Important message to all our fans: Our signature style and beautiful decor stays the same. We are simply enhancing the beauty & functionality of our large space to polish up any edges ;-)
As many of you have already heard, Venus Sophia is undergoing some exciting renovations! We’ve been planning for months, dreaming for years and waiting for what seems like an eternity to unravel our vision. And it’s all coming together pretty soon! So exciting! Venus Sophia has grown so much since its creation and with growth we must listen, evolve and adapt. Almost exactly 5 years ago from today, we were presented with the opportunity to take over a newly opened, quiet yet quaint tea store in Chinatown. The shop looked so small, so humble from the street view as we strolled by.. but when we took a look inside it was as though it had magically enlarged in size five times fold; and a whole new world opened up. It was a world full of possibilities. It still is.
At that very moment we had no idea what was to come, but we believed in the strong voice within us telling us we must act now. After all, it was our dream together to open our very own eatery. This was it. We were not able to ignore that voice within against all odds, against all doubts. We believed in fate’s beckoning and so we took a chance. Together, our love, our passions and our dreams would show us the way. Venus Sophia… we were to keep the name. It symbolizes our mission: to do everything we do with beauty, love and wisdom. We transformed Venus Sophia into a tea house & veggie eatery in a beautiful, relaxing setting … an oasis in Chinatown. New branding, creative menus, refreshed decor, hearts in the right place; our new restaurant was born.
We started from behind the counter. Just cheerful husband and wife serving up teas & snacks. Some time passed and a little baby joined the fun, as we held her in our arms while taking orders. We loved every moment, a true family run business. Customers would line up, make an order, sit down where they’d like and then we’d bring their order to the table. It was casual, convenient…. for a while. Oh, how far we’ve come. Alain designed a menu to fit the style of the place back then, with house-made foccacia sandwiches and a daily soup that always takes you back to your childhood. It was simple, delicious and a big hit.
Then there was our spin on the ritual of afternoon tea. It made a wonderful & welcome impact in our community as we offered guests something very different from what Victoria was used to. That is, a place to relax and do tea time with a bit of fun and originality and at a reasonable rate, of course. Afternoon tea served on vintage tiered trays with organic teas in mismatched china, in this beautiful warm space… no white linens, no stuffiness … you get the idea. We did not expect our twist on afternoon tea to get all the attention it did. It is a big success, every year we are mentioned in a our favorite publications amongst wonderful established companies, it’s heart warming! We’re ever, ever grateful for that and look forward to serving our Signature Afternoon Tea for years to come.
As demand and line ups grew, we realised we would not be able to do things the way we were set up forever. Our team grew in numbers, in expertise and it was time for change. So we changed things up a little. Introducing table service was the start, then we had to do away with the counter service and menu boards altogether. That transition in itself was quite the adventure. But again, you all responded so well to it, embracing it with enthusiasm. It was obvious this change was needed; it was necessary. And we got busier. The large couches in the corner of the room had to be replaced with more dining tables and chairs in order to accommodate the increasing group & event bookings (I know, I miss them too on occasion but trust me, you want to sit at a high table while you’re eating your elaborate meal at Venus Sophia).
So here we are. Almost five years in, dreams do come true and magic really happens. And inspiration sprouts. And it’s contagious. Yes, we see how others get inspired, taking from our original ideas and little details to make their own. It’s all part of the process. We enjoy being part of what makes things fresh; but our favorite part of it all is moving on to the next. On to the new! Here’s something different, let us show you, there’s a new way of doing things. And the cycle continues. We watch, we learn, evolve and reinvent. And still…none of this is possible without you. We just do what we love and hope that you will enjoy it. We hope it inspires you. It’s a lovely way to be and the most natural way to keep moving forward.
Well, all that boils down to our exciting vision with the renovation. Our humble and much awaited renos. Our reno style is of the more … let’s say, subtle variety. It’s the kind that enhances beauty, works out the details, sprinkles a bit of gold dust in the quiet corners of the room, adds a little sunshine and sparkle here and there. It’s so us. Our style is to focus on what is needed and to what is true to our very core at that very moment. At the forefront of our visions is what you, our valued customer, wants. We really don’t want to ruin the surprise for our regulars, but we still have to hint!
The changes are inspired by our roots & backgrounds. There is Egyptian, Italian, Swiss & Southern European flair all over. It is who we are. It’s everything we love and want to share with you. With the renovations you will get the best of all worlds: in part a gorgeous Cafe AND the cozy beautiful Dining Room. So whether you want to sit for high tea and a hot meal or grab a quick coffee on the go, we’ve got you covered. There will be a cute open-concept lounge for those who yearn for something in between, and an official (yes, finally) retail space brimming with delightful goodies .. and the storefront is a whole other story. Lets just say it will be so beautiful. We won’t tell you much more details for now, you’ll have to wait to see for yourself. We’re closed between 1-5 February only, after that, I hope you visit us soon :-)
Sallie & the Venus Family