The historic Porter’s Coffee & Tea House located on the northeast side of the five corners roundabout offers much more than its name suggests. This little Murrayville treasure at the crossroads of 216th St and 48th Ave boasts an array of freshly made sandwiches, cookies, drinks, soups, salads, and lasagnes, not to mention their vast selection of candies, conjuring up feelings of yore when little kids saved up their allowances for one cent candies instead of iPods.
The history of Porter’s speaks volumes, especially for those in the area who can still remember the effect it had on members of the community during the Great Depression. P.Y. Porter bought the place in 1916 and opened it up as a general store. After World War II, it was taken over by his son Eldy, and at the end of the twentieth century, Eldy’s daughter Karen took over the store and turned it into a coffee and tea house. The feeling of generations that have owned, operated, and experienced Porter’s is still present in the original fixtures, floors, and cabinetry, as well as the numerous knickknacks that line the shelves. Though its name suggests just another independent coffee shop, it offers flavour and atmosphere inside and out.
They have a sandwich menu of freshly made creations served on a variety of breads. There are eight different sandwich options ranging in price from $7.45 for a Pastrami and Swiss to $8.85 for a Breakfast Sandwich. If in the area with little time to spare, they also offer the option to call ahead with your order for a speedy pick-up. Not only are sandwiches offered in plenty, but freshly baked scones and muffins for under two dollars, as well as pies, cakes, and squares to tempt even the most rigid dieters. For breakfast, there are a handful of options bearing the names of Porter’s generational clan from the P.Y. Porter to Karen’s No Carb all for under ten dollars.
As a prominent community coffee shop, Porter’s supports local musicians every other Saturday. Though I was interested in hearing just what they had to offer in the way of music and foodie atmosphere, I had to settle for take-out because of their recently adjusted schedule. Monday to Friday they are open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Saturday I visited they were open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but every other Saturday they are open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays they are ready to offer a weekend snack from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For a take-out dinner, I had the chance to feast on their delicious spinach lasagne that, though lacking in presentation, was abundant in homemade flavour. For dessert I couldn’t resist picking up one of their advertised “gooey cinnamon buns” that did not disappoint. For the two, my bill only came to eleven dollars, which is more than a bargain for dinner and dessert.
The atmosphere itself is very quaint, and much improved over the last few years with several renovations. The owners and employees are more than amiable in offering their services, from a space to rent out for events to freshly baked bread every day. The hours need some help, but the community feeling is ever present.