Hopper Design, LLC

Toward Healthy and Sustainable Homes

Designs - Vi's Cafe and Home

2 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms

Vi's Comfort Cafe and home is a modification of the Saltbox South Entry design. If you are interested in one of our designs, but think it needs some tweaking to better suit your needs, feel free to contact us or learn more at Services. See the testimonial for this project below.

Main house 42' x 36' (total 3,430 square feet) - 2 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
Includes break room and greenhouse link but not garage and porch.

Vi's Comfort Cafe and home is planned for New Brunswick, Canada on a west to east sloping site. This design begins with the Saltbox South Entry's basic footprint but the interior is completely changed and the roof is raised to increase the area of the second floor to provide one floor living for the owners. The first floor houses a full restaurant kitchen on the north and seating for 28 people in the dining room on the south side. A separate entrance is provided for take-out orders. A screened porch will be used for outdoor dining and the greenhouse will supply fresh vegetables and spices. Passive and active solar will substantially reduce energy requirements.


Aerial view of south side. Note the access ramp to the west leads to the porch and side door for take-out.


Sketch of first floor plan. A high efficiency masonry wood stove includes a cooking oven on the kitchen side for winter use.


Sketch of second floor plan is "L" shaped around a two story space over dining.


View looking northeast in dining.


View looking west in dining with second exit through take-out.


Second floor living area with kitchen, dining, and study.


View of south and west sides showing ramp to porch and takeout entry/exit.


My husband and I are starting a small business in Summerville, New Brunswick, Canada. We had a clear vision of our business: small, green business and off grid if possible, comprised of a cafe, an outfitter and nature trails, with the cafe on the main floor and our living space on the second floor. We looked at many books, magazines, and online plans. We found some we liked but had difficulty finding an architect who shared our vision of traditional home constructed in as green a manner as possible with amazing energy efficiency - until we found Tom Hopper. The moment we saw his Solar Saltbox design, we knew this was the one. It just felt right. The similarities between his design and the original farmhouse owned by my grandparents, Harry & Viletta Noakes, on the property are startling. We were, of course, nervous, not having done anything like this before and, this project being both a business and a home presented challenges we hadn't anticipated. We needn't have worried because working with Tom was an absolute pleasure. He is extremely knowledgeable and patient - and I'm sure we tested his patience on more than one occasion with our numerous requests and changes. He worked quickly and efficiently and his advice and his encouragement during the process were greatly appreciated. We couldn't be happier with the plans and are so excited to make our dream a reality. We can't wait for him to come visit Vi's Comfort Cafe!

Amy MacPherson & Matt Leonard

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