Founders Stephen and Ruth studied architecture in college. Unfortunately for them when the finished they soon realized that working as architects wasn’t all they had imagined it to be. So they decided to do something different.
Stephen had always known that when he grew up he wanted to be a businessman so he decided to try and start a business. His first plan was to start a high-end hostel company. Their research for this idea led the happy pair on an adventure that took them to every hostel in London. Finally, after lots of hard work and rough nights in even rougher London hostels, they received backing from a big American investor. Great stuff!
But no! All of a sudden things changed. The economy fell to pieces and their American patrons backed out leaving them in the lurch. Stephen and Ruth realized that their luck had turned and that they would have to look for another [ad]venture.
Luckily for them and for us, every cloud has a silver lining. It just so happened that Ruth’s Mum ran a gluten-free bakery out of the Blackrock Market. Always quick to see an opportunity our two protagonists quickly came up with the bright idea of selling coffee from Ruth’s mum’s market stall; a great plan, as we all know that listening to people talk about a gluten-free diet can leave you in need of a pick-me-up. After spending a little time training as baristas they set up shop. They named their stall ‘Bear Market Coffee’; a cheeky nod to the bear market to which their hostel business had fallen victim.
Thank God for all that! The result of the above adventure is the Bear Market Coffee that we know today. Stephen and Ruth opened up a permanent shop in September after securing a property right next door to Blackrock Market.
Drawing on their architectural background they created a beautifully raw and clean space, exposing and utilizing heavy structural materials such as re-bar and chunky wooden counter tops.
The store’s rugged design features are once again a nod to the bear market from which the business was born and is perhaps a measured reaction to the slick, elaborate décor of the bygone Celtic Tiger era.
Their coffee is just as robust and considered as the interior; perhaps another knowing riposte to the boom-time, bums-on-seats economic conditions that chains such as Insomnia and Costa flourished under in the past.
Stephen, an admitted tea drinker, trained as a barista with the boys over at Coffee Culture and despite his extensive knowledge of the product he adamantly shuns the notion of coffee snobbery. He firmly believes that consumers deserve a good quality product without the intimidation sometimes found in so-called ‘coffee drinkers’ coffee shops. Their blends range from robust to mild and are extremely reasonably priced in comparison to others in their market. With regards lunch, they do provide some seating but really Bear Market is more of a stop-and-go destination that offers a pleasant alternative to Costa and Starbucks.
Their endeavours have so far proven successful and it seems that the allure of good quality, reasonably priced coffee is too much for the community’s suited denizens to resist.
Bear Market’s business aspirations are high and they fly in the face of what came before them. This tendency towards a more locally focused, grass-roots approach is indicative of a trend that is gripping the entire the city. To this extent Bear Market Coffee is right on point and is well worth a visit if you’re in the area.Read More