FERGUS – A Downtown Fergus coffee shop at the site of a former bank will soon be pouring its last cups before locking the safe for good.
Owners of the Vault Coffee and Espresso Bar announced on Facebook recently they will be closing their doors on Oct. 2.
It’s not a COVID-related closure, in-fact co-owner Lori Clarke said they might have even had an uptick during the pandemic from out-of-town visitors.
Clarke, who owns the business with husband Dale, said she is losing some key staff members who are pursuing other educational goals.
“I’ve always had a really strong team and that’s a big part of our success and unfortunately at this stage in my life, I just don’t have the energy to rebuild,” Clarke said in a phone interview.
She attributed much of her success to her staff — who she referred to as her Vault family — because they are great at what they do and customers love the service.
She said the time and effort to replace these people would just be too much.
“I’m not as young as I used to be, I think it’s time that I step away and, you know, get some of my private life back again,” Clarke said.
She said she will most miss her staff and customers she has gotten to know over the years. Customers who wrote on the Facebook announcement post seem to return the favour.
“I feel like we’re losing our best friends! A trip to Fergus is never complete without a stop at the Vault… and sometimes we come to Fergus just to go to the Vault,” wrote Lisa Dodds.
“As regulars who love our visits on nearly a daily basis, we are so sad to hear your news,” Lindsay Orr wrote. “You and your staff have been wonderful, friendly and so efficient.”
“The coffee, the goodies and the staff have been a highlight. My go to place, best part of living in this town, a gathering place that will remain special,” Sheli O’Connor said.
The Clarkes first opened the Vault four years ago but have owned the building itself for the past eight.
“We never really thought of opening a coffee shop until we were doing interior demolition of the building and it just opened up the beautiful ceilings and the big round top windows,” Clarke said, adding it previously had a drop ceiling.
Although they’re closing the doors, it might just be temporary until someone else buys the business.
“We’re hoping that someone who has a lot of energy will continue it on as the Vault,” Clarke said. “If they don’t, then hopefully something even better.”