres. “Every company here has their own menu, their own vision and their own network.” Dreamy allows consumers to engage with these companies and their products directly at the source. 

Functionally, attending Dreamy is pretty straightforward. Upon entering, you’re immediately met with a generously stocked shelf of specialty coffees. Familiar brands like Pista (although they no longer roast at the CRS), Myriade and Melk stand out but it’s the smaller companies like Traffic, Canal and Structure (among many others) that promise great new discoveries. If you’re like me and you like coffee (even going out of your way to buy from independent roasters) but you have limited vocabulary to talk about what you like, fret not. Local coffee connoisseur and head Dreamy barista Vassily Lissouba is there to guide you through the process. 

Vassily Lissouba

“The specialty coffee industry is pretty new. When you look at the coffee bags, the packaging, the branding — it’s really awesome what we’ve come to but it’s not really easy for regular consumers to make a decision,” admits Lissouba, which is why he takes the time, with each customer, to describe the difference between processing methods, varietals and geographic regions. Much like a sommelier, his advice is based on an impressive knowledge of coffee combined with a thoughtful consideration of each customer’s tastes and preferences. I’m currently sipping on a cup of coffee brewed from beans he recommended and I can confidently say that the guy is good.

Surprisingly, though, the real star of the whole supermarket might not be the coffee at all. Baker Missy Hansen Murphy is on-site whipping up fresh batches of buttermilk biscuits (and other baked goods) and they are sensational. Fresh from the oven, these magnificent biscuits are perfectly golden brown with visibly airy, flaky layers. They’re perfectly seasoned, buttery, tender on the inside, deliciously crisp on the outside — they are, without exaggeration, the best biscuits I have ever had. If you left the Dreamy supermarket with nothing but one of Murphy’s biscuits, it would still be more than worth the trip. An honourable mention also goes to the “cardamom swirls,” which lie somewhere between a kouign aman and cinnamon roll. Made with the same biscuit dough, these fragrant rolls are sweet, sticky and absolutely delicious. 

Missy Hansen Murphy’s biscuits

If you’re at all interested in Montreal’s coffee scene, or specialty coffee in general, I highly recommend visiting the Dreamy Coffee Supermarket. It’s an excellent way to get to know your local coffee roasters and develop your palate — at very least, it’s a great place to pick up a bag of coffee. And if you’re not into coffee, you should go anyway, if only to grab a few of those incredible biscuits — seriously, they’ll change your life. ■

The Dreamy Coffee Supermarket is located at 3780 St-Patrick and is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. For more, please visit their Instagram page.

For more Montreal food and drink coverage and criticism, please visit the Food & Drink section.