A Q&A with The Fumbally Café

We visit The Fumbally Café on Fumbally Lane to speak with founder, Aisling Rogerson, about her experience of working at the busy community coffee shop.

What is The Fumbally?

It’s a popular Dublin 8 neighbourhood café where the emphasis is on all things wholesome, healthy, ethical and delicious. They’re experimental too, making their own fermented drinks.

Then, there’s also The Stables – their complementary event space where yoga classes, food workshops and other cultural happenings take place. It also houses an extra kitchen where the café’s chefs can play around with new dishes.

Food, wellness and education is at the centre of everything The Fumbally does.

Who owns it?

Aisling Rogerson co-founded the café with Luca D’Alfonso in 2012. And, according to Aisling, their philosophy is all about balance.

“We have a really great team of people in the kitchen and on the floor.”

“Community is probably number one,” she says, “as well as sustainability around issues of food, lifestyle and health. There’s a health aspect to everything we do these days with our food. We’ve grown and learnt along the way and that’s part of our philosophy: being open to changing and learning. In three year’s time, God knows what we’ll be doing.”

The location

According to Aisling, The Fumbally wouldn’t be what it is if it wasn’t based in Dublin 8 – a stone’s throw from St. Patrick’s Cathedral and on the cusp of The Liberties.

“I think it’s way more positive for the community element, because we’re not in the city centre,” she says. “If you are a tourist and you want to come here, you’ve got to know where you’re going and you’ve got to make the trip out.”

During the week, she serves mostly regulars and people from around the local area. Then, on the weekends, the clientele come from further afield. “It’s actually the exact opposite,” Aisling says.

A typical day for Aisling

Apparently, there’s no such thing for her.

“I could be in the kitchen, I could be doing a manager’s shift. I might have an office day, writing blog posts or I’m in The Stables next door working on a few bits and bobs,” she says. “Today, I’m getting ready for dinner tonight so I’m printing off menus and liaising with the chef.”

What’s The Fumbally Café’s unique selling points?

The Fumbally doesn’t do social media – and hasn’t from the outset. It has a website and a monthly newsletter, keeping people updated as to events in the Stables.

However, they don’t Tweet and there’s no Facebook account. This is partly because neither Aisling or Luca have any interest in social media, but it was also an experiment to see if a modern day business could thrive without it.

And guess what? It can. However, that doesn’t mean that social media doesn’t impact their business.

“If you type The Fumbally into Twitter, you’re going to get a load of hashtags,” Aisling says. “They’re just not coming from us. They’re coming from other people”.

What’s on the agenda for the future

Loads, says Aisling, who suggests that The Fumbally is ever-evolving.

“I’m proud of the fact that we have a really great team of people in the kitchen and on the floor, who are really creative and really passionate about what they do,” she explains. “They really care about the food that they’re putting out there and the coffee.”

This also means that the café’s is always innovating and trying new things. “Being the curator of all that is pretty cool,” she adds.

To find out more, head to The Fumbally’s website.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

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