Jo-Ann Houle brews entrepreneurial success in North Dundas at Cup of Jo’s

WINCHESTER — Need a morning pick-me-up or an afternoon perk-up? Head down to Cup of Jo’s in Winchester for a cup of ‘joe’ just the way you like it!

Jo-Ann Houle of Cup of Jo’s loves working and owning her own business in her hometown. Houle also loves serving her regular customers, but says she wants to reach customers outside of North Dundas to help put Winchester on the map. “Not only for my business but for everybody. I want to showcase what we all have to offer,” she exclaims.

Winchester has a wide selection of businesses and business owners that often work together on promotions and special events.

“There’s a level of connection between other local women-owned businesses around here,” observes Houle, whose shop is known for fresh-baked treats made from ingredients supplied by other local operators. A hive of activity, it regularly hosts Chamber of Commerce and other community group gatherings — in addition to the many patrons drawn to the establishment’s delicious, quality fare.

In perhaps the most poignant symbol of connection between neighbouring businesses, her shop also happens to be located right next door to sister Lisa Williams’ Main Street Clothing Company store — another hub of cross-promotional cooperation in the community.

Situated in the heart of Winchester, Houle purchased the 515 Main St. address in March of 2016 and quickly renovated the place into the quaint and popular coffee shop it is today.

She chose the 1800’s stone house because of its obvious historical charm and architectural detail.

At the time of interview, Cup of Jo’s had recently unveiled their new menu, which has been very well received.  In the works for about year, “I could feel locals needed a change,” the owner explains.

She elaborates that the menu was developed with her customers in mind. “We had trials through daily specials. The ones that were really popular went on the menu.”

Cup of Jo’s carries a wide variety of specialty coffees, homemade desserts, hearty soups, sandwiches — also recently adding a nice selection of craft beers and liquors.

Serving homemade foods and beverages with a modern twist, the establishment delivers on Houle and husband Cory’s vision for an upmarket, high-quality coffee-shop experience right here in North Dundas.

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the township’s 2019 Explore North Dundas Spring/Summer Resource Guide. The involved interviews took place in the first quarter of 2019.

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