Progress Report from Dublin

Tonight we opened both shops in Dublin for a few hours. As always, the last pieces are the most difficult and finishing the shops is proving quite a challenge.

The glass in Temple Bar finally arrived (photo above), and it took three days to install instead of the one we had expected, but at least it’s in and now there’s just some more cladding to do and general tidying up.

In Wicklow Street (photo right), we’re still without a few key pieces – extra cladding, tables for the back, swings for the front, and various bits of branding.

I’m very tired and very excited at the same time. I know it’s going to take an awful lot of effort to get the final bits and pieces done, but at least the shops are in our control now, and at least we can start doing what we love, and that’s selling ice cream!

Dublin – Press Release

I don’t know if the blog is the right place for this, but I thought I’d make the press release available on-line:

Cool Summer Treats in Dublin

Murphys Ice Cream, an Irish company that has built a cult following for its frozen artisan delights, is celebrating its 10th Anniversary by opening two new shops on Wicklow Street and in Temple Bar Square, Dublin, creating 15 new jobs.

The new locations have been designed as little havens of delight amidst the hustle and bustle of Dublin and will give denizens and visitors to the capitol an opportunity to taste some of the Murphy Brothers more interesting creations. Besides the signature ice creams, Murphys will also serve carefully sourced, biodynamic coffee and a range of sweet treats.

“We are thrilled to announce such a positive move, especially in such a difficult economic environment,” say Sean Murphy, “but we believe there is no wrong time for good ice cream.”

There are many in the capital already familiar with the brand since Murphys is sold in some of Dublin’s top food stores, and visitors to Kerry will most likely have ordered up a scoop of their favourite Seacláid, Brioscaí or Sú Craobh in Murphys Dingle and Killarney shops.

So, what can the uninitiated expect? Kieran Murphy says their flavour inspiration at the moment is a return to basics, with ice creams that highlight top quality ingredients along with a base of fresh cream, milk of the rare Kerry cow breed, and free range local eggs.

“We’re offering interesting but simple flavours this year,” he says. “What’s new is that we’re encouraging customers to combine two flavours, even in a small size, which allows for a little experimentation. For example, you could choose our Dingle sea salt ice cream with burnt caramel or intense dark chocolate, or you could order mint leaf and raspberry sorbet.“

The two shops will open Friday, 25th June 2010.


Photos and samples available on request

Dublin – Nearing the Finishing Line

We’ve been up and trading in Temple Bar for a few days, even though the shop is not finished. Specifically, we are missing the glass front and side, wood cladding, and a few other bits and pieces. When the shop is done, it will be a glass cube, and hopefully the glass will arrive on Wednesday, so we will close for a couple of days to let that happen.

In Wicklow Street, we’re also getting really close. With a bit of luck we’ll be open on Thursday. The majority of the work is done, and we’re just missing the finishing touches.

As always, with a project like this, we’ll have to accept that there will be imperfections and bits and pieces that we’ll have to address over the next weeks and months.

Still, I’ll breathe a very big sigh of relief when the doors are finally open!

The Joys of Coffee

One of the greatest pleasures of opening shops in Dublin has been working with Colin, the current Irish Barista Champion and maestro behind Third Floor Espresso. He’s sourced a biodynamic, Brazilian bean for us from Has Bean in the UK and agreed to help with training. I’m so happy to have the chance to spend time with and learn from from someone so passionate about coffee.

Not only does he have a lot to pass on in terms of barista skills and coffee appreciation, but he also has a great philosophy about empowering baristas and fostering a sense community. The feedback from those in our team who have spent time training with him has been extremely positive, and I feel totally confident that he will help us improve our standards.

If you’re in Dublin and love coffee, I recommend that you drop in to his shop (in the Twisted Pepper building). It’s still quite new but already is a Dublin treasure.

If you do stop in, wish him well, as he’s heading off soon to represent Ireland at the World Barista Championships. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for him.

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Mad Cow?

I know that Dublin Zoo now have one of these full-sized replica cows, but we had our eye on this baby long before we ever heard there was one in Ireland! Our idea was that we’d stick it in Temple Bar Square outside our new shop there, and it looks like it will be making its way to us shortly. I know that we should probably make it a Kerry Cow, as in the little black indigenous cows that we use for milk, but we have half a mind to paint it blue (see photo) just for the craic.

I’m not sure if it’s any good with the skateboard, but I guess we’ll find out!

Should we have a naming competition?