Design Crush: A Bright, Minimalist Cafe That Spotlights Action in the Kitchen
Why we’re loving Leckie Studio’s modern and airy design of Small Victory Bread and Coffee.
Think of it as breakfast and a show: while many cafés put the emphasis on seating and leave the kitchen to the cooks, Small Victory Bread and Coffee made the food preparation the centre of attention. The baking space can even be seen through the street windows, giving it “a certain theatrical quality,” says Michael Leckie of Leckie Studio Architecture and Design, who designed the space with Javier Campos while still with Campos Leckie Studio. “It gives a more inviting presence from Homer Street.”
The bakery and coffee shop opened in Yaletown in 2014 after a full renovation of the space by Leckie Studio, with a design inspired in part by the owners’ personal history with baking. “They’re the second generation of a family of bakers,” says Leckie. “Our design was determined by bringing the focus to the traditions and culture of baking.”
The bright, open layout of the shop certainly makes Small Victory feel friendly and welcoming. “The original plan was for the café and bakery to be designed with an even greater emphasis on minimalism,” says Leckie. The plan was to stain the timber frame elements white to match the marble pieces, but in the end the team opted to keep the fir wood exposed in its natural colour. The flooring and wall panelling diffuses the soft white lighting, brightening the entire space. This is balanced with the beautiful and elegant brass wall sculpture—designed by Vancouver artist Ricky Alvarez—which picks up on the other brass accents in the space. The white marble coffee bar and the ceiling woodwork bring everything together to create a friendly ambiance that aims to celebrate small moments and everyday triumphs.