Border Patrol To Barista

Janelle Hullah, owner, The Copper Leaf Cafe, downtown Medicine Hat. March 3, 2021

After years of commuting to her job as a border officer and one too many close encounters on the road, Janelle Hullah knew it was time to find a new career. Instead of seeking similar roles, Hullah took a leap of faith and followed her lifelong dream of opening a café.

 “I have always wanted to open a café,” says Hullah. “I had written several business plans over the years, but it never felt like the right time. I had a great job with incredible benefits, and I was nervous to take the risk.”

Just two days after receiving the keys to their space, COVID stepped in and Hullah was forced to rethink their plans. On September 1, The Copper Leaf Café opened its doors with restrictions in place.

 “Although it was disheartening to delay the day I had looked forward too for many years, I took the extra time to complete renovations and connect with our neighbours and the downtown community,” says Hullah. “With the help of the city and the kindness of other small businesses – it has been a dream come true. We love Downtown Medicine Hat, and truly love the people in this community.”

The Copper Leaf Café has partnered with Redcliff restaurant, Baba Cluck Comfort Eats to offer pierogi Tuesdays, Sweet Obsession Cupcakes for specialty baked goods, and Leave it to Lucy for in-town deliveries.

 “Our clientele has grown significantly,” says Hullah. “I’m happy we have been able to provide this service to the community and I love spreading kindness - its the heart of our little business.”

Hullah says the sky is the limit for the café – and is hoping that one day there might be room for expansion – preferably in the same building, The Gaslight Plaza.

 Invest Medicine Hat and the City of Medicine Hat continue to support the revitalization efforts of the downtown core.

The discussion of an enhanced Waterfront District that connects to the downtown is a priority for the City and could offer plenty of opportunities for local businesses, housing, and leisure activities in the future.

The Copper Leaf Café is located in the Gaslight Plaza, 104-579 3rd Street SE and can be found online at Facebook and Instagram.



Have a great idea and don't know how to get started? Need support with your current business? WE’RE HERE TO HELP!

 Send us an email for more information on business incentives, contacts and resources.