About us

Transform Community Cafe is a living laboratory for creative expression.

We serve ethically sourced, delicious food, with high nutritional and vibrational value. We seek to emotionally support all who visit us by offering creative tools in an inviting space for authentic self-expression. TCC is a space where you can expand, create, be seen, and transform - offering food, drinks, and experiences that nourish the mind, body, and soul.

Beyond traditional cafes, we offer a plethora of free programming including music, visual arts, creative writing, restorative exercise & mentorship programming - offered as tools in cultivating emotional resilience through creation. Jam nights, Open mics, gallery showings, and other special events at TCC provide a platform for youth to feel supported, seen and heard.

The Story

Transform Community Café (TCC) was birthed by an idea our Creative Director, Pippa Elolia and Board Member, Tim Gilbert had in response to the rise of anxiety and depression among youth: A café experience that would double as a creative space. They teamed up with Transform Community Group, which has a mission of supporting communities by developing and implementing creative solutions.

With growing pressures on youth to confine to societal standards - increasing rates of anxiety and depression - we felt the need, now more than ever, to cultivate a supportive space. Through community support, this mission has come into fruition, fully aligned with compassion, love, and truth.

Transparency

All members of the TCC team, including staff, experts, and volunteers will be required to undergo three formal training workshops: Mental Health First Aid training, Understanding and Managing Aggressive Behaviour, and Basic Suicide Training to ensure a fundamental understanding of the mental health spectrum. In addressing trigger words and concepts, at least one social worker will be present for all open discussions on vulnerable topics to ensure safe spaces. A list of references will also be easily accessible to any member of the community seeking clinical or more specialized support.

Support

Transform Community Group is a platform for changing lives and building stronger communities. By fostering a collaborative approach, Transform allows people to engage and learn from diverse industries through a supportive network based on private, entrepreneurial and volunteer based partnerships.

Transform's purpose is to contribute innovative solutions to communities, while being a leader in social conscious initiatives that positively impact youth and society.

United Churches of Canada The United Church of Canada (UCC) is in a position because of its legacy of social justice and its theological foundations, to be a church home for those who are ‘un-churched’ or suspicious of organized religion. As it seeks to grow and find new ways of the mission to a new generation, Transform Community Cafe extends opportunities for those seeking a deeper connection to community and meaning in life.

Transform Community Cafe is a UCC funded project.

Café Operations

Farah Azad

As General Manager, Farah Azad brings with her over 20 years of experience in owning and operating various restaurant businesses, including a Country Style coffee shop as well as a specialty cafe. Farah has a passion for serving and being a contribution to the community.

Creative Programming

Pippa Elolia

Pippa is a practicing artist with a primary focus on creative writing and 3D-design. Pippa has experience working with youth at Glebe UC, and has led service trips to Kenya, where she taught English in primary schools. She serves as TCC’s Creative Director.

Board of Advisors

Tim Gilbert

Tim Gilbert, founder and Managing Partner of Gilbert’s LLP, a law firm in Toronto focused on intellectual property asset creation and protection.

Tanya Mackie

Tanya Mackie, an engineer and founder of TM-PM Inc., a project management consulting firm, with 13 years of experience in the construction industry.

Elie Shermer

Elie Shermer, founder of Elements Toronto, an events company that hosts large scale events for Carnival weekend and private events for professional athletes and entertainers in Toronto. Elie is a major force at Beach Blast, an indoor volleyball facility in Toronto and with Unity Volleyball, one of Canada’s fastest growing not-for-profit volleyball league.

Brian Pierre

Brian Pierre, founder of Thoughts & Dreams Inc., a multidimensional marketing firm providing creative solutions in the branding, design and strategy categories. He is also a co-founder of Cloth Werkz, specializing in apparel production, printing and design.

Cynthia O’Connell

Cynthia O’Connell, dynamic Minister and leader of youth programs at Glebe Road United Church.