We discovered this cozy little shop within our first hour in Annapolis Royal, but like many of the shops here, it was closed upon our 6pm arrival. We peeked inside, saw the rows of books and the display of chocolates and made plans to return first thing the next day.
Great Expectations is a mixed shop. They serve a large assortment of coffee (both drip and specialty), chocolates and baked goods. In addition to food, the store doubles (or quadruples) as an antique shop, second hand book store, and jewelry store.
We initially visited to get a book for me (Drew said Annapolis Royal is the kind of place that requires a good book to read by the water), but we quickly dove into the coffee menu, settling on an Iced chocolate hazelnut Freddo. Their coffee is specially roasted by Java Blend.
The owner took time to tell us a bit about Annapolis Royal. I didn’t know, for instance, that this is the oldest European community in North America. This fact, along with the many other inviting aspects of Annapolis Royal, raises the question as to why there aren’t even more tourists in this lovely little town. Great Expectations is in the historic Pickels & Mills Building at 165 St. George Street, and while it’s not as old as the original settlement, the building does date back to 1887.
We liked it enough to return for a second round on Sunday. Lucky for us, we were in town during ‘Paint the Town’, otherwise we would have had to get our caffeine fix elsewhere – Great Expectations is normally closed on Sundays but the owner keeps it open for holidays and special event weekends.
The sandwich board outside says, “Browsers Welcome.” But be warned, you may come in to browse for a book or a piece of artisan jewelry, but you’re going to end up staying for the coffee and chocolate.
Great Expectations Cafe
165 St. George Street
Annapolis Royal, NS
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