We need a coffee shop in Muff”, are words people heard me and many others preach for quite a few years. Although we do have a fabulous cafe in the village, a coffee shop was always something I’d hoped to see here. Many others felt the same.

The local butcher, McColgans Butchers, even transformed their premises into a coffee shop, with home made scones and jam for myself and a friend one morning a couple of years ago. Sadly, it just didn’t take off!!! But it was appreciated on that morning.

So when rumours began to spread about 18 months ago that a very real ‘coffee shop’ was about to open in the heart of the village, no-one was more delighted than myself. But, would it really happen? I really didn’t believe it until I saw it with mine own eyes! And with those eyes I really did see it come into shape.

Two young men made a coffee dream come true. Brothers Edward and and Shane Doherty were about to open what is now, the heart of the village. The Workshop opened it’s doors just last summer, and it has only gone from strength to strength since. From breakfast to lunch, coffee, tea, cakes galore and more, this establishment really does have all that a ‘great’ coffee shop should have. And with a host of local people working within, it has a warm welcome for everyone.

Local girl Claire Gallagher told me about working at The Workshop: “Edward and Shane are really genuine family fellas. I love working for them.” Another local girl, Michelle Nic An Tsaoir said of her work there: “Shane and Ed are a pleasure to work for. They have always been approachable about anything: generous, great craic, and super-sound since day 1. I love working there and with what has become a great group of us friends that make up the WS team!

Having traveled to Derry over recent years to coffee shops there, to conduct many interviews for work, I was eagerly awaiting to do a little work here on my very own home turf. And that I have. From local blogging, to interviewing The Henry Girls, to consulting with clients, it’s all been done just a stones throw from home. The Workshop offers a comfortable setting with a divine cup of coffee to compliment any piece of work.

But alas, there’s more to just working in coffee shops. Meeting old friends, meeting new friends, meeting friends from all walks of life. Regular breakfasts and coffee are now had there weekly with the bf. Bringing family from abroad to Muff for coffee is something I thought would only ever be a dream.  But now it really is a reality. And one I, like many (if not all) local folk, I don’t doubt feel the same.

Over the past 10 days, Muff and Inishowen in general, have suffered a devastating blow thanks to Mother Nature. But also over the past 10 days, Muff and surrounding areas have come together and shown that community really is at the heart of all we do. People have shown compassion, and support in a way we never thought would be needed. A way we never envisaged would be needed here in remote NW Ireland. But our people rose above all and shone. They shone brightly.

So as this coming Saturday, 2nd September approaches, it’s such a delight to see that a celebration really is happening in the village. A celebration to mark the 1st birthday of The Workshop. A celebration which is also set to raise much needed funds for those who have suffered as a result of the flood damage over the past 10 days. This celebration will not solve peoples problems and worries at the present time, but it will go some way in lessening those problems. So it really is a time to celebrate.

And to top that, there’s even a competition to win ‘free coffee for a year’. A whole year! Now that is what I call a pretty cool competition. I guess I’ll be entering more than once. But don’t tell Edward!!!

So what’s the plan for Saturday at The Workshop? From 2-4pm there will be fun galore (and coffee galore). Free food, live music and face painting is all on offer on the day. Now what shall I get my face painted as? A princess…maybe not!! But a great day’s fun is definitely in store. And all donations on the day are going towards helping those of the recent flood disaster. Now that sounds like a

date, one really can’t turn down.

Everyone is invited to celebrate this occasion and I’m pretty sure no one will be disappointed.

Edward and Shane, and all The Workshop staff, here’s wishing you a very very happy 1st birthday from Craicon Muff and I’m sure the entire community and beyond. Here’s to many more coffee birthdays in the heart of Muff, and our very own coffee shop.

As someone once said, “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy coffee.” That’ll do for me!!