Our History

Around 1993, Heidi, designer, baker and soul of Rumbletum Café & Gifts, honed her unstoppable entrepreneurial spirit. She began with folk art painting on little boxes and other household items as gifts to our family and friends. This lead to small craft shows around the Kitchener/Waterloo area. As often happens with art, Heidi’s style evolved and became more focused on a line of hand painted children’s clothing. This lead to larger, further away craft & gift shows, and early morning market booths.

In 1998, we purchased a house in small town Heidelberg. The house featured a small, enclosed front porch that Heidi immediately saw as potential retail space. As per her vision, The Crafter’s Closet was born. It was larger than a closet, but not by much. Heidi’s hand-painted clothing pieces were featured on their own display, we added some new painted additions here and there, and supplemented our inventory with some wholesale items for resale as well.

After two years in our Heidelberg shop, we had the rather unexpected opportunity to buy Heidi’s childhood farm. As a self proclaimed city boy, I was hesitant to begin country living, you know, with septic systems and all that strange stuff. However, the smell of fresh cut hay, the hazy fields on a hot summer evening, and bonfires in our own backyard have changed my way of thinking a bit. Let’s just say, I’m more of a country boy now.

That entrepreneurial spirit of Heidi’s was still alive and well, and after a major renovation of the butcher shop located on the farm, a new retail space was born: The Crowsnest. This space was a little bit roomier than “the Closet,” and now we were beginning to sell home baked goods occasionally too!

2004. Heidi came home one day talking about a building up for rent in the town of Conestogo. It was a five minute drive from our house, and Heidi of course, was thinking of opening up a café there. Well, before I knew what was happening, we were signing a year lease. We spent the summer ripping walls down, rewiring, setting up a kitchen, learning about GST & PST, thinking up a name for our new shop, learning about coffee (heck, I don’t even drink coffee – what are we doing?!), figuring out the cash register with it’s vast array of buttons, as well as trying to spend time with our kids. We survived the summer (barely) and Rumbletum Café & Gifts opened it’s doors for business on September 17th, 2004.Within the year, we had rented the upstairs portion of the building to add more retail space for various giftware. We focused mainly on coffee and homemade desserts for the first year, then expanded to lunch after numerous customer requests.

Two years flew by, and a house came up for sale just down the street from Rumbletum, in Conestogo. We took a quick, just-for-fun tour through the open house that quickly turned into deciding that it was the perfect space for RumbletumOur old building was a good start but, but we wanted our own space.

The Fall of 2006 was a chaotic one. We had moving sales, a parking lot installation at the new place, painting and renovations. We opened our doors to the new and improved Rumbletum Café & Gifts on February 1st, 2007.

This new location is the perfect place for us. It has a cozy, welcoming vibe, and we have made so many friends that have enriched our lives so much, it makes coming to work something we look forward to.

Who will we meet today? Stop by sometime and say hello.

8 Replies to “Our History”

  1. I was just passing through to pick up treats and a coffee for my family only to discover that there is more to the Rumble Tum then just coffee. I have never been able to stop before and now I think I will make your cafe a destination. I am looking forward to coming out for lunch and enjoying more Fair Trade coffee not to mention taking a look around at all your treasures. Good luck with the wedding on the 16th. See you soon.

    1. My girlfriend Gloria and I discovered this place quite by accident in a rainstorm. We have been back often over the last 7 years. We LOVE it. Quaint, delicious food, friendly, fun stuff upstairs. The half veggie sandwich and salad plate is my favourite. Something yummy from the oven is always on display and two boards of flavoured coffee, tea etc etc is offered. My lady friends and I love lunch here… and in the summer the outdoor setting is adorable!!!

      1. Hi Carol,

        A little late on the response here (only two years, that’s not terrible). Although we’re late on this, we wanted to let you know that we appreciate you taking the time out of your day(s) to not only keep coming back to support Rumbletum Café & Gifts, but then also to send us such a wonderfully kind message. People like yourself are the heart of Rumbletum, and precisely why we love what we do.

        We apologize for the delay on this message. We do get very busy with attending to the shop, and life in general, that sometimes our online community slips our mind. However, we’re taking some great steps to expand our team, and make sure that we can get to thoughtful messages like this one in a more timely fashion.

        We really appreciate your message, and continued support for Rumbletum! We look forward to seeing you, Gloria, and the rest of your friends at the shop/café soon!

    2. Hi Christina,

      Even though this message was sent way back in 2011, we thought ‘hey, it’s never too late to say thank you.’ So, thank you for your kind words and interest in Rumbletum Café & Gifts. Rumbletum is definitely more than what meets the eye, and we’re glad you could take the time to explore and see that for yourself!

      We apologize for the extreme delay on this response. We get so busy and pre-occupied with the shop, and being as present as possible that sometimes, we’ll forget about the online love and support that we receive from awesome people like yourself. We’ve taken some exciting steps to expand our team, so that we can find a balance between attending to the shop and café and also being present on our website, and social media platforms!

      Thanks again for your kind words of support. We hope to see you at Rumbletum very soon!

  2. I’ve been trying desperately to mimic your delicious toasted tuna panini with cheese. I just can’t get it right!! I’m sure that it has some pickle in it….but nothing I do can ever make it taste as good as yours!

    I’ll have to keep coming back!

    1. Hi Robert,

      It’s been five years, have you mastered the ‘Melt’ yet? Maybe we shouldn’t say it, but we hope not, because that would mean we wouldn’t get to see your face around Rumbletum as much!

      We’d like to take the time to apologize for our lateness on this response. We get so busy perfecting our sandwiches, among other shop & café stuff, that sometimes we forget about our online supporters! We’ve taken some exciting steps to make sure that we match our online presence to our in-house presence.(Literally, because Rumbletum is in a house. Knee-slapper alert!)

      We hope you stop by for another Melt soon! Thanks for your awesome message, and continued support!

  3. Hey, I would like to contact this store, is there any contact info I should use? Can I get the stores email maybe? Thanks.

    1. Hi Sarah,

      We’re hoping that you haven’t been waiting three years for contact info. If you have, we’re so sorry! In any case, we’ve been so busy making sure that we put all of our energy into making sure that Rumbletum Café & Gifts runs well for our customers that we sometimes forget to check back with our online community. We are taking steps to make sure that our online presence lives up to our café & shop presence. We’ve taken some steps to expand our team, so that we can find that perfect balance. We’ll be updating our website and social media platforms more consistently and we even got a Rumbletum e-mail now. Big steps. You can now find all of our up to date contact information on our ‘Contact Us’ page!

      Thank you for your interest in Rumbletum and for your continued support!

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