By Ken Hirter

This month’s Walkabout finds me sitting with Mario Ferri of Famea coffeehouse fame. Mario Ferri is Hamilton born & raised and is proud of his Italian Heritage and his Roots. Mario has been with the Famea Canada and group of Companies since 1993. Did you know that Mario was once featured as Mr. Java appearing in the Hamilton Spector in 1993, the same year that he started  with the company.

A Brief History:

Faema’s start or roots originates from Naples to Toronto. For over 61 years, since 1958, Faema Canada has been introducing expresso and cappuccino coffee and equipment to Canadians. 1958. Faema is a family run and owned business, with other locations & showrooms in Hamilton, Mississauga, Vaughan & Toronto. For more information or for the History of Famea please visit their webpage at

FAEMA HAMILTON is located at 265 James Street North at Colborne Street. It is a City of Hamilton historical site and the former Brass Foundry building built in 1873.

It was there that I sat and chatted with Mario Ferri who is the shopkeeper and general manager of the Faema Canada home location here on 265 James Street North. It has been a Hamilton staple here since 1985. Mario has recalled many memories growing up here in Hamilton and special memories of this location. Mario has noted the changes on James Street North; from the people and the changing demographics of the street to the neighborhood itself. This little pocket on James North l still like to refer to as little Italy.

From Faema coffeehouse and espresso & cappincio bar of 1958 where neighborhood friends gathered, grabbed a coffee, sat and read the morning paper to today where the same happens. Nice to see something’s never change and remain the same.

Mario is excited about the changes to the Hamilton location with its Jura Boutique shop which opened this past Christmas. But come this summer in time for Super Crawl we’ll see the outdoor patio/espresso & cappincio bar with many different international coffee’s and serving specialty cold European drinks. Bringing that European feel and vibe and to sit trainspotting back in time. It’s like coming full circle.

Mario has revealed that everything is growing and involving. I asked his motto for the shop: “A Destination for Specialty coffees since 1958.

I asked his favorite quote: “Live & laugh”

Vision: ” Famea is now presently under renovations with a new look for the changing face of the building as reflection of the changes of the shops on James Street bringing Faema & Jura Boutique going from the original shop set up here in Hamilton circa the mid 1980’s to 2020.

Exciting changes for this full operation cafe capturing the opulence of yesterday and coming  to today.  “Keeping into the roots and origins intake and really coming full circle”.

Mario, Bella, Bella for the insightful history of Hamilton and Hamilton’s James Street North. The history, the people and the ever changing forward movement of the James North shopping district.

It really was a stepping back in time ……Yesterday, today & tomorrow.

Thanks for the expresso and for sharing a trip down nostalgia lane. From 1958, 1985, 1993 to 2020. Transporting back in time and coming full circle coming back home once more. Thanks for taking the time to sit and chat and the history of James Street North 101.

Till next month, take care of you and those around you. Cheers