If you’ve been in, enjoying a lovely cup of coffee & have been caught of guard by joyful giggles coming seemingly from behind closed doors - you’ve already met him. Born in Cheltenham, (Google tells us that’s somewhere in the Orangeville area), he answered Guelph’s call & attended U of G for public policy & criminal justice. He claims to have had other jobs but we don’t believe him - we like to think he was born in a kitchen. He enjoys long walks on the beach, bonding with his cats & taking Saturday’s off to play soccer. Some of us aren’t always thrilled about the latter. He may be the be the most laid-back, kindest, and overall most joyful member of our team. But don’t let that fool you - he could be the one ticketing you for some sort of public policy violation someday. Ladies and Gentlemen, Andrew Paton
If you stand taller than 5’ 2”, chances are you’ve seen the top of her head. Our resident flower child, she holds the coveted title of ‘Best Laugh in the Whole Cafe.” Born in Etobicoke but raised in Guelph, her very first memory is of feeding an elephant a handful of peanuts. We think that’s exceptionally brave of a 3 year old. Although she would be the last to bring it up, we have no problem exposing her true talent of seamstress and fashion designer extraordinaire. She studied Fashion Design at Fanshaw College and at one point could be found hanging out around that giant thimble and measuring tape in the fashion district of Toronto. Her hidden talents include managing to still look exceptionally cute in an air cast. With a personality that exceeds her stature by at least 5 feet, we give you: Breanne Gatien
Tall, curly, and always ready for a good time, he was born in Oshawa, but arrived in Guelph while he was still in diapers. The son of a volleyball hall-of-famer, he went that route for awhile, but before long stumbled upon the world of music, and was smitten. Learning several different instruments at a young age, he went on to play in different bands, and landed in the popular Guelph-based band, Lifestory Monologue. Entering the culinary world as a dishwasher, he sort of tripped and fell into the role of a cook, and in that fall has since found his calling. He can now be found in the kitchen, singing and drumming on various kitchen utensils. Oh, and cooking. He is our newest adoption to the family, but already feels like the older brother. His musical prowess may only be outdone by his skill in the kitchen, which bodes well for the fact that he is now fully responsible for your food. If you ask, he will gladly teach you how to properly hold a knife. Ladies and Gentlemen: Zac ten West
Yes, she is related to Frank, John, Peter, Paul, Jim, and literally every single other person with the same last name as her. Born in Guelph, she dreamed only of living in far off lands. At the age of 5 she packed a handkerchief with mints, one juice box, a pair of underwear, and a single sock. She tied that handkerchief to a stick and headed out into the wild, to the far off lands that had been calling her name. Several years later her dreams came true when she moved to Vancouver to attend Film School, in hopes of becoming a widely loved film director. After graduation she entered the world of entertainment as a professional editor, churning out commercials and embarrassing reality TV shows. Some dramatic twists and turns, and perhaps a little bit of fate, brought her to The Joint, and just like that 5 year old, she has once again ventured into the unknown. You may find her fiddling with the lights, or the framing of the security cameras. because she now likes to think of herself as the director of The Joint. Ladies and Gentlemen: Britt Valeriote
He doesn’t pronounce his name the way it’s spelled, and it drives us crazy. He says it’s because he’s French Canadian but we’re not buying it and he shouldn’t be selling it. Honestly, we do our best to keep him in the kitchen, but you’ve likely seen him slinking around the cafe. He was born in Banff, Alberta, but didn’t last long in the rockies. He moved to Toronto solo at the tender age of 2. Just kidding - we’re assuming there were some French Canadians with him. At some point he accomplished things like schooling, wining and dining, and fathering the worlds most adorable little girl. So adorable in fact, that even he questions her paternity. We’re not really sure if he’s a cook, or a server, or both. He’s recently taken to wearing sporty pants. Whatever, we’ll keep him. Ladies and Gentlemen: Noel Morrison
Her name is spelled so ambiguously that even she pronounces it differently from time to time. She was born in Oakville but we think that ‘Oakville’ may actually just be the name of a delicious bakery, and she has in fact been rolling bagel dough since birth. This we do know for a fact: she graduated the George Brown baking and pastry program with honours (our taste buds believe that). She travelled to Alberta for her cousins wedding and came back to Ontario 5 years later with a baby boy named Lincoln - although that sounds like she abducted him, she actually did give birth to him. She can be most easily found with her head down, focused on her pastries at 6am. The rest of us can be found fast asleep. She’s the one you can thank for your delicious breakfast pastry, or delectable dessert. Potentially as sweet as her own goodies, Ladies and Gentlemen, she is Megin Weeks.
Big glasses. Big hair. You may recognize him walking the streets of downtown Guelph in various ripped and patched clothing, and big wool socks on the hottest day of the year. Whether you’re 8 or 80, to him, you will always be ‘dude’. With his exceptionally long arms he will retrieve your every dining need. On his days off, he loves to MapQuest routes and go on long bike rides with his girlfriend. We think she’s really pretty. He was recently unknowingly signed up for a half marathon. He does not run. He spent time at Carlton University studying Humanities. We are thinking that may be why he is filled with obscure facts. Don’t feel bad if you have to ask him to repeat himself, or to speak up - he knows he mumbles. Ladies and Gentlemen: Alexander Minnelli.
He’s a huge fan of David Suzuki, and turning off the lights when you leave a room. If there were awards for raising Guinea Hens and Pheasants, he would be the winner... Except those awards actually DO exist, and he actually IS a winner. He hails from Mount Forest - where there are literally zero mountains - but is now a Guelphite through and through. He studied ‘Eco Tourism’, but we have no idea what that really is, or where it is you can study it. His hobbies include fishing, fishing, annoying Bobbi, fishing, and giving us all his step by step process for whichever project he has gotten himself invested in. Although he owns a dog with some serious attitude, we have never seen this guy without a smile on his face and a spring in his step. Husband to Bobbi and owner to The Joint, we all find him incredibly endearing, even though he is most like the pesky little brother in this little Joint family: Shawn Neal
Her name may have you thinking that she is a middle aged man who is desperately trying to hold onto his youth, but you’d be wrong. B, Bob, Bobs, or simply Bobbi, whatever you want to call her, she is the woman behind the Joint - the cafe, that is. Honestly, we can’t keep track of all the things she’s accomplished in her young life, and when she talks about it, it makes us all feel lazy. Her past is riddled with tap dancing, traveling, restauranteuring, and at one point probably dangling from a helicopter, skydiving, or bungee jumping. You can find her at any given moment in some flowey pants and a black shirt - but if you can’t see her, just follow her voice. If you get to talking with her, she can entertain you for days. But be warned, there’s no way you’ll get out of a conversation with Bobbi without a great meal and a tasty drink with a huge garnish. We think this may be why she’s so good at what she does. Momma Joint - Bobbi Miner-Neal
Talia is so sweet, she’s a natural at filling the sugar bowls and keeping things organized at the cafe. When not working at the Joint, Talia loves to dine here. Her fav dishes include Greek Salad, Mac &Cheese & Banana Cream Pie. A student at Centennial CVI, Tal never lets school interfere with her love of travel, fitness and cooking. Talia has dog-sledded in Inuvik,, hiked in Algonquin Park and skiied in Colorado. Back in Guelph, Tal loves to stay fit at YMCA aquafit or Zumba classes. At home, you’ll find Tal Facebook chatting with friends or whipping up salads with tons of tomatoes. Amazingly, Talia usually chooses fresh, ripe tomatoes over dessert. Go figure. Ladies & Gents Ms Talia K!
At a solid ¼ Japanese, he is officially the most ethnic person working at this Joint. Born in Bellville, Ontario, he was whisked away at only a few months old to Quebec to learn about crepes and to sing holiday songs in French. He’s the ‘Malcolm in the middle’ of 3 boys, and with a dad in University Admissions, he’s spent most of his life moving around. Chicago, St. Louis, British Columbia, and Boston are all places he has called home. In 2006 he landed in Guelph to attend school for art and philosophy. He tells us he ‘decided’ he was done with school and instead decided to follow his passion for cooking. He has a serious love for biking, and enjoys seeking out weak looking bikers to overcome them with his speed and skill. He shocked us all when he told us he has 6 toes…but we have yet to find out if that’s true. With 10 years of cooking experience, we give you the newest member to our kitchen, Ryan.
She can most often be found sitting at the bar, with a book twice the size of her head, and a plate boasting an array of mismatched food (almost always consisting of a grapefruit and pork sausage). Her incredibly inquisitive mind has her constantly asking questions, mostly when you’re not even finished answering her first one. She quite possibly loves food more than anyone we have ever met, and her rate of intake has us all wondering how she remains so slight. She has a wonderfully unique perspective on the world, and keeps us all on our toes. She was born in Toronto and someday will be returning to it to become an acclaimed urban planner. If you thought she was passionate about food, just wait until you hear her talk about infrastructure. She is a big fan of playing games, discussing the monarchy, writing birthday cards, and getting us to think of things we’ve never thought of before. She is the newest member to our front of house team, and although she is still a bit of a mystery, she has quickly become our much-loved little sister. Also, she considers The Economist to be a fun, relaxing read. Ladies and Gentlemen, Kaitlyn
He will tell you his last name in a way like he expects you to be able to spell it. Everyone tries, no one can. A just-outside-of-Guelph native, we aren’t quite sure if he is too afraid to live somewhere else, or if he just really likes it here. He’s the youngest addition to our kitchen team, but he’s already well on his way to a red seal. Although, if his cooking career doesn’t work out, he’s got a bright future in voice acting. We can all admit to making him read something for us, so that we can pretend he’s narrating. He is an avid runner (a miler, not a sprinter), and bike rider, and has a knack for finding great ‘parking spots’ for his bike. When once asked what his plans were for his Friday night, he replied “I’m going to buy a lawnmower!”. We think that best describes him. Ladies and Gentlemen, Sam. (oh, and the last name is Zajdlik.