It ends up that Toronto’s Grinder Coffee wasn’t living in la-la land.
Owner Joelle Murray really wanted to get actor Ryan Gosling to visit her coffee shop while he was in town to screen his new film, “First Man,” at the Toronto International Film Festival — even though the café is a 20-minute drive from the event.
But Murray wanted it so badly that she decided to re-try a quirky plan — one Grinder Coffee had previously attempted with actor Idris Elba that wasn’t successful.
The café posted photos of a cardboard cutout of the Golden Globe-winning actor on Twitter, with the plan to do so until he passed over the shop’s threshold.
It all started with a simple photo and a dream:
Good news we are back on twitter cause Monday begins our #ryanneedsgrinder. Come have coffee with us @RyanGosling while you are in town for #TIFF2018 pic.twitter.com/M9ObVsbdhb— GrinderCoffeeGerrard (@GrinderCoffeeTO) September 1, 2018
Grinder Coffee even got early support from Toronto’s mayor, John Tory, who swung by to support.
Got my morning coffee at @GrinderCoffeeTO today and checked out their campaign to get @RyanGosling to visit during @TIFF_NET. pic.twitter.com/Ckyu1hSQTF— John Tory (@TorontosMayor) September 1, 2018
The café continued to have a latte fun with the campaign and posted daily.
See @RyanGosling we are very dedicated to our campaign. 10 days of posting of why you should have coffee with us. #ryanneedsgrinder #toronto #TIFF2018 @blogTO #coffeetime ##coffeeto pic.twitter.com/iOwnZHfnnQ— GrinderCoffeeGerrard (@GrinderCoffeeTO) September 4, 2018
Day 4 of #ryanneedsgrinder .Real @RyanGosling meet Grinder Ryan. Think of the fun you could have taking selfies with a selfie. If you do you get to be entered into our contest. @idriselba didn’t get that treatment #YYZ #TIFF #welovethis pic.twitter.com/8tvUK1c0yq— GrinderCoffeeGerrard (@GrinderCoffeeTO) September 6, 2018
Day 8 of our #ryanneedsgrinder campaign. We took Grinder Ryan out for drinks to celebrate #TIFF2018 . Listen #ryangosling this is getting weird. We need the Real Ryan to show up so we can show him our Grinder hospitality. #TIFF #leslieville #coffeehouse #cafeyyz pic.twitter.com/r7igABrQgc— GrinderCoffeeGerrard (@GrinderCoffeeTO) September 10, 2018
Day 9 of our #ryanneedsgrinder campaign. Perhaps you are lost? Do you need us to call you an #Uber ? You can pay us back when you get here. It only takes 18min to get here so no excuses now. #ryangosling #Toronto #tiff #coffee #gerrardstreeteast #tdot pic.twitter.com/hysK2ZrbF1— GrinderCoffeeGerrard (@GrinderCoffeeTO) September 11, 2018
The café even got national news coverage.
Hey girl, are you coming to this Leslieville cafe? @GrinderCoffeeTO wants @RyanGosling to stop by for a cup of joe during #TIFF18. pic.twitter.com/e8MUQnfBzf— CBC Toronto (@CBCToronto) September 6, 2018
Then finally on Tuesday, the campaign’s 10th day, Mr. “Hey Girl” strutted into their café.
And this happened… #ryanneedsgrinder worked. The man himself showed up. What a good sport, a well brought up Canadian boy. We truly appreciate Ryan taking the time the time to visit us during #tiff. Take that @idriselba your loss. pic.twitter.com/8rMMWOs32J— GrinderCoffeeGerrard (@GrinderCoffeeTO) September 11, 2018
According to Murray, Gosling told her that he had seen her posts on social media — but it was his mom who convinced him to visit, per The Canadian Press.
“He made it seem that he enjoyed meeting me as much as I enjoyed meeting him,” Murray told the outlet. “And it was a lovely feeling. He was very well-spoken, a wonderful Canadian boy with very good manners.”
But the visit had a huge impact on Murray’s nephew, who posted a Twitter thread about the brief encounter, bragging about his “cool aunt” and her hard work the entire time.
V proud of my aunt Joelle, who works her ass off as a small business owner of a local independent coffee shop in Leslieville: @GrinderCoffeeTO 1/9 pic.twitter.com/eqyjaI6wbW— etienne (@etiiiennne) September 11, 2018
“[Murray] always treats her employees fairly, is an active voice in the neighbourhood, and is one of the funniest and most genuine people you’ll meet,” he wrote.
He also shared how Murray described the experience to him: “He just showed up and told me he saw the whole campaign, I told him next time he comes for dinner and a playdate.”
Murray estimates that Gosling was in her café for about two minutes to greet her and other patrons.
But, baed on what she told her nephew, we’re sure this is what she was thinking the whole time:
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