Welcome to Atelier Forma and Café Chaga: A unique Café and Pottery Studio experience
A café is not just a place for people to walk in and buy coffee. It is a gathering place, a gateway and fertile ground for the creation of rituals of encounter. A café becomes a destination, a living space, an opportunity to weave pause, sharing and community into the daily rhythm of life in the city. In dialogue with its Montreal pottery studio counterpart, Atelier Forma, Chaga is a café designed as an immersive, sensory experience. Complementing daily pottery workshops and ceramics classes, which offer intentional space for embodied exploration and hands-on creation, the café calls forward the tactile, olfactory pleasures of interacting with natural materials and pausing to savor the moment.
How it all started
Biophilia, a term proposed by naturalist Dr. Edward O. Wilson, suggests an innate human attraction towards life and lifelike processes – an inborn capacity for connection and affinity with nature. Atelier Forma + Café Chaga co-founder Nico Mory has always been fascinated by systems and systems thinking. After starting studies after CEGEP to become an engineer, Nico quickly realized that an analytical, mechanistic approach to ‘how things work’ did not touch, speak to, or ignite the breadth of his fascination for a living world. Following the strength of his instinct and informed by insight gathered from immediate interaction with his environment, Nico switched focus to study resource management in environmental sciences, forestry and agriculture at McGill. Working as a consultant in arbor culture and horticulture under the umbrella of green infrastructure, Nico started out in the field creating connections between plants, biology and the public sector.
Meeting partner Bojana Kolarevic in 2012, a shared affinity for the natural world was an immediate unifying thread and driving force between them. A formative two-year bike trip at the beginning of their relationship, which spanned from British Columbia to Panama, offered Bojana and Nico the opportunity to explore applied permaculture, biomorphic architecture and superadobe homes. Living close and in relationship to local flora and fauna (and literally la terre) has continued to shape how they live and work. In 2018, Bojana formally founded Atelier Forma and started offering beginner pottery classes working with clay. Nico, questioning his role as administrator vs facilitator within the scope of arbor culture and green infrastructure, pursued training with the Association of Nature and Forest Guides in 2020. Transitioning his work towards the creation of forest encounters, the focus for Nico became one of creating bridges between worlds.
What to expect from the Menu?
Inspired by their shared biophilia and with a mutual interest in embodied knowledge and community exchange, Chaga is a collaborative imagining between Bojana and Nico and envisioned as one such bridge. Framed by a warm palette, a green wall with cascading foliage, organic accents and offering a menu of local-inspired flavors, Chaga offers the opportunity for sensory encounters with plants. With a current focus on their drink menu, inspiration for offerings and flavors has been drawn directly from Bojana and Nico’s garden. Chaga’s signature choco mint matcha was born of a wild patch of mint-cultivar found in their garden. The fermentation of raspberry and blackberry leaves for teas highlights their sweetness and packs a high dose of antioxidant support. Café namesake Chaga, a medicinal mushroom found on birch trees local to the region, has been roasted and brewed to create a concentrate and is made accessible through the vocabulary of café culture
as a latte or shot.
Stay tuned !
Creating space bridging nature and art, Chaga is envisioned as a meeting place where additional workshops, offerings and encounters can take place. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay tuned for future happenings at Atelier Forma + Café Chaga or drop in Tuesday to Sunday, 10am – 7pm at 4561 St Laurent Blvd.