Written by Sophie Strobel
Sophie loves being a part of the warm community of Waterloo. She attends the University of Waterloo where she studies Science and Business and is currently working in marketing for science and tech companies.
Balzac's http://www.balzacs.com/ is a KW favourite with two locations, one in Kitchener at the Tannery and one in Waterloo on Philip Street and also one in Guelph on Gordon! There are 13 locations across Canada in total that are mostly found in the GTA. Their amazing coffee and the warm and welcoming aesthetic make it a go-to café for a lot of people. It's great for impromptu meetings and cramming for upcoming exams. Many times I have turned my table into my own little office and have spent hours studying there. Recently, my friend explained the Balzac's app to me and their loyalty program that was so exciting I just had to share it.
If someone gave you a $25 gift certificate for an amazing coffee shop would you turn it down? Well, Balzac's basically offered you that and you just didn’t know it. Or at least I didn’t. So their deal is that you have to download their app. For every new location you visit, you get a free $2 off your coffee, which totals a possibility of $26 of free coffee. This deal is absolutely perfect. I travel quite a bit and love visiting new cities. Going to each different Balzac's is almost like a little challenge. Crossing things off a list is incredibly satisfying for me and I think other people can relate. If you travel frequently between Toronto and KW like me, that is an easy 8 locations.
In case it hasn't sunk in for you yet, you get to go on a scavenger hunt for free coffee. Free, amazing coffee. Additionally, for every $50 you spend with the app you get $3 free which is better than their current loyalty card offer. So if Balzac's is already where you usually get your coffee, then definitely try to take advantage of the app.
One of the locations is in the Distillery District where the Toronto Light Festival is currently happening (images below). The displays are on until March 12th so you have time to go check it out. I went last weekend and it was absolutely stunning so I would highly recommend going. Try to get there at dusk so that your photos with people in them turn out better. As you walk around it will get darker and you can enjoy the light displays along the paths. It's the perfect weather at the moment to walk around for a bit and then warm up in a coffee shop.
If you've never been to Balzac's, I think there are a few things that make it unique. In a city with several options for coffee, I think Balzac's does a really good job of providing a homey atmosphere. It's warm and inviting and has a certain bustle to it. They do coffee really well but their baked goods are also amazing. Sometimes I find that the café's with the best coffee are really lacking in the quality of their baked goods, but somehow Balzac's pulls both off.
Let's see who can complete all 13 locations first. Comment below on your progress.