Before we delve into sharing this interview we would just like to take this opportunity to wish Katie and all of our customers a Happy 4th of July! Katie is of course from Seattle so we are very excited to have her in Dublin this week celebrating the 4th of July with us.
As a 'Get to Know Katie Cantwell' we would like to share this interview with you which was conducted for Totally Dublin magazine in recent months. It covers all you need to know about KC Peaches, where the inspiration came from and her thoughts on the Dublin food scene.
1. KC Peaches is 11 years old. What was the inspiration behind starting the business?
I lived in Dublin in 2003 as a management consultant and enjoyed the city. At the time, it was difficult to get really good tasting food quickly. The kind of food I was used to getting in salad bars and grocery stores in the US. I discussed my love of food and the creation of fantastic slow food with one of my future business partners, Vincent Carroll. I created a business plan, which he helped shop around. 2 great people were willing to invest in our crazy idea and 1.5 years later we opened!
2. KC Peaches prides itself on providing quality healthy food that fosters a happy lifestyle. Can you talk about that philosophy and the influence it has on the food produced?
It is the core of everything we create from amazing raspberry and pistachio tarts to intricate canapés. We believe in only using natural ingredients to flavour our dishes and that by purchasing foods created slowly using primarily local ingredients you are both helping your community and yourself to live well and eat well.
3.What dish would you recommend to someone who is eating at KC Peaches for the first time?
If you are ordering something sweet, I definitely recommend the raspberry and pistachio tart – it is bursting with flavour and the pistachio cream in the base is absolutely delicious. In terms of salads and hot food, most of these options rotate seasonally. However, a fantastic mainstay is the kale, sesame and toasted almond salad. The kale is cut finely so it is crispy, but not overwhelming and the sesame dressing has just the right amount of sweetness. Almonds and freshly chopped peppers finish off the salad and give it the perfect amount of crunch.
4. As an established business, how would you say Dublin’s attitude toward food has changed over the years since KC Peaches began?
Dublin has become an amazing food haven over the past 10 years. A lot of this has to do with the movement to produce fantastic food locally and the consumption of this produce. Irish consumers are very savvy in terms of the their preferences, which has led to this attitude flourishing. They know the island produces phenomenal ingredients and they demand the use of these ingredients in their restaurant fare. This savvy also requires that restaurants at all levels, fast casual to fine dining, prepare food that respects the preferences of the Irish consumer. It has been amazing to see the number of really delicious concepts at all levels, which have come to fruition in Dublin over the past 10 years. To have been able to be a part of this movement has really been a gift.
5. Can you describe a few of the challenges associated with running a business for such an impressive amount of time? Especially with the amount of coffee house chains and fast food places seeming to constantly increase?
As our ethos requires us to use locally produced seasonal produce, we are constantly changing and adapting to what our suppliers offer. This ensures that our menu changes all the time, which keeps our customers excited and interested in our fare. We see our relationships with our suppliers as partnerships.
Just as importantly, we are so lucky to have a fantastic core management team of highly experienced and committed people. The company would have faltered long ago without these wonderful individuals. I feel so lucky to be able to work and learn from them every day. Through their stewardship, we have created really competent teams throughout the company. These individuals have allowed us to stay in business and keep our quality of service and product so high over 10 years.
6. KC peaches seems to have introduced the whole foods catering business to Dublin, including corporate catering. What makes KC Peaches great for an office setting?
We offer such a wide range of interesting menus that allow staff to eat well at their desks. If staff are eating well, they feel better, have more energy and experience fewer sick days. Many companies are offering their staff meals in house 1, 2 or 5 days per week as an amazing benefit. This benefit can help staff make more healthy decisions about their diet and of course save money/time. We feel very lucky to have had great relationships with a number of companies over the years, who have allowed us into their places of business to help their staff live well and eat well daily.
7. What do the next 10 years look like for KC Peaches?
Initially, I see KC Peaches continuing to expand in Ireland, preferably close to our Dublin base. At some point we would love to open a large commissary and perhaps look to produce our own ingredients, micro greens and herbs, through urban farming. I would love to see the concept travel outside of Ireland in the next 10 years. While this is my vision, we do manage the company as a core. Our management team and shareholding team will make final decisions as a collective to determine next steps.
8. Anything else the foodies of Dublin should know about what KC Peaches has to offer?
We produce slow food fast, which ensures that our patrons can enjoy a really tasty meal, pastry, coffee, smoothie or salad, that often take hours to produce, quickly at all times of the day. We want to be the first stop for healthy quick meals for people on their way home from work or individuals who want a really well crafted latte on their way to school in the morning. We want all of Dublin to Eat Well and Live Well.
Drop by and celebrate 4th of July with KC Peaches. We're giving away a free coffee when you purchase a slice of traditional American mixed berry flag tart.
Happy 4th of July!