No cash register, no loss by ProQuest


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									24   Canadian Mennonite March 16, 2009

                   God at work in Us

 No cash register, no loss
 City Café and Bakery finds profit in self-service
 Story and Photos by Dave Ro gal sk y
 eastern canada correspondent
 kitcheNer, oNt.

 I  ts windows invitingly steamed up on a
    cold winter day, City Café and Bakery
 still looks like the automobile garage it
                                                  greetings to his regular custom-
                                                  ers. Refusing to call himself an
                                                  artist, he says simply, what we do
 once was. Attached to a Chinese restaurant       here “is make real food. . . . What
 at the corner of West Avenue and Victoria        I’ve done all my life is, I just do
 St. South, the café is the playground of John    things for myself. If it’s not quite
 Bergen of Rockway Mennonite Church,              what I want, I figure out how I
 Kitchener.                                       get what I want.” Establishing
    After finishing a career as a commercial      the café was a “cynical move to
 ceramic artist nine years ago, he was look-      be authentic,” he admits.            Young City Café and Bakery customer Cam
 ing for a creative and financial outlet. A          This rolls over into how he McTavish pays for his lunch on the honour system.
 niche café with a wood-burning oven, fresh
 breads, artisan pizzas and “the best tarts
 in the K-W area,” the project fit his artistic
                                                        ‘Pay minimum wage, you get minimum employees. i
 and entrepreneurial spirit.                             want my employees to have a secure place to work.’
    In his signature glasses, he shouts
                                                                                            (John Bergen)
                                                  hires and pays his staff. The Waterloo          old Toronto Trolley cash box sits by the
                                                  regional government has discussed pay-          counter where customers can deposit their
                                                  ing its employees a “living wage,” which it     payment. “At the end of most days we’re
                                                  estimates at around $15 an hour, almost         ahead,” he says. People are in a hurry, so
                                                  double the minimum wage in Ontario, the         they don’t wait around to make change and
                                                  pay most restaurant employees receive.          over
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