By Jack Krayenhoff

Serious Coffee at 225 Menzies Street has a new owner. His name is Edward Hu ('hoo'), and he moved here with his family from Shanghai. It was not to find a better job, for in Shanghai he was the CEO of a firm of consulting engineers, and his specialty was to estimate the cost of constructing those enormous skyscrapers they build over there. Neither does he expect to do that sort of work in Victoria, for here they use wood, and in Shanghai it is all concrete and steel.

So why the move?

Because Victoria is so beautiful and peaceful, and there is space here. In Shanghai there are 27 million people, (all packed together in a small area) not far from the population of all of Canada.  In Victoria people are friendlier, because over there everybody wants to defend the little room he does have, and he doesn't want others any closer. Edward was very deliberate about his move - he had been to Victoria five times before he made the decision. 

So why did he choose a Serious Coffee store?

Well there is the flavour of the coffee, which he prefers. The taste is smoother, less strong and sharp than the others. The reason for this is that Serious Coffee roasts their Arabica beans with hot air, but the others use fire. By the way, Serious Coffee is organic and bought on Fair Trade basis.

Hu expects the merits of his products to be appreciated especially by James Bay's seniors, and he plans to talk about that at New Horizons, across the street from him. The people who listen to him there will get 10% off when they come to his place.

Then there are the tourists, who now wind up downtown after disembarking from their cruise ships. He hopes to change that by luring them into James Bay instead, through his website, with apps that will get them 10% off on his coffee.

A plan he finds very exciting is an Open Mike evening, every Friday 6-9 pm, hosted by Richard Fahl. Fahl is a well-known singer and composer, and the reason he consented to do it because he is a fan of the coffee!