Teaja Cafe ‘abandoned’ in Westbrook library

Calgary Public Library wants to take over the space to increase children's area

Teaja Organic Tea House closed its location at the Nicholls Family Library in Westbrook due to "financial difficulties," according to the library's CEO.

The Nicholls Family Library in the Westbrook CTrain station may have lost its café, but the library is hoping to expand into that space.

The Teaja Organic Tea House, which was located on the ground floor of the library closed on June 15.

LiveWire reached out to Teaja’s head offices in Vancouver but did not receive a response.

According to the library board minutes from the June 27 meeting, the retailer “abandoned” the operation.

“We were aware of their financial difficulties at this location and on Friday, June 15 they closed their location permanently,” read the CEO’s report to the library board.

Sarah Meilleur, director of service delivery with the Calgary Public Library, said the library is interested in taking over the space if it can work out a deal with Calgary Transit as it owns the space and leases it to vendors.

“We do see a need in that community for larger library space,” said Meilleur. “We have more children and families coming than originally anticipated.”

That increase includes about 30 per cent higher participation in children’s and family programming, when compared with the former Shaganappi location.

She said they’ve seen as many as 75 children show up for drop-in story time, and there’s greater demand for the meeting rooms.

“It’s a busy library with lots of people using the space studying, and doing research, so we want to support those activities.”

The now-closed café is on the same floor as the children’s section of the library. Taking over that space would add about 50 per cent more space for books and activities.

The library is part of a Transit Oriented Development philosophy that the city is practicing around its transit stations. Meilleur said the Nicholls Family Library seems to be in a more convenient location for local users.

“It’s really convenient for people on the LRT line,” she said. “People can get off the train, pick up their holds, and continue on their way. We do see people who use it that way.”

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