North Street Cafe Brigus - The Story of the Wall of Tea Cups
Updated: Feb 16, 2019
I’ve dropped by North Street Cafe in the historic town of Brigus, home of Newfoundland's famous Brigus Blueberry Festival, many times on my travels. And on entering, I'm always drawn to a wall of tea cups and other collectables. I’ve often wondered about the stories behind them. They make for great conversation pieces as you see people getting their pictures taken with them, you hear them say “oh I remember mother had some of that pattern”, or “I wonder how old that one is”, and “are they for sale?”.
Lucky me! This week, I finally got to meet the lady behind the collection and owner of the cafe, Debbie O’Flaherty. Debbie’s infectious smile and the warm welcome she gives her guests, lets you know immediately she’s in the right business. The hospitality and service at her cafe is indicative of Debbie’s personality and the colourful characters of Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans.
I’m so excited to meet her and as she shows me the collection, she says, " they are definitely NOT for sale". Each item has a story or memory behind it and many items have been given to her by customers, community members, friends and family and are now part of the charm of the cafe. With some there is a note. Like the one from 94 year old Mrs Georgie Edwards of nearby Harbour Grace who, in 2016, gave Debbie a “tin” that must be over a hundred years old. Debbie placed the note inside.
I noticed an exquisite set of German tea cups Debbie tells me was given to her by friends who recently moved to Brigus, having lived in many parts of the world prior to moving there.
You’ll find little notes tucked inside some of the cups or teapots and each item has a story of a particular connection to Debbie's customers or members of the community.
Of course you can have your tea or coffee in one of Debbie’s tea cups served from a tea pot. My cousins Mildred and Florence took full advantage when we were there last summer. Tea cups were always used in our mothers’ kitchens and as we sipped our tea we reminisced.
There‘s a story waiting to be told everywhere I go and the enjoyment for me comes when I get to meet the people behind them.
Here are a few more of Debbie’s gems in her collection but you’ll have to drop by North Street Cafe to hear the stories behind them.
Happy Road Tripping