From roadside food truck to ‘dream’ coffee shop in Derry

Businessman Daragh McCauley is now set to open an exciting new project on Bishop Street

From roadside food truck to ‘dream’ coffee shop in Derry

A Donegal man whose ‘dream’ coffee business began on the side of the road is looking forward to opening a second shop which will offer a unique experience for the Derry public.

The Coronavirus pandemic has been tough on local businesses and news that Eason closed in Foyleside came as a blow to the city centre.

There are however independent businesses who despite the current economic uncertainty are branching out and creating employment in the city.

Much loved food truck and eatery Pyke ‘N’ Pommes revealed on social media that it is about to take over a new unit – at the old Primrose café on the Strand Road.

An exciting new project, BRØN, has also been announced at recently vacated premises on Bishop Street which will house a coffee bar, barista school, restaurant and cocktail bar with locally sourced beer and spirits.

Daragh McCauley is the owner of 9ine Hostages Coffee Company which is based at the top of Waterloo Street.

He will run the new venture with business partner Connor Allen who has been manager at Harry’s Shack in Portstewart since it opened.

9ine Hostages started as a coffee van on the side of the road in Donegal before they opened the shop in Derry towards the end of 2019.

“My dream was always to open a coffee shop,” Mr McCauley said.

A refined menu at 9ine Hostages consists of grilled cheese toasties with a choice of good quality local meats and homemade ingredients as well as the best quality bread and baked goods.

It was ‘slow going’ at the beginning but the pandemic came as a blow as the business was beginning to gain some traction.

With a one-way system in operation they were able to successfully reopen once permission was granted.

Mr McCauley believes the quality of coffee sourced from Bailies Coffee Roasters is second to none The most important ingredient is the ‘passion’ 9 Hostages has for all of their products, he added.

Anyone using Bailies products in the North West of the country will now be trained at the new Bishop Street premises.

BRØN will offer coffee and food throughout the day and sit-down meals in the evening complemented by craft beers and cocktails.

They intend to support local as much as possible through suppliers and employing staff from the North West.

“I’ve been working in coffee now for about four and a half years, I’m going to stay managing this shop but will work in BRØN as well,” Mr McCauley explained.

“We’re going to try and create as many jobs as we possibly can.  About 30 people across both businesses.

“The barista school will be opened upstairs on Bishop Street.

“We’re hoping to open around August 14 and we’ll know this week whether that’s going to happen.

“We’ve a lot of staff hired but are still looking for people with experience.”

Mr McCauley said he feels confident opening the new business in the current climate because the people of Derry have done a good job of looking after each other and businesses have been sensible.

“Derry has been really, really good so far and the way we will lay the shop out on Bishop Street it held about 95 people but we’ll be dropping it to 60 and the tables will be spaced out without losing the atmosphere.

“It will be a cosy but modern shop and unless there was a complete lockdown again we’d be very confident with the way we have it laid out that it will work.”

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