When Bergen and his partners first started discussing the concept of the City Café Bakery, Bergen was more interested in how things would be done at the business, as opposed to exactly what would be made. For that reason, things are run a little differently at the bakery. Case in point: City Café doesn't have Interac or accept credit cards. Neither will you see a cash register in the bakery. Instead, customers add up how much they owe themselves and drop their money into a fare box from an old bus.
"I liked the idea of simplifying things and ... the honour system made a whole lot of sense," Bergen says. "What irritated me about going into Tim Hortons, for example, was waiting in line for something as simple as getting a donut and a coffee. So the thought was, someone can pour his own coffee, grab his own bagel, cut it himself, throw the money in, and walk out. We don't touch 60 per cent of the transaction."