Kootenay Grounds: Cranbrook’s new cafe combines quality coffee and books

Just over two months ago, Cranbrook ’s newest cafe and bookstore opened its doors. Owned and operated by Candice Pickering and located at 16D 11th Avenue South, Kootenay Grounds, the 1,500 square-foot space is warm and inviting, pairing Pickering’s love of fine coffee, baking and literature.

“It’s been going really good,” she said of the first couple of months of operation. “I have a steady flow of people coming through the door and everyone is happy to have another place to hang out and somewhere different.”

Last year Kimberley had an establishment with a similar model open its doors in the Platzl called Paper and Cup.

“I definitely love the feel of the Paper and Cup in Kimberley and for years I always thought that books and coffee went really well together,” Pickering said.

Pickering is born and raised in Cranbrook. Right out of high school she attended Culinary School here at the College of the Rockies, doing three levels of culinary arts.

“The baking and all of the goodies are a big part of why I’m here, because I love baking. We mostly use butter and flour,” she adds with a laugh, “and everything’s from scratch — like grandmas’ recipes.”

Around 15 years ago she owned the Out to Lunch Cafe on 12th Avenue, then called the Moondance Cafe. She then became a mother, having three children and stayed at home with them for the past fourteen years.

After selling the Moondance Cafe she purchased the location of what would become Kootenay Grounds — the space had been vacant for about a year and she just decided that she should put something into it.

Pickering said that she is enjoying seeing all of the new businesses that have been popping up in and around downtown Cranbrook recently, and hopes that the trend towards revitalization continues.

“I think downtown is going to change,” she said. “I love to see more things going on, festivals in the park. Even from being over on 12th Ave 14 years ago until now the vibe is totally different downtown in the last decade, so I think there’s going to be lots of changes.”

Make sure you stop by Kootenay Grounds Cafe and Bookstore, open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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