Fools + Horses Coffee at The Forks


When it became clear Fools + Horses could house a second location within The Forks Market, the co-owners didn’t want to live up to the first part of their coffee shop’s name.

“We were hoping to perhaps one day expand with a second location, but we wanted to grow carefully,” explains James Magnus-Johnston, co-owner of Fools + Horses. “When it became clear that The Forks was interested, we charged ahead.”

Marrying the independent coffee shop business with the thriving local destination was easy, based on many shared fundamental values between the two.

The Forks aims to foster a welcoming space for all, and do its part in preserving the historical landmark, with a “Target Zero” ecological mandate.

Fools + Horses has been running with the parallel mantra since it first opened shop on Broadway in 2015, even using bike couriers and serving low-carbon wine at its first location to minimize its footprint.

Similar to Broadway, Fools at The Forks serves espresso drinks made on a modbar, a clever machine with an enhanced aesthetic that displays only taps to the consumer, allowing the baristas and customers to have clean eye lines between them – easing communication and a welcoming atmosphere.

What distinguishes The Forks location from its predecessor (other than the kiosk setup) is a slightly pared down food menu. “The Market already has so many great food options, so we didn’t want to guess how we might fit ourselves into the mix,” explains Magnus-Johnston. “Plus, we recognized that this location might have a fairly consistent demand for coffee.”

Instead of pulling time away from its steady spro demand, Fools + Horses determined to continue providing specialty pastries from established vendors like Bronuts and Pennyloaf Bakery, and offering Manitoba-sourced yogurt parfaits at The Forks, slimming out its menu by cutting the seasonal sandwiches and charcuterie. To replace them, Fools has gotten fancier with pour-over modules, and serves kombucha on tap as well as Green Carrot Juice.

“We’ve had a really great turnout so far… and we appreciate the effort that The Forks has made in bringing a new group of folks down to experience one of our great public spaces,” says Magnus-Johnston.

And while The Common already has the beer and wine thing covered at The Forks, “we might experiment with different cocktail options if there is any late-night demand.

“In the meantime, you’ll be catching a number of our Forks employees hitting up the Common after we close our kiosk!”

Fools + Horses at The Forks is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.