Florence Desrochers is the new owner of Mugshots Cafe. Scott Tibballs/ The Free Press

Mugshots Cafe is revived via new ownership

The cafe was purchased from its previous owner on August 1

Fernie’s famous Mugshots Cafe will be reopening its doors under new ownership.

After serving locally acclaimed breakfasts for 12 years, Mugshots officially closed on May 19, in the midst of pandemic uncertainty.

Following seemingly endless meetings and emails, previous owner Shauntelle Nelson handed her keys over to the new owner, Florence Desrochers, on August 1.

The young entrepreneur jumped at the opportunity to bring back to life a staple of her early mornings, fulfilling her longtime dream of owning a coffee shop.

Originally from Quebec but calling Fernie home for the last year, Desrochers brings years of experience in the restaurant and cafe industry to her new role, having worked as a restaurant manager, server and cook.

According to Desrochers, both her and Nelson share similar sentiments as to what they felt Mugshots should be.

“It’s really important to me to keep it a place for local, a place for family where everyone feels welcome,” said Desrochers. “I want to keep it a simple place where you can go every day – it doesn’t need to be special, but rather the place to go to get coffee or chat with a friend.”

A breakfast lover and bubbly morning person, she looks forward to spreading joy to new customers and long time regulars as they start their days.

“It’s the little businesses that are affordable, accessible, and make everyone feel welcome that make a community what it is,” she said.

“You need places where different people can meet and chat, and that’s where coffee shops have their place.”

Though Desrochers is maintaining the mission of Mugshots, she says customers will be surprised by renovations.

In terms of food, while customer favourites will still remain available, the menu will be spiced up with Desrocher’s personal flare.

Striving to hold on to aspects that add to community connection, Desrochers will also be keeping the community library and children’s play area as she continues building the new face of Mugshots.

Though the entrepreneur acknowledges the struggles associated with purchasing a business in the midst of a pandemic, she remains optimistic about community support, looking towards flexible solutions such as temporarily limited menus and reduced hours.

Despite ample renovations still in progress, Desrochers hope to be bringing locals together over brewed beans and delicious breakfasts by September 3.

Always happy to meet new people, she encourages anyone with questions about Mugshots to stop by the shop and strike up conversation.


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Shauntelle Nelson and Florence Desrochers make the hand over official. (Photo Submitted)

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