We opened Joe's in Arnotts in Dublin city centre in late 2013 but our company has been around a bit longer. Since 1999 in fact when the only thing we cared about coffee-wise was that it didn’t distract us from making food. Ireland was truly different back then: cappuccinos were considered something rather exotic. It was hard to get decent take-away cups so people happily drank out of Styrofoam and no one had heard of a flat white or an Aeropress.
Our company has grown and over the last 15 years and so has our interest in coffee. But it wasn't until we opened Hatch & Sons that we started to get the coffee bug. As novices, we learned loads from Hugh Gilmartin of Specialist Beverages in Belfast, who helped us navigate the specialty coffee scene. Visiting places like Caravan, Monmouth Coffee and Square Mile inspired us. Meeting and speaking to real pros like Peter James, Anita Le Roy and James Hoffmann, gave us a taste of what was possible in the cup. We started to pay attention.
Roark was the one who got most fired up. He spent the next two years tasting, cupping, studying, meeting and yakking with anyone who was as passionate as he was about coffee. Brian Birdy, who recently founded Full Circle Coffee Roasters, spent time with us in Hatch & Sons and helped develop our barista skills and knowledge. The results started to pay off and we could see the impact our coffee was having on Hatch customers. For the first time in our history as a company, people were complimenting us on our coffee. We wanted to do more.
And so the idea for Joe’s was born. Roark started working with great artisan micro roasters and specialty kit purveyors. Domini & Peaches came at it from a food point of view, but knew that this was a business where coffee was going to be king. We needed to take everything we had learned - good & bad - and put it into a really cool coffee shop with great, no fuss food.
Arnotts then came to us with the offer of a space if we could come up with the concept to fit. We knew Joe's would be a perfect fit. Occupiers of great coffee like Tom Stafford of Vice and the folks at Brother Hubbard were proving that demand for good coffee was alive and well in Dublin 1.