International Foodservice Concept Cafe Landwer Picking Up Pace of Expansion with New Locations Including Top Mall [Interview]

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The unique Cafe Landwer establishment, specializing in Mediterranean and Italian cuisine as well as coffee, is expanding its footprint in Toronto with plans to grow the business even more in the coming years.

Eran Shram, CEO and major owner of the Canadian operations of Cafe Landwer, said the brand’s roots go back to 1919 in Germany as a coffee roaster. It expanded to Israel and then to Canada and the US.

“Today, we’re a roaster, a specialty coffee shop inside a restaurant,” said Shram. “We serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

Currently, there are five locations in Toronto and it is in the midst of renovating its sixth location set to open in the Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Shram said the anticipated opening of that location is September or October.

Future Cafe Landwer exterior entrance at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto on July 3, 2022 (Image: Craig Patterson)

The first location in Toronto opened in February 2017 at 9340 Bathurst St. 

In March, the brand opened its latest location at Yonge and Bloor.

“We’re a full-service restaurant and we also offer anything a specialty coffee shop would have. We went very deep into both fields of coffee and Mediterranean food,” said Shram.

“It’s very hard to go for breakfast and get a great latte today. Or a cold brew. If you go to a specialty coffee shop, we have probably as much or maybe even more offerings. We’re a specialty coffee shop within a restaurant and that’s hard to find.

“Also our breakfast is very unique. We go very far with our breakfast. The Shakshuka is a signature dish we have and we make it in-house. We’ve got a very tapa style breakfast that is also very unique. We’ve got very specialized dishes. We’ve done a lot of research and spent a lot of money in every category. It starts with coffee but breakfast, lunch and dinner as well. We’ve gone very, very far. We’re casual dining and it’s very good value for people.”

Cafe Landwer at 33 Bloor Street E

Landwer said the design of the restaurants are nice and slick. Future location growth would be based on how many the market would allow.

“Right now all our stores are in Toronto but we would look into doing some franchise stores as well,” said Shram. “Once we get outside of the GTA we’ll go to the rest of Ontario and then the next step we’ll figure it out from there. That’s kind of what we’re looking at right now.

“We want to do things right. Our expansion is fairly slow. I see ourselves in the next five years sticking to Ontario.”

The history of the brand is described on its website:

“From a small establishment in turn-of-the-century Berlin, to a modern day destination, the Landwer story is one of tradition and quality. In 1919, on a picturesque Berlin street, Mr. Moshe Landwer founded his first business, a small café which would soon become a magnet for the city’s socialites. Just a few doors down from the café, Moshe oversaw production at his own coffee bean roastery. His entire family worked there, helping to roast the finest quality coffee to be served to the patrons of his establishment.

“Our unique history and constant innovation helps us to continue establishing new frontiers for coffee, while we serve only the highest quality beans from ethically sourced destinations.

“Our insistence to preserve tradition, while ensuring love and care is put into every cup, is what makes us proud to serve you each and every day.”

Jeff Young is the Chief Development Officer for Cafe Landwer in Canada and is a point of contact for future locations in terms of strategy and negotiations.

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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