Picture a neighbourhood café where you can show up to get a treat, be greeted by friendly staff and enjoy a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Appealing to customers of all ages and background, Mr. Gold in Steveston Village is the go-to place for many regulars and people looking to celebrate milestones. Whether it’s a birthday party, a wedding, a baby shower, a friends’ outing for high tea or an impromptu visit to indulge a sweet tooth—memories are made in every corner of this charming café.
Open from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mr. Gold has all the characteristics of a good neighbourhood restaurant. In addition to repeat customers, one indicator of a good foodservice venue is staff loyalty.
A conversation with Samuel, staff member and brand ambassador extraordinaire, conveys a boundless enthusiasm for his place of work as well as Mr. Gold’s menu choices.
First, there is a selection of up to 80 flavours of hand-crafted Italian gelato. “We use a variety of natural ingredients, such as nuts we ground on-site, fresh fruit prepared by us, and organic whole milk,” Samuel says. “We also have a variety of flavours that range from classics like chocolate and vanilla to newer flavours like cherry mania and whiskey cream. My favourite is salted caramel.”
For the more adventurous, there are flavours like black sesame, lychee, taro and, when in season, durian, the creamy Asian delicacy that many consider an acquired taste. Samuel adds that the gelato doesn’t contain any artificial colours and flavours.
In addition to renting out ice cream carts for off-site celebrations, Mr. Gold partners with party character entertainers to make children’s dreams come true for events at the Steveston venue.
In order to ensure that all customers find a menu item to their liking, Mr. Gold offers a range of different desserts as well as savoury options. There are sundaes, screamers, slush puppies, gelato floats, salads, panini, bruschetta, and more. With such a wide range of choices, Mr. Gold can be a one-stop-shop for families or groups of people with different preferences or hankerings.
Customer feedback inspired Mr. Gold to offer afternoon tea, with a selection of sweet and savoury goodies that are artfully arranged on three-tiered stands, says Samuel. “One customer told us that she was looking for a place to eat at a time that was too late for lunch but too early for dinner. That’s when you don't want to eat anything too heavy, just a snack and a treat.”
Attention to – and care for – customers is part of what sets Mr. Gold apart, and customer reviews commonly include positive comments about the taste of the gelato as well as the friendliness of the staff and the owner.
Consistency is important for any good food service business and especially one with repeat customers. Mr. Gold is making it a priority to not only meet but also exceed the expectations of customers and community members, and this includes paying attention to environmental sustainability and giving back to the community.
For example, ice cream boxes are made of recyclable wheat straw and ingredients are locally sourced as much as possible, notes Samuel. And during the pandemic, Mr. Gold’s efforts to give back to the community took the shape of offering free gelato for frontline workers.