“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.”

What is it? The 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. There’s also The Stables, their complementary space where yoga classes and food workshops happen; it also houses an extra kitchen where they play around with new dishes. Food, wellness and education is at the centre of everything.

Who owns it? Aisling Rogerson, who co-founded the café with Luca D’Alfonso in 2012.

Their philosophy: “Balance,” says Aisling. “Community is probably number one, 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 we doing.”

The location: According to Aisling, The Fumbally wouldn’t be what 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. 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 it’s mostly regulars and people from around the area and then on the weekends, it’s actually the exact opposite.”

A typical day: There’s no such thing for her. “I could be in the kitchen; I could be doing 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. Today, I’m getting ready for dinner tonight so I’m printing off menus and liaising with the chef.”

A USP: The Fumbally doesn’t do social media, and hasn’t from the outset. There’s a website and a monthly newsletter, keeping people updated as to events in the Stables. But 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.

Guess what? It can.

That’s not to say that social media doesn’t impact on their business. “If you type The Fumbally into Twitter, you’re going to get a load of hash tags. They’re just not coming from us. They’re coming from other people,” she says.

On the agenda: Loads, says Aisling, who says 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. They really care about the food that they’re putting out there and the coffee. Being the curator of all that is pretty cool.”

Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8; thefumbally.ie

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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