The village of Acnh New Village in the province of New Brunswick, New Brunswick is growing up.
The community, located near the Canadian border, is part of the National Village Association (NVA), a group of roughly 1,000 villages in Canada that are creating their own communities through the National Capital Area Council.
According to the NVA, over the past decade, the association has built more than 30 new communities, nearly all in rural communities.
This past week, the NCA celebrated its 25th anniversary.
“When we were building our community, we were hoping to be able to grow, but we didn’t realize that our communities were so small,” said Nadine Pfeifer, one of the NVC’s founding members.
She’s also one of three women who founded the village cafe in 2005, a café where people can sit and chat with one another while enjoying their own coffee.
The cafe has since become one of two community cafes in the capital of New Britain, which sits about 30 kilometres west of the Canadian-Nova Scotia border.
Nancy Bostwick, a community organizer with the NWA, said the community cafe has helped bring people together.
“We were just so glad that people came and were able to go in the morning, eat, come back later and be part of this community,” she said.
“This has helped us become a community.”
A local native, Nadine has been involved in the community since the mid-1990s, when she moved to Canada from Denmark to work at the local supermarket.
“I was a child at the time.
It was kind of a shock to me that I would have to work here and have to support myself,” she explained.
Today, she has helped run the community coffeehouse for three years, serving local produce and coffee.
While the cafe has been open for business for three decades, it has struggled financially.
“It’s kind of been on a steady diet,” she recalled.
“But it has been good for me.
It’s helped me stay focused, because when you’re working 24/7, you need to eat.”
Nancy said the cafe is an extension of the community that she’s always had.
“They have to do something for their community, but it’s something that I’m doing for the community as well.”
The community is also trying to get a foothold in the larger community.
“That’s why we’re trying to have an outlet to get people together, and to make sure we’re not going to have to rely on the [provincial] government,” she added.
The NVA’s new cafe has grown into a thriving business, with members contributing food to the cafe, helping with decorating and helping run it.
“The cafe is like the nucleus of the village.
There’s a lot of different things that go into it,” said PfeIF.
The new cafe also serves a unique service: people can rent out their rooms for a fee.
“If you have a room for $20, it’s a pretty good deal, and it’s open 24 hours a day,” said Bostwicks.
“There’s no rent.
There is no food.
It doesn’t matter what your rent is.
There are no bills.
You can stay at the cafe and you can have a coffee or a meal.”