Coffee Shop Launches Campaign To Get Ryan Gosling To Visit, And It Actually Works

by Kim Wong-Shing
Kim Wong-Shing is a staff writer at LittleThings. Her work spans beauty, wellness, pop culture, identity, food, and other topics. She is a contributing writer at NaturallyCurly, and her work has also appeared in HelloGiggles, Lifehacker, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and other outlets. She grew up in Philadelphia, attended Brown University, and is now based in New Orleans.

Actor and heartthrob Ryan Gosling took time out of his busy schedule to visit an independent coffee shop in Toronto, causing everyone to swoon over what a nice Canadian boy he is.

Last week, the staff at Grinder Coffee launched a social media campaign to try to convince the Ontario-born actor to stop by the cafe for a visit. They knew Ryan would be in town to promote his new film, First Man, at the Toronto International Film Festival.

To get Ryan’s attention, the staff bought a cardboard cutout of Ryan and posed with it all week. They started a hashtag, #ryanneedsgrinder. Surprisingly, the campaign took off, and it reached the attention of local news outlets and blogs.

The hardworking folks at Grinder Coffee were having a lot of fun with the campaign, but they didn’t think Ryan would actually come. Much to their surprise, the actor caught wind of the campaign and decided to pay them a visit.

And you can’t blame them for being surprised. Last year, in 2017, they launched a similar campaign to get Idris Elba to visit while he was in town for the same film festival.

But Idris never showed.


This time, the shop’s owner, Joelle Murray, decided to focus her efforts on Ryan Gosling. Who needs Idris, anyway?



On September 3, the social media campaign took off with the hashtag #ryanneedsgrinder. Joelle and her employees posed with a life-sized cardboard cutout of Ryan.

They put cardboard Ryan in all sorts of situations.

Joelle’s nephew, Etienne, tweeted about the whole surreal experience.

“On paper, it was a maybe little ridiculous and maybe little cheesy and definitely wasn’t supposed to work,” Etienne said.

But then local news outlets and blogs started picking up the story, and the mayor of Toronto himself stopped by for a photo with fake Ryan.

Clearly, the campaign got the attention of Ryan.

Because he actually stopped by for a cup of joe with Joelle.


Needless to say, she was pretty delighted to see him.

When he got to the coffee shop, he told Joelle he had seen the whole campaign.

Etienne is incredibly proud of his Aunt Joelle.

As a small business owner, her hard work goes unthanked much of the time.

“She’s dealt with a rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood, a flashy coffee chain opening up shop across the street, and the death of her business partner, all in the span of three years. But she never wavers,” Etienne wrote.

The least Joelle deserves is a hug from a nice-smelling, handsome Canadian celebrity.

So that’s exactly what Ryan gave her.