When Ryan Arcand, owner of Iconoclast Coffee, created his first business plan back in 2007, it didn’t include cafe operation at all. He intended Iconoclast to solely be a roaster. Now, 10 years later, Arcand is a staple of the local cafe community and has opened a new location in the Oliver Exchange building.
The old Iconoclast space on 105th Avenue closed in the summer of 2018 — the lease had expired, and Arcand decided not to renew. The new Oliver Exchange spot will become Iconoclast’s flagship location. The space will have a roaster that runs about four days a week, producing about 400 to 500 pounds of coffee. There will also be a full kitchen and 60-seat cafe, with patio space for the warmer months.
While Iconoclast has always brewed a great cup of coffee, for Arcand, it’s about more than that — it’s about community, and being a conscientious consumer and owner. “There’s a lot I have to say about how we as business owners and entrepreneurs engage with things like where our coffee comes from, how it’s handled, how we package it,” says Arcand.
He is also passionate about the role that cafes have as public spaces, and is conscious about cultivating a certain environment at Iconoclast. “One thing a cafe does is provide access for people on a daily basis to mingle, to meet, to just be a part of society outside of their work and homes,” says Arcand. “The bar has to be pretty low in terms of barriers to entry… I think that’s an important part of my philosophy on cafe culture. My hope for the Exchange is that we as a group of tenants, as business owners, can cooperate and act in a way that does produce that sort of energy in the building.”