Found in restaurants, bars and hotels all over the city, you’ve likely tried Barocco’s quality coffee without even realizing it. (Alo, The Broadview Hotel, San Remo Bakery, Calii Love and The Cheese Boutique are just a few establishments to carry the brand.) Now, with their shop Barocco X Nino on College near Dovercourt, the coffee roasting company is serving their delicious java straight to the masses.
The partnership between Barocco and Italian bakery and trattoria Nino D’Aversa opened just months before the pandemic hit, causing them to shift from a café to a one-stop shop for grocery items, prepared foods, gourmet offerings and more.
“Having the food offering with the coffee offering and creating a space that has so much more than what we originally envisioned, has been an exciting part of it,” says co-owner Bruno Colozza of the changes to the shop. “So, although the pandemic has come with a lot of negatives, and a lot of challenges, there have been some silver linings in there, and that is our ability to become more meaningful to the community here.”
Inside the airy 2,000-square-foot space, you’ll find an eclectic mix of imports and local items — made in-house or sourced from small producers around the city. For Colozza, the key is finding the best of everything, whether it’s flown in from Italy or made down the street.
As for the in-house offerings, chef Andrew Colozza heads up the food program with a menu of salads, sandwiches and pizza a taglio in varieties like the classic margherita, and calabrese, topped with buffalo mozzarella, spicy soppressata and black olives. They also bring in fresh handmade pasta from Famiglia Baldassarre, which Andrew whips up into beautiful dishes like tornarelli caccio e pepe.
“The other silver lining is the chef, Andrew, happens to be my son, who joined us right at the beginning of the pandemic,” says Colozza. “He really elevated the menu. I think we have the best pizza a taglio in the city.” And we’re inclined to agree.
Barocco X Nino: Coffee classes
As things return to normal, they intend to hold a variety of coffee classes at Barocco X Nino, covering everything from cold brew to single-origin coffee types. “And even to the point where we can do pairings, like cocktail pairings with coffee to food pairings with coffee and all that kind of fun stuff,” says Colozza.
Barocco X Nino: Gelato
“The other cool one is gelato. We bring in gelato from Punto Gelato, which we think is the best in the city,” says Colozza. Special gelato flavours made just for Barocco X Nino include riffs on classic cocktails like bellini, negroni, spritz and mojito. And, of course, they have coffee flavours too.
Barocco X Nino: Bottle shop
“Finally, after nine months of going back and forth, we got our liquor license. So, we created the bottle shop and chose about 18 different wines from a few different importers that aren't available at the LCBO. And that kind of completed it for us,” says Colozza of the shop's new wine offerings.