Ryul, owner of Aperture, has a shy smile that reads honest delight and fulfilment. Not a lot of café owners in Vancouver are as present and approachable as Ryul. Jon and I got to chat with him back in May, where we learned about his journey in creating and shaping his very own café after years of being a barista. I think Jon’s photos above capture Ryul’s vision for Aperture really well. Here’s a piece of that conversation I’d like to share (paraphrased):
I asked Ryul, “Why West Broadway?” (It’s hard to find such a haven in that area nowadays.)
I wanted to find a location where the commercial (front, facing Broadway) meets residential (back). Be of service to both crowds. Of course, it’s kind of cool being next to the cyclists too, they’re really fun.
At first, I wanted Aperture to be a “cool” café…my passion is in espresso and I really wanted to mark that as our specialty. When I first opened this place I had several different espresso offerings on the menu, in addition to coffee drinks. That didn’t go so well. It became clear my customers were not the “coffee connoisseurs” but rather the passersby, the students, the neighbours who just wanted a comfortable place where they can talk, read, work, and have community with each other. It was then I figured out what I wanted this place to be - a place for community…with good coffee.
It’s evident that Ryul’s very happy with Aperture and the community it’s drawn. I’m thankful I got to spend many of my paper-writing and job-hunting days here, and caught a glimpse of Ryul’s passion lived out in such a tangible and humble way.