Stacey and Will Sparling, owners of Moka House, are getting ready to open a new location in Cadboro Bay – in the same space Starbucks left in October 2020 after some 16 years in the neighbourhood. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Stacey and Will Sparling, owners of Moka House, are getting ready to open a new location in Cadboro Bay – in the same space Starbucks left in October 2020 after some 16 years in the neighbourhood. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Local coffeehouse owners branch out to Saanich, transforming former Starbucks

Opening day fast-approaching for Moka House location in Cadboro Bay

Excitement is brewing in Cadboro Bay.

It’s been more than six months since the closure of the neighbourhood Starbucks location, a popular local haunt for some 16 years. Now, a new coffeehouse is set to open.

Moka House has been a fixture on Cook Street since 1996, serving everyone from shy coffee lovers on first dates to busy folks needing a caffeine boost between meetings. Now, owners Will and Stacey Sparling have begun expanding to Cadboro Bay.

When they heard the Starbucks at 3849 Cadboro Bay Rd. would be permanently closing in October 2020, their interest was piqued. The Sparlings weren’t planning to expand because they were happy on Cook Street with their close-knit community and loyal customers, but when the space became available, they couldn’t say no.

Will and Stacey bought the Moka House franchise from a friend five years ago upon moving back to the Island from Ontario. In an effort to de-franchise and get back to the local coffee shop’s roots, they sold off the other locations in Greater Victoria and Vancouver.

Cook Street is “the real Moka House” and that’s what the Sparlings were drawn to in the first place. Will explained the property in Cadboro Bay checked all their boxes in terms of community and vibe. The pair decided to replicate their Cook Street model at the new location, with a local flair.

In early March 2021, the Sparlings and their team began “de-Starbucks-ing” the space to give it new life. The plan was to open in time for the May long weekend, but when the time came, they were still waiting on a business license from Saanich and training new staff. However, there was no shortage of prospective customers over the weekend – crowds came by hoping to find the coffee shop open.

Will said they expect to debut sometime before June and aim to “get a sense of what the community needs” so the coffeehouse can be adapted to suit the neighbourhood.

One alteration they’ve already made is to the menu. The Cadboro Bay and Cook Street locations will have similar fare, but the beach-side shop in Saanich will have more sandwiches and grab-and-go snacks for picnics on the sand, he said.

The Sparlings and their team look forward to opening and embracing the Cadboro Bay community with a smile and a flat white or two.


Do you have a story tip? Email: devon.bidal@saanichnews.com.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

coffeeentrepreneurSaanich

Just Posted

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

The City of Victoria is hoping to ring in the summer by celebrating local art and offering some distanced, live music to surprise people in parks, plazas and other public spaces. (Photo courtesy of the City of Victoria)
Live, pop-up concerts and local art being showcased in Victoria this summer

People will see surprise serenades at 16 locations throughout the summer

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

The 14th annual Oak Bay Young Exceptional Star (YES) awards June 3. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay celebrates its Young Exceptional Stars with outdoor award ceremony

Nine young people recognized in 14th annual awards

Jada Benwell and Connor Larkey are the valedictorians of the 2021 graduating class at Parkland Secondary School. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Pandemic taught lessons in perseverance for North Saanich high schoolers

Parkland Secondary School to release 2021 grad ceremony video on June 25

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read