Cork's greenest café reopens its doors offering fresh produce from its gardens

Cork's greenest café reopens its doors offering fresh produce from its gardens
Cafe Team, Kieran Joyce, Emma Feehily, Marcin Potentias, Mary Scannell, Leona Lynch, James O’Sullivan pictured at the “The Garden Café, Cork Foyer on Assumption Road, Cork City. Picture Clare Keogh

The Garden Café which is widely regarded as Cork’s greenest café has reopened its doors for business after months of closure.

The café on the grounds of Cork Foyer on Assumption Road is a social enterprise run by Churchfield Community Trust which uses produce from its own Farm to Fork initiative.

The café focuses on providing adult education in a unique community spirit with certified training and mentoring in food and beverage, barista, food hygiene HACCP, customer service provided in a live café environment.

Project Manager of Churchfield Community Trust, Paul O’Donnell, said that the pandemic has been “a real challenge” for the social enterprise with limited resources in place but said that what lacked in such resources was made up for with motivation and determination.

“I am really proud of the entire Churchfield Community Trust Team and the spirit in which each challenge was taken on which included adapting work practices and also adhering strictly to the Covid protocols.

Mairead Kelly & Tony Kenny prepare tomatoes for sale pictured at Cork Foyer allotment and the Hydro Farm in Tower. Picture Clare Keogh
Mairead Kelly & Tony Kenny prepare tomatoes for sale pictured at Cork Foyer allotment and the Hydro Farm in Tower. Picture Clare Keogh

“If anything, for us as an enterprise with a social conscience the changes to work practices have been an opportunity to up-skill our staff and participants on Covid regulation which are skills needed for all walks of life currently.

"I would like to ask people working and living locally to come and support all small and medium size enterprises over the next number of months,” he said.

A participant of the social enterprise who wished to remain anonymous said:

“Educating myself has challenged me to think differently, cope differently, react differently to situations that arise in my daily life. It has changed my perception of myself as someone who did not belong in society to someone who can contribute and hold his head up high.

Growers, Edward Madigan, Kevin Mooney, Mairead Kelly & Tony Kenny pictured at Cork Foyer allotment and the Hydro Farm in Tower. Picture Clare Keogh
Growers, Edward Madigan, Kevin Mooney, Mairead Kelly & Tony Kenny pictured at Cork Foyer allotment and the Hydro Farm in Tower. Picture Clare Keogh

“Churchfield Community Trust was the conduit that facilitated my journey from long-term unemployment, poverty, addiction and generally living on the fringes of society to participation in continuing education to now being employed in the field of addiction. Returning to education has been an extremely rewarding experience.” 

The Victorian style glass house café is open daily from Monday to Friday each week for morning coffee, freshly baked scones, brownies and flapjacks with a daily lunch menu on offer.

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