So, in 2014, I made the move to Ireland to work with KC Peaches. This afforded me the opportunity to greatly expand my skills in coffee origin, processing, preparation and latte art. The coffee industry is a growing phenomenon in Ireland, consumers are becoming more precise about their coffee blend choices, milk type and brewing methods, and KC Peaches is a great place to learn. The company nurtures the passion and growth of their staff, focusing on consistency in all aspects of customer, coffee and food service.
I explored many aspects of the KC Peaches business in different roles, but when KC Peaches partnered with Java Republic to provide natural, locally sourced, seasonal coffee, served to the highest standard, the time was right to focus on my first calling- the barista. Working with the Java Republic team, my coffee knowledge has been raised to new levels, learning from Q graders, SCA and AST trainers. Capitalising on these opportunities, my ambition is to be one of the top baristas in Ireland. It will be challenging but hard work always pays off.
This year sees me take a step closer to my goals, I will compete in Aeropress and latte art competition 2017. This is a first for me, preforming at the highest level. I favour the pour over method made with V60 and I’m really big fan of fully washed coffees -especially from both Kenya and Ethiopia. I will bring these methods to the event, where hopefully they will prove successful. I have always been an achiever, professionally, in sports or any other aspect of life and I hope to perform well in this year’s competition. I am sure it will be a learning experience that will help realise my ambitions. I believe in success through hard work and dedication, if you want something, work hard and you will achieve it, there are no shortcuts. It’s true in life and latte, great coffee doesn’t just happen!
Loic has been instrumental in our expansion and has been recognized by several publications for his superior craftsmanship. Loic’s inspiration comes from his French culture and is influenced by the French Riviera. As with all chefs working with KC Peaches, Loic is dedicated to working with only fresh and seasonal produce.
One of Loic's most popular sweet treats is the Cheesecake Brownie which has made a name for itself among the people of Dublin. Another speciality of his is the seasonal Mixed Berry Tart. For Bastille Day Loic has put a spin on this seasonal tart and turned it into a French Flag tart using delicious blueberries and raspberries. He is also giving us a taste of France with a traditional Tarte Tatin and mini Macarons.
Drop by and celebrate Bastille Day with KC Peaches. We're giving away a free coffee when you purchase a slice of French mixed berry flag tart.
We will also be sampling Loic's delicious French treats at 11.30am, 2.30pm and 5.30pm in all four of our cafés.
Happy Bastille Day!
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!
With so many attractions to see in Dublin City it's important to know where the closest café is for starting your day right with a good healthy breakfast, or refuelling mid morning with a delicious coffee.
Let us remind you of our cafés locations and what key attractions are close by:
KC Peaches 27 - 29 Nassau St. Café - Trinity College, Book of Kells, Grafton St.
KC Peaches 35 - 37 St. Stephen's Green Café - Merrion Square, Dawson St., The Little Museum of Dublin, St Stephen's Green, Grafton St.
KC Peaches 54 Dame St. Café- Temple Bar, Dublin Castle, Christ Church Cathedral, City Hall, Banquet Hall, not to mention the best view of Dame St.!
KC Peaches Pearse St. Café - Grand Canal, Dublin Docklands
What's on offer in KC Peaches
If you want to experience traditional Irish cuisine then come visit us! KC Peaches will be open from 8am serving an extensive breakfast menu, including our traditional Full Irish breakfast with all the trimmings for only €9.95. We'll even throw in a cupán tae for that price!
From 11am our self service counter will be filled with Summer Salads and nutritious Hot Dishes. All you need to do is choose a size, small medium or large and help yourself to the seasonal goodness. We use only natural, local ingredients with no additives or preservatives, to ensure you have plenty of energy to enjoy the festivities!
Lunch Deal - Large plate with glass of wine or craft beer €13.95
If it's something sweet you're after our French pastry chef Loic and his team have baked some limited edition Summer pastries with Seasonal Irish Berries;
No matter what attractions you choose to see while in Dublin, KC Peaches is bound to be around the corner offering delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner along with crafted coffee, fresh pastries and a selection of wine & beers. We hope to see you then!
One of the misconceptions about green tea is that ALL green tea is good for you. What people fail to look at are the ingredients and processing methods used to get that perfect cuppa. The ingredients make all the difference, to both the flavour and to your health, and this is something we were extremely conscious of when choosing our tea. As a result, you can be sure our Java Republic green tea is 100% organic, free from pesticides, and the hand-stitched ‘silken’ tea pillows encapsulating the flavoursome ingredients are vegan friendly, (the word silken is a derivative of the corn starch used to make the pillows).
These pillows are 100% biodegradable and every pillow can make up to three infusions. There is extra space in each pillow for an increased flow, which allows the leaves to expand for a stronger, more flavoursome infusion, and each tea pillow is packed in a biodegradable envelope to maintain freshness and aroma.
So, what else makes our green tea that bit more special? Our Gunpowder and Mango organic green tea is a firm favourite. Bursting with flavours of organic orange peels, marigold blossoms and cornflowers, it gets its unique name from the way the tea leaves are picked and rolled into gun pellet shapes before being processed!
Some of the benefits of drinking our organic green tea are;
Summer Iced Teas
We've worked hard with Vini in Java Republic to create two of the most refreshing, delicious iced teas. These are coming to stores mid June and are the perfect cooling compliment to our summer salads and dishes.
1) Mint & Lemon Verbena Iced tea served with Elderflower syrup
2) Honey Blood Orange Iced Tea served with one teaspoon of honey