Field Trip: Detour Roasters Cafe

It wasn’t hard for us to become instant fans of Detour Coffee when we first noticed their sandwich board a few summers ago. It took us up an alley to the back of a building in downtown Dundas, Ontario. Kaelin McCowan’s hidden coffee roasting operation was something decidedly cool in the almost too quaint town, and it was inspiring to meet someone not only discovering their passion, but acting upon it. We followed up with a Field Trip back in August.

Since then, Kaelin and his wife Crystal have opened Detour Roasters Cafe in the front of the building. It’s the perfect collision of Kaelin’s coffee zeal and Crystal’s culinary inclinations. We were lucky enough to go to their official launch on Saturday and sample a lot of what the new cafe has to offer.

Kaelin and Crystal.

Drawing on her New Zealand heritage, where there are few formalities when it comes to entertaining, Crystal ultimately wants people to be relaxed. She envisions a space where you hold a business meeting one day, and bring the kids the next.

Smoked tomato & sweet pepper soup and beef and barley with wild mushroom soup.  Their pastrami is smoked in-house.

They make what they can in-house and source the rest as local as possible. Their meat, smoked on the premises, comes from Hundred Mile Market, and their bread is sourced from De La Terre Bakery in Niagara. Crystal spent time this past summer preserving. She made jams, pickles, and ketchup and they make all of their own mayo and dressings. Tim, one of the chefs, has a pretty strong philosophy of whole animal consumption, which he’ll get to exercise often once he starts bringing in whole pigs from his parents’ farm.

Yogurt & berries topped with homemade granola and their fresh muffins and scones.

They keep the menu simple, so they can focus on quality. We tasted delicious soups, sandwiches, cookies, and brownies, and the homemade granola is something we would be tempted to have every morning if we were just a bit closer.

Right now they are open 8 to 6, Monday to Friday, and 8 to 5 on Saturdays. Sundays are in the works and they might even be open 7 days starting next week.

If you ever find yourself in the Hamilton area, make the trip to the beautiful village of Dundas. It’s nestled in a unique little nook in the Niagara Escarpment that feels miles away from where it really is. And then just relax with one of the best coffees and sandwiches you’ll have in a while.

Detour Roasters Cafe
41 King St. West
Dundas, Ontario


  • Oh my, this looks amazing. I used to go to Dundas every week for art classes, but since it is closed for the winter I haven't had much of an excuse to head out there. I suppose I have a real excuse to make the trek now :)

    Also, since you mentioned that one of the chefs has an interest in whole animal consumption, have you read about Fergus Henderson's nose-to-tail philosophy? It is fascinating.


  • Oh gorgeous photos! We went to the launch on Saturday as well, and absolutely loved it. Kaelin and Crystal are the kindest, most wonderful people and the space is stunning. We're so excited to shoot there this week.

    Looking forward to your next beautiful post!

  • YUM! I love that they have their own preserves – that really seals the deal for me. I'll have to put it on the list for the next time we come 'home'.

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