Story and Photo By Hannah Eden
A dizzying spell of colours shout out from the dusty boardwalks of Third Avenue as Alchemy Café rests in its final stage of completion – the opening.
From intricately carved wooden beams, to the checkerboard disarray of purples and reds, this new social hub is the topic of conversation.
“I guess it all stemmed from deep questions about life,” says Florian Boulais, founder of Alchemy Café.
“I just feel that there is a balance that is unrespected. We are creating a pretty grim future right now. If everybody understood that things were connected, we wouldn’t be compromising your own future.”
Situated in the bustling downtown scene, the wood, tin, paint and windows are all sourced from around the Dawson area – in keeping with Boulais’ vision. “Within that frame, I try to be creative. I have to accept that this is a frame,” says Boulais. “It was tremendous fun! I love to learn – I love to troubleshoot and problem solve.”
Focusing on the creation of the healthier, closer community, Boulais says he could not have completed his 11-year project without the help of those in Dawson. “Help, advice, resources, tools…They got something back in return too. They are the Alchemists.”
Giving back to the community is first on Boulais’ list. Alchemy Café prides itself on being the community café Dawson needs – from an alcohol free zone where families can meet, to a wireless hub where tourists and businessmen and women can converse with others around the globe.
The idea of staying connected to the universe runs through every element of the café from the stacked bookcase to the healthy, organic food designed by Boulais’ wife, Sofia.
“It came out of necessity,” says Boulais.
“Coming to Dawson, there was something that happened. Everything is connected somehow. Between you and the very first form of life, there is an unbroken chain. There are millions of generations and you are the end result.”
The end result of a long labour of love is proving to be quite an adventure for Boulais as customers have been flooding in to sample the stimulating conversation and delectable delights Alchemy Café has to offer.
“We are trying to make it a smooth operation,” shares Boulais. “If we can get food and energy from local sources, we can be on the material side of independence.”
A café built from the community, for the community – let Alchemy Café draw you in this summer.