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25th Jul 2018

Lovin DubIiners: Spent A Day In A Famous Dublin Café And Here’s What I Learned

Éadaoin Fitzmaurice

If you haven’t noticed already, myself and my fellow Lovin crew are a little obsessed with food. We spend most of our time in the office talking about cool new places we’ve checked out or a deadly dish that we’ve tried. We adore sharing this with you guys and pride ourselves on being in-the-know when it comes to the best places in Dublin to eat.

We have a lot of knowledge on taste and atmosphere but we rarely get to see what’s going on in the kitchen and what it’s like to actually run a successful café in Dublin. I took it upon myself to educate myself and learn from one of the best cafés in the game right now.

The Fat Fox on Camden Street makes undeniably wonderful toasties, tasty bowls of porridge and decadent sweet treats along with some deadly coffee.

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They have gained a huge following for their avid use of social media and many of their customers have come from there.

The café is run by three best friends, Claire, Rob and Jack, who all live in Greystones. Their aim was to bring the community feel of their hometown into their quirky café and provide a unique, welcoming experience for each customer.

They shared their knowledge and experience with me and here’s what they had to say:

Is it important for a business to use social media?

For The Fat Fox it’s key.

Claire explained: “I think the customers we get are the regular Joe Soaps who pass here everyday and then the social media folk”.

They post on their Instagram account two or three times a day, usually in front of the colourful graffitied walls behind their building. The photos captured are usually focused on their gooey, cheesy toasties or incredibly beautiful bowls of porridge – Either way, they make me crave their food every time.

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Where does your coffee knowledge come from?

“Surprisingly, I didn’t actually do a barista course. I probably should have because I do courses here”, Jack remarked. He is the head honcho of coffee in the café and by god, does he make a good iced coffee.

He said his skills come down to a lot of practice and from watching YouTube videos.

Before joining The Fat Fox family, Jack worked as a barista and as part of the roasting team at The Happy Pear. He then travelled to Long Beach, California to train and work in two popular coffee shops, Steelhead Coffee and Black Ring Coffee. He then developed his coffee knowledge further after spending six weeks in Nicaragua.

With all of this under his belt, Jack has unconventionally become an quite the expert in coffee – No barista course needed.

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What about the food?

Claire, the chief boss woman, studied culinary arts in DIT and from there she knew she wanted to pursue a career in the food industry. She comes up with the ideas for the decadent treats and tasty sambos on offer in the store.

She believes the food served should be of the highest quality and explained “I think you have to take pride in what you do and if you’re not selling what you would eat yourself, I don’t think there’s any point in it to be honest.”

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What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced since setting up The Fat Fox?

Claire explained that she finds it hard to balance work life and home life, as herself and Rob are partners.

“Switching off is the worst thing”, she said. She found herself talking to Rob about something that stressed her out in work when they were at home and it was kind of consuming their time together. They now try to keep business matters in the café.

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Where’s your favourite place to eat in Dublin other than The Fat Fox?

“For dinner, 777 and for lunch, Two Boys Brew, Meet Me In The Morning or Five Points.”

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