We’re celebrating the 1 year anniversary of the COKANNA Virtual Coffee Shop!

1 year ago

When we first went into lockdown, it felt scary and isolating. I felt the need to reach out and stay connected with people, with the community. Thus, the coffee shop was born.

How quickly we all learned how to Zoom! Our first 4 meetups were casual drop in and chat sessions. It was good to see friendly faces, hear how each of us was doing, and lend each other some comfort and support.

Then in another Business and Networking Group meeting, we had a llama-zoom-bomb. Don’t worry, it was a planned and welcomed zoom-bomb. It was also a serendipitous moment for me because, as many of you know, I love llamas and alpacas.

Our 1st guest

So naturally from there came our first guest in the Coffee Shop. Judy Kingsbury, former alpaca farmer and mom of 72 alpacas and llamas, joined us live from her alpaca farm in Smith Falls. She took us on a tour and we met Monty, Rocky, Super Hero, Lizzie and many others each with their own distinct personalities. We learned a lot about these funny looking and endearing creatures. They are indeed characters.

1 Year Anniversary of the COKANNA Coffee Shop by Colleen Kanna, Photo of 3 while alpacas

Our first guests in the COKANNA Coffee Shop

Please note Judy has since put her farm up for sale and has re-homed all her boys and girls.

From that day on, we’ve had a guest each and every week except during the Christmas break. That’s been 47 weeks of coffee shop gatherings with 47 guest speakers.

We’ve had everything from how to look good in pictures to a musical guest. Fun is often top of mind with sessions like art journaling, creative play, and 80’s trivia. We’ve had health and wellness sessions on the healthy comfort of food, yoga, meditation, and breathwork. New ideas have been introduced with Oracle card readings and What’s Enneagram? We’ve also had some serious thought-provoking discussions on white privilege, death and dying, and coming up on May 7th, miscarriage.

Why I do it

I think of the Coffee Shops as a way to introduce you to different ideas, activities, people, and businesses in a safe, and supportive setting. Things you might not explore on your own.

It’s also an opportunity to create awareness, exposure, and support for local artists, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. I feel it’s a win, win.

And don’t forget the shopping part of the Coffee Shop. Our shopping days have been limited, other than for groceries and essentials. It’s a fresh new season but we can’t freely go out and browse.

The Coffee Shop is like a window into shopping from the safety of your home. You can see, browse, and ask questions about my soft and comfy bamboo clothing. And, purchase if you see something you love. My online store is open 24/7 at https://cokanna.ca with free curbside pick up in Kanata, or direct-to-your-door delivery via Canada Post for a $10 flat fee in the Ottawa area, and $15 elsewhere in Canada.

Your ideas

I hope you’re enjoying the Coffee Shop programming so far. I try to lineup a variety of interesting topics and speakers. A little something for everyone. If you have any ideas for guest speakers or topics, or there’s something you would like to learn about, please comment below, or send me an email at colleen@cokanna.ca.

If this is the first you’re hearing of the Coffee Shop, then head on over to Facebook to join the COKANNA Virtual Coffee Shop group. Then, check out my Coffee Shop Event page to see the lineup for the next 4 weeks or so. You don’t have to be a group member to enjoy the weekly events. You simply have to register for each one. If you see a topic of interest, sign up and bring a friend. And, remember to BYOC (bring your own coffee).

See you soon in the Coffee Shop!

Until next time,

~ Colleen

Colleen Kanna, Photo by Anna Epp Photography

I’m a recovering Chartered Accountant and Breast Cancer Champion turned Fashion Designer. My COKANNA Canadian-made bamboo clothing is all about comfort and style. Giving back to the community is important to me so I support Rethink Breast Cancer‘s metastatic breast cancer education, support, and advocacy work.