2011 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award – Chaleur Region
“Good Food, Great Environment and a Reasonable Price Describe the Coffee Stain”
Olga Chouinard grew up in an entrepreneurial family in Saint-Quentin, and although she had much experience working in her family’s restaurant, she did not see herself becoming an entrepreneur. When she moved to Bathurst in the late 90s she worked as a kitchen manager. She thought, “If I am going to work hard all of my life, I may as well work for myself.” When a co-worker at the time, mentioned that the owner of the Coffee Stain was looking to sell, Olga knew it was just the place for her.
In 2002, Olga opened the doors of the Coffee Stain. Lorne Daigle, quickly joined her team and they have been a dynamic duo ever since. The Coffee Stain has a friendly, open concept where friends sit at the counter for a home-cooked meal. It’s an old-style diner where the décor on the wall is representative of Bathurst and the owners know its history. When asked to describe the Coffee Stain in three words, Olga mentions, “Good food, great environment and reasonably priced.”
The Coffee Stain is truly a unique environment. Olga has an impeccable memory and customers are always impressed that she remembers their favorite foods. Many regulars also come for the entertainment that Lorne provides. According to Olga, “What started off as clients, after nine years turned out to be friends. Our customers are just like our family!”
In addition to cooking delicious home-cooked meals, the Coffee Stain also offers catering for a variety of events and functions such as weddings, anniversaries, funerals and family reunions.
The best advice Olga has ever received was, “Be content with little and then you will be happy.” If she could give advice to aspiring entrepreneurs or women in business, “Be prepared to work hard. Being your own boss is demanding!” She also adds, “If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.”
The Coffee Stain believes in giving back. They support the local food banks, SPCA, Rotary Club as well as gift certificates to various organizations and causes. They also help those in need and some examples include: mowing client’s lawns and picking up or dropping off food to seniors and those who have mobility problems.
In her spare time, Olga enjoys walking in the woods with her partner Lorne and her dogs, Maggie, Jo-Jo, Frisko, Hatchi and Molly.