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A New Hub for Coffee Innovation is Set to Open in Vancouver Next Week

Before you get your back up, a disclaimer: although typically a new showroom setting up shop in Vancouver simply isn’t compelling enough to merit an ‘Opening Soon’ feature on Scout… after visiting the soon-to-open La Marzocco space in Vancouver, we’ve reevaluated our stance. We urge you to keep an open mind, also.

Located at 31 East 5th Ave, in Mount Pleasant, the space is more than just a room to showcase espresso machines – it’s also place for learning, innovation, and connection. Here, there is less focus on sales, and more focus on culture.

La Marzocco and Stealth Coffee Systems founder, Frankie Jamali, describes the showroom/gathering space hybrid as a “third space” – i.e.: a social setting apart from home and work where people can connect and relax, share ideas and build community. And though, after touring the space, I will admit to being impressed by the beautiful design of the showroom part of the equation, it wasn’t until I was led through to the workshop and event space that I fully appreciated how unique the vision was.

When I asked Frankie Jamali what he wanted people to experience at the La Marzocco space, he explained: “Coffee! The aroma of coffee in the air, the fusion of Florence and the Pacific Northwest! We aim to provide a hospitality experience through our equipment. Coffee is about coming together, sharing stories and experiences, and we wanted our space to embody that.”

As explained by Katie Pickering (Marketing & Community at Stealth), the plan is to offer various coffee-related events and education sessions, and an immersive experience for all coffee enthusiasts as well as the larger community. Jamali elaborates: “We wanted to preserve the emphasis of care that La Marzocco has in manufacturing, while encompassing people, heritage, technology, and design.”

Though still under construction, from what I saw on my walk-through, they are going to hit a home-run on all fronts. From the choice of materials – like white oak and black nickel – to the gleaning chrome curves of La Marzocco machines and the minimalist design by Andrea Greenway of Studio CM, the whole project is meticulously planned to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Other notable features pulling it all together include stunning lighting by A-N-D Light as well as Flexalighting and custom furniture by Klo Lab. When complete (they aim to open next week!), the almost 5,000 square foot venue (including a 1,500 square foot event space) will be able to host up to 100 people.

A little background on La Marzocco: Founded in Florence in 1927 by Giuseppe and Bruno Bambi, La Marzocco is an Italian company that specializes in high-end espresso coffee machines. Its headquarters are situated in Scarperia, with branch offices worldwide. The Vancouver location draws inspiration from the ‘Accademia del Caffè Espresso’ at the original La Marzocco factory, which houses the company’s historical archives and a museum, as well as offering a workshop space, cafe and restaurant (have a look at that space/concept here).

It’s cool that this company, which has been in operation for nearly a century, still builds machines by hand in Florence, Italy, in their solar-powered workshop. Add to that, rather than being solely focused on making sales, La Marzocco also invests in ecological coffee growing practices, as well as building relationships and enriching the industry through barista events, workshops and summits.

 

Stealth (a Canadian company partnering with the Italian brand for this project) received the keys to the Vancouver location in the summer of 2023, and has since been transforming the space into what they hope will become an espresso innovation hub. Like their European counterparts, the team is excited to offer a variety of coffee-related educational classes and events, including cuppings, technical workshops, barista competitions, and more. They are also looking forward to supporting the coffee community by hosting events for the coffee roasters they work with, and potentially renting out the space to other industries and events in the future.

The La Marzocco Vancouver showroom is set to officially open on Thursday, April 11th, 2024. In the meantime, check out our gallery of the space’s transformation below:

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La Marzocco
Neighbourhood: Mt. Pleasant
31 E 5th Ave.

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