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The Rise and rise of the Coffee dock in Ireland

The Rise and rise of the Coffee dock in Ireland

Coffee Culture is not a new thing in Ireland. Coffee houses can be traced back to the 16th century in Ireland with the new wave of Coffee shops popping up in the 21st century. Perhaps the best known Coffee brand- Starbucks- arrived in Ireland in 2005. As of 2019 they had 83 premises. Fast forward a couple of years and the popularity of independent coffee shops and coffee docks is booming.

As I write this article, I am getting reminders on social media that today marks the day that a lot of tourism and hospitality businesses closed their doors exactly one year ago. Covid has hit our industry in unimaginable ways, but over the last 365 days so many of us have learned how to adapt. The Coffee dock has proved an invaluable asset for many tourism and hospitality businesses during Covid restrictions. But a lot of businesses have not taken this opportunity to keep in touch with their community.


Understandably the 2km radius restriction during lockdown 1 would have put a lot of hospitality businesses off opening a coffee offering at their premises. People weren’t venturing out, and when they were, they were doing so to go shopping and a get bit of fresh air. Once restrictions started to ease, we saw the return of some of our favourite coffee spots- and a few new ones. Because the pubs were still closed- meeting for a coffee outside was the best way for people to meet up.

The River cafe

New start-ups like Happy Days Coffee Van in Grangegorman, The River Café truck in Glanmire, Perk up coffee in Naas and Bosca Marcies have all been busy with takeaway coffees over the past 6-10 months.  With the regeneration of a lot of our walk-ways and trails these coffee trucks are more than likely here to stay. But what of the coffee docks that are still closed?

Many hotels in Ireland have grabbed the new coffee culture with both hands. Especially during the Covid 19 restrictions. Places like The Sandymount Hotel in Dublin, Inchydoney Hotel in Cork, The Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery and more recently Trim Castle Hotel in Co Meath have all adapted their offerings to reconnect with their local community. It’s this contact that will stand to them when they are allowed to reopen fully and perhaps a new revenue stream to compliment their offerings.

Whether you are a hotel, a restaurant or an activity provider, adapting your business to cater for the growing demand of coffee will be a must in the months to come. In January we shared our tops tips on the great recovery in the great outdoors– so now is the best time to be planning your take away coffee offering to complement that. Perhaps develop a range of merchandise to go with your coffee offering like branded mugs- this will help with brand awareness, your environmental strategy and as an extra revenue stream. Read our blog on the importance of branded merchandise in your business here.


For more information on how we can help you with a reopening marketing plan contact Helen on


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Helen Leddy

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