Coffee lovers are set to be blessed with a new visitor experience – a unique, eco-friendly roastery on the altar of a former church. 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. Those booking the roastery experience will be guided through the roasting process, cupping and tasting by master roasters and baristas.
Bear Market Coffee have invested in a €400,000 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. And 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.
“It is a fantastic location and development where our customers can visit, taste and experience the full roasting process from start to finish,” said Bear Market CEO, Stephen Deasy, who founded the firm with wife Ruth in 2013. “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.
“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,” said Chief Operations Officer, Ruth. “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. To ensure freshness and consistent bean moisture, the company has also installed a climate-controlled green bean store room for its single-origin beans, which are sourced in Africa and Central and South America. The roaster employs the latest eco intelligence and bespoke engineering to produce consistently great tasting and environmentally-friendly coffee. And while it takes months for beans roasted by competitors in Europe to make their way into coffee cups here, Bear will have the freshest, weekly-roasted, single foreign origin bean coffee. Beans roasted at the Olde Church will be exclusively used for Bear’s online operation and its stores in Dublin’s Blackrock, Pembroke Street, George’s Street, the IFSC, Decathlon in Ballymun, Townsend Street and Westland Row, with a fresh roast delivered weekly.
“We always wanted to be able to deliver the full bean-to-cup experience for our customers but keep our speciality roasted coffees exclusively within the business,” said Ruth. “It was always our ambition to have our own roastery, and we will also be running coffee tasting and cupping courses for our customers.”
Chairman Derek Hughes said that this strategic development and investment underpins the long-term future for Bear Market as one of the premier coffee businesses in Ireland. The Stillorgan outlet also features a retail offer of their single origin coffees, plus a full range of coffee equipment and accessories. The Bear Market roasts will be exclusively available in Bear coffee shops and online at www.bearmarket.ie.
Pictured: Bear Market Coffee founders Stephen and Ruth Deasy with Head Barista Gianluca Mereu at the new roastery in a former church in Dublin’s Stillorgan. Picture: Andres Poveda.