Cycling News

Jet Fuel Coffee turns 32

Jet Fuel Coffee turns 32

It’s April 1, which means, no fooling, it’s Jet Fuel Coffee’s birthday. Founded by former bike courier, and pastry chef John “Johnny Jet Fuel” Englar, the coffee shop has become one off the most well-known cafes in Toronto.

The coffee shop has long been a meeting place for local cyclists before or after a ride. On any given day, you’ll see both racers and couriers often converge in Cabbagetown, as well as people who just like good coffee.

The shop has been an important fixture in both local and Canadian racing as well. If you hung around the shop in the ’90s you’d recall the absolutely wild annual indoor race ridden by daring cyclists and couriers, known as the Alleycat Scramble.

The Moneyball of Canadian Cycling

Then, the shop would go on to sponsor Canada’s first UCI continental team, going pro in 1999. The team would race all over the world for over a decade. Some of its alumni included national champion Andrew Randell, national champion Ryan Roth, Olympian Zach Bell, pro sprinter Andrew Pinfold, and Canadian hour record holder Ed Veal.

Although they no longer sponsor a bike team, it’s not uncommon to see local cyclists still flying the flag on group rides, wearing the old team kit they either bought to support the team, or were gifted by a former rider. You can even buy vintage Jet Fuel wool jerseys at the shop.

Inside the shop, you’ll find regularly-changing exhibitions of local artists and photographers. You’ll also see some remnants of the pro team, including the national champion jersey adorned by Randell, who rode for the team when he won the race in 2002.

Although they haven’t had a party in a few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the shop would transform from a daytime hangout to a full-on rager a few times a year. Their annual parties on April 1 were the stuff of legends, with the venue becoming elbow-to-elbow, standing room only.

April 1, 2024 marks not only the 30th anniversary of Jet Fuel. It was two years ago that after having been closed for two years due to the pandemic, patrons could sit inside again. So if you’re from Toronto and nearby, be sure to stop by and raise a cuppa joe, for Jet Fuel.

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…