Step into KAHVE cafe by ENFLUX, a place where art and design combine to create a unique artistic atmosphere, and you will be in awe of the structural pieces lining one entire side of the shop. A floor-to-ceiling display of curated artifacts by talented artists is reason enough for you to venture into KAHVE.
It was a sunny summer afternoon, and we walked past athletic figures on their daily jog to enter the cafe. We shook hands with Justine, and she invited us to meet John, who hurried from the kitchen to introduce himself. Speak to them and quickly you grasp their humble passion and appreciation for the arts.
The tasteful interior design makes evident the artistic background of its owners. During our conversation, John revealed he has traveled the world in his past life as an art critic, and the curated items along the wall shows his dedication to pieces designed by Georg Jensen.
John tells us the artifacts in the store are predominantly Scandinavian, hailing from Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and the Netherlands. He was first exposed to Georg Jensen products through his father, who collected Georg Jensen products from his business trips to Europe mainly London. John worked as art critic during the 1990s in Korea before moving to Canada in 1998. His business travel as an art critic encompassed trips to many countries on the occasion of Venice Biennale, Sao Paulo Biennale, Kassel Documenta, Basel Art Fair, and more. His last project before leaving Korea was establishing an outdoor sculpture park in Nammang Sculpture Park in Tongyoung including artists such as Jesus Soto, Ito Takamichi, Erik Dietman, Gilles Touyard, Antony Gormley, Huang Yong Ping, Tony Oursler, Dani Karavan, Jean Pierre Raynaud, and more.
His main interest as an art critic was mainly focused on modernist movements in the early 20th century and minimalist, conceptual art in the late 20th century. We can see the influence through his merchandising, which is mostly focused on clean, understated, simple but elegant aesthetics.
Justine also has a background in art history working as a curator at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Korea before coming to Canada in 1998. Her main focus on design is not very different from John’s in terms of selecting clean, elegantly simple, but functional objects. With an aligned vision and complementary background in the arts, we have no doubt the shop will continue to flourish under their leadership.
From softly coloured ceramics to minimalist pieces and event select decor items in intriguing shapes, you can and should spend hours indulging in the collection. While every piece is available for sale, you will feel as if you are a student in an art gallery, attempting to appreciate the beauty and history in every piece.
As we studied the pieces with our eyes and our hands ventured to touch a select few, John prepared two of KAHVE's signature dishes, a smoked salmon toast and an avocado toast topped with a soft boiled egg perfected only with tireless practice. Each dish was painstakingly plated, and the plating design alone will make your mouth water. The buttery avocado delicately flavored with pepper and artistically garnished with roma tomatoes, tiny blocks of cream cheese and fresh greens.
Not only was KAHVE a feast for our eyes and mind, it was also a satisfying feast for our stomachs. At the end of our photography session Justine offered us two tasty cookies made of healthy ingredients. Needless to say it we ended our visit on a sweet note while enjoying the cookie on our drive home.
If you haven't visited KAHVE cafe by ENFLUX on 1st ave and Burrard Street, it is time you pay a visit to this healthy, thriving neighbourhood that serves as a hideaway for the many independently owned hidden gems in the city. We recommend ordering a matcha latte and an avocado toast and spending your weekend morning enjoying the peaceful quiet of the Kitsilano neighbourhood.