It wasn’t until 2016 that Paula Sneyd, Saoirse and Caoimhe Giles decided to open a cafe in the north side of Dublin City. In the North Strand Road, specifically, well known for being one of the most important roads that connects the city, with northern communities like Clontarf, Howth and Malahide, just to mention a few of them.
After many years of working in hospitality, the dream of opening a cafe stayed in the back of their minds for such a long time, that they came up with the original idea that is Cloud Cafe today. Homemade, wholesome, soulful and healthy food. Saoirse explains what defines the style of Cloud is its authenticity and simplicity, “We have our menu that hasn't changed much over the years but we put a lot of thought into our daily specials and our weekend brunch specials. Having something different to offer every week/ weekend keeps us thinking and keeps our customers interested.”
The north strand road is well known in Dublin for its community values, social activities and the support between the neighbours. The neighbourhood keeps growing for the best and one of the most relevant changes happened after the opening of Cloud Cafe. Not just for being the only cafe in the area, but for serving great quality coffee, super tasty food and cakes at affordable prices. Saoirse also mentions, “North Strand already had a bustling community being so close to town and with so many great amenities nearby like the Mud Island Community Garden behind us and D-Light studios up the road. We saw it as a great opportunity to get in there and be the coffee spot it was missing”.
Lately, Cloud cafe had connected small businesses to their own customers, sharing their premises to sell their products and expand their commercial activity.
Relatively new brands like ourselves &:
have been added to the shelves of Cloud Cafe.
More brands like @_too_savage_, @savage.sauces
can be found on Instagram too.
This has established a commercial spot for those who are still growing and starting up their brands in the Irish market and for those who are still working on their websites. Giles confirms the positive impact of this commercial exchange for the cafe, “With the year that it's been and the current lockdown we're in, we really wanted to use our space to help support other businesses that don't have the same opportunities that our physical shop provides us”.
Their customers had appreciated the new display of the shop and all the new options they’re able to find locally, “We are looking for more Irish products! Our customers have also approached us to sell handmade macrame plant baskets, organic skincare and homemade chocolate truffles. We're so happy to be able to provide a space to sell these products and also love the aesthetic it lends to the front of the cafe. It's a win-win situation!”, Saoirse explained.
END DIRECT PROVISION COLLECTION POINT
The support that cloud cafe has given to the north strand community, doesn’t stop there. It multiplies in hope for those who really need it in these difficult times. In Ireland, more than 7.400 adults and children live in 38 direct provision centres across 17 counties by the end of April 2020, their living conditions are not the best and some of them had spent years in these premises.
Cloud cafe has become a collection point for donations of different kinds like baby food and toiletries for both adults and children. “We are now selling t-shirts and face-masks in the cafe with proceeds going to enddirectprovision.org. It's a cause that's really important to us and we have been delighted to be able to help in any way possible”, Gilles added.
The end of direct provision is a constant fight for human rights and actions like this, could only make asylum seeker's lives better. The Irish government set to end it by 2024.
In the middle of the pandemic, a community cafe had made a revolution in the north side of Dublin city. Staff, customers, suppliers, neighbours and local entrepreneurs are now building a network, based on respect, trust and support.
This is all thanks to Cloud Cafe!
43 North Strand Road, North Strand,
With love from us...