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Growing Communities, Supporting Artists

Although providing great coffee in a cool setting is something Artigiano does exceptionally well, its mission is broader—revitalizing neighbourhoods and supporting local artists.

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in Starbucks announcing closures of 300 locations across Canada, several of which were in the Vancouver and Lower Mainland area.

Dean Shillington, president of Knightsbridge Capital Group and Artigiano owner, sought opportunity in some of these shuttered store fronts, developing the brand’s enterprising expansion and franchising program to convert these locations into Artigiano cafés.

Credit: Artigiano

“It was a welcome chance for Artigiano to refresh our brand as well as expand,” says Shillington. “Not only does moving into these abandoned locations make good business sense, it also strengthens local communities by keeping those spaces open and keeping people employed.”

Another opportunity has been Artigiano’s collaboration with Vancouver Mural Festival, which supports the local arts community, as these and subsequent locations will feature interior and exterior murals and mural-themed merchandise by local artists.

The new Whistler location is locally owned by community partner Angela Lovegrove, who, prior to becoming a franchisee, worked with Artigiano as a manager for several years. The location houses 10 interior seats and 20 heated patio seats, and proudly features Keep it Wild, an interior wall and ceiling mural created by award-winning Squamish-based graphic artist, Alex James Fowkes.

Credit: Artigiano

At Mount Pleasant, a candy-coloured and deceptively cheerful work, entitled What Comes Around Goes… and Puts a Smile on Your Face, wraps around the interior of the location and continues onto the exterior wall facing Manitoba Street. It is by Vancouver-based multidisciplinary street artist and muralist Peter Ricq.

Visitors to both locations can look forward to the menu favourites available at all 19 Western Canada locations, 16 of which are in BC.

Love hospitality and interested in joining Artigiano’s enterprising franchising program? Visit the brand online to learn more.

Whistler: 4340 Lorimer Road, Whistler Village near the Olympic Plaza 
Mount Pleasant: 111 Broadway @ Manitoba

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Credit: Artigiano