New café Ambience open in downtown Kelowna

Owners Sam Smith and his mother Linda Smith at Ambience.

KELOWNA - A new locally-owned café just opened up in one of the oldest buildings in downtown Kelowna.

Ambience has found its home in the two-storey Old Post Office built in 1908 at 274 Bernard Avenue.

Run by mother-son duo Linda and Sam Smith, Ambience is so named because, as Sam explains, “It’s a mix of everything.”

Street view of Ambience
Street view of Ambience

Sam has lived in the apartment above the space for the past fifteen years.

Linda has owned The Water Garden Boutique on Ellis for the past 19 years, and brought over some home decor items, jewelry and clothing to sell in Ambience.

“I've been in the service industry forever," Linda said. "I'm no barista but I love my coffee and I know how to make a good coffee."

The Smiths are currently working on a food menu, trying each item themselves in order to get everything just right.

"We're going to do charcuterie, some local stuff," Linda said, "tacos, there's going to be grilled pita, spinach pie.” 

They will be submitting the finished menu in order to obtain a liquor license for Ambience as well. 

"We have no idea what we're doing, but we want to do a really good job,” Sam jokes. 

Before the Smiths took over, the space was occupied by Doja, another coffee shop owned by a cannabis company. They sold their brand to Toronto company Canopy, who had no use for a coffee shop.

"They left everything as is, so we've just taken that and run with it," said Linda, referring to the 25 thousand dollar cappuccino machine and the rest of the expensive equipment. 

The back section of the cafe is full of used books for purchasing and perusing, inherited by Sam from High Browse Books when they shut their doors.

It’s a spacious location with plenty of tables and seating, lots of plants and a huge glass door that rolls up and opens the entire front of the shop right onto the patio.  


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