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Five years of Local Jo 

From the window of her office at the architectural firm Solterre Design, Local Jo Café & Market (2959 Oxford Street, 455-6225) co-owner Jennifer Corson can look down to her café. From another window she can see the roof of her home, and just down the street on Almon is another business she’s involved in, Renovators Resource, which is operated by her sister Alison Philbey.

Corson is truly a supporter of her neighbourhood.

“It was very self-serving,” she explains, outlining how five years ago last week she, with her husband Keith Robertson and backyard neighbours David Black and Heather Scott, opened Local Jos for people just like herself, young people starting families. “A place where you can go and have your kids join you,” she says. And despite the small group all having only a “very tenuous connections to food services” they’ve created a warm and welcoming cafe, “laid back yet bright and cheery,” offering fair trade coffee and organic and home-baked goods in a stylish space accented by rich hardwood. Corson credits her manager Danielle Davis for taking away all the stress of running the business, and is quick to point out that the Local Jo customer isn’t a monotype. “It’s not just families, there are people having meetings and students studying.”

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