Oh! So Nelson - Cafe, Community & More

Picture a beautiful, serene setting right in the lap of the mountains. 

What is the overarching feeling accompanying the soothing imagery? For us in the Kootenays, it’s always warm, fuzzy and feels like home! 

In the majestic presence of the Selkirk Mountains lies a place of such warmth and comfort called Oso Negro Coffee. This local business has been roasting different blends of coffee for Nelsonites since 1993. Since inception, Oso Negro has focused on keeping things simple and providing an organic platform for the local community. Thus, it is unsurprising that they source organically grown and fairly traded coffee for their customers.

Oso Negro is an establishment firmly rooted in the local community. They have been longtime supporters of EcoSociety, actively helping us serve our community better. These values are of great importance to the operations of Oso Negro.

Our values have remained consistent over the last 25 years. Treating our suppliers, our customers and our co-workers as fairly and honestly as we can,” the Oso Negro team tells us while talking about their operational values. “I hope that our track record speaks for itself.”

Over the years, Oso Negro has brought its local community to the forefront. Their flagship cafe serves as a canvas for the creative minds of the town. In fact, it boasts the contributions of dozens of local artists – a hub for community gathering where local surroundings are appreciated and Nelson’s creative soul is satiated. 

Their motivation for supporting EcoSociety is cut from the same cloth. “We support the Eco-Society because they are the ‘unsung heroes’ in this region.” The team found alignment in the operational values. “I am noticing that this is evolving as our community catches up with many of the initiatives highlighted by the EcoSociety.” 

While serving the people and providing a platform for the local community, Oso Negro is also concerned about its natural environment. Talking about the inevitability of carbon emissions from coffee roasters, the team says, “Every coffee roaster has to come to terms with the same consequences of their profession. We are emitting smoke into the atmosphere for a portion of every roast.” 

Speaking of tackling the situation to offset the harm of the emissions, the team says, “In our situation we have chosen to employ an oxidizer into the production sequence that eliminates the smoke, however we still emit heat.” It is heartening to realize that Oso Negro understands the importance of clean water and fresh air for the beautiful, vibrant community that inhabits the region. 

Riding the wave of this pandemic responsibly, Oso Negro has managed to open back up. Thus, Oso Negro has once again opened its arms to welcome Nelsonites and promote responsible community building. This is especially encouraging because human beings have been unnaturally disconnected from a social life at a time the world has been mandatorily shutoff.  

Additionally, they’re also open to helping other businesses in the food and drink sector locally, especially in such difficult times. “I can’t speak for other businesses. [But] We can support all local businesses by interacting with them as it seems appropriate and try to ensure that they are able to weather this storm.”

It is clear to see how this place is not just a cafe but an establishment rooted deep in its community. In the summer, it provides a serene setting to socialize and take a sip of your coffee as you stroll around the garden. In the winters, you can just take a shot of caffeine before taking off for the mountains. 

Oso Negro is a place where you will find connection with Nelson and its voice. So head over to enjoy its cosy environment over a fine cup of coffee, and let the Oso Negro experience of community, art and sustainability nourish your soul.