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World News

Coffee lovers ‘blessed’ at altar of former Irish church

by Press Association

A coffee roasting company has moved into a former church where they will train staff and explain the process to visitors. 

Customers at Bear Market Coffee’s new outlet in Dublin’s Stillorgan will be able to experience the full process from green bean to cup in the surroundings of the 150-year-old former Catholic church.

Coffee fans will be guided through the roasting process, cupping and tasting by master roasters and baristas.

Bear Market Coffee have invested in a 400,000 euro locally-crafted, stainless steel fit-out and have created 12 full-time jobs at the Olde Church in Lower Kilmacud Road.

The church, which also features a full espresso bar, will allow Bear to become the first Irish company to provide full in-house roasting and a dedicated single origin offer exclusively to all their outlets and to their customers online.

As well as being a centre of excellence for coffee lovers, it will also act as a barista coffee training facility for all Bear Market staff.

Bear Market CEO Stephen Deasy, who founded the firm with wife Ruth in 2013, said: “It is a fantastic location and development where our customers can visit, taste and experience the full roasting process from start to finish.

“It is a strategic investment and very significant for coffee lovers who seek one of the best experiences in Ireland.

“We felt it was very important to have a building of character where customers can have the chance to watch the entire roasting process unfolding.”

The launch of the new outlet and roastery this weekend comes at a torrid time for the hospitality industry – some Bear outlets based in offices still relying on remote working remain closed.

But the couple, who aim to have a carbon-neutral operation by 2025, pushed ahead with the move, which brings their total workforce to 75 in eight stores.

Ruth, the chief operations officer, said: “The last 15 months navigating through the pandemic has been an incredibly hard time for our business with multiple Bear Market shops closed for months.

“We founded the company amidst the global recession, this is where we got our inspiration for the company name and tagline so this is not our first rodeo.

“We believe in finding the hidden innovation in a negative situation.”

Bear Market has invested in state-of-the-art Loring low-emission roasting equipment from the US and installed a climate-controlled green bean store room for its single-origin beans.

“It was always our ambition to have our own roastery and we will also be running coffee tasting and cupping courses for our customers,” Ms Deasy added.

The Stillorgan outlet also features a retail offer of their single origin coffees, plus a full range of coffee equipment and accessories.

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