Back in February I saw a sign in the local shop asking if anyone was interested in a community cafe.
A meeting was arranged and I went along, I was surprised at the amount of people who came along to the meeting and how enthusiastic everyone was. Joe told us his vision of a community cafe in the village and how he felt it was a good idea.
As the weeks went on weekly meetings were held. Usually people lose momentum and drop out along the way. Not in Coolaney though, every week we all went along and plans were made to try a pop-up cafe in the community centre for 8 weeks. The village has grown since we moved here in 1991 and a cafe was really needed: a place to go to meet your neighbours, relax and have a chat.
Today was the big day with the opening of Cafe Fia (Fia is the Irish for deer and I saw about ten of them this morning!). Between us all we have transformed the community centre into a cosy cafe. The local bakers produced wonderful cakes, tarts and bread. Kiera made fantastic coffee, Patricia came along with beautiful flower arrangements, lamps, china were donated. Sinead made fabulous aprons and took orders with a smile. Lisa decorated jars for table decorations and made the most amazing cupcakes. Local businesses donated money and helped out. All the other volunteers were just brilliant, smiles all round.
Everyone volunteered their time and between us we turned a dream into reality. People came in their droves, it was so busy we ran out of food! It was amazing how the community pulled together to make this happen. Today I’m very proud to be a resident of Coolaney. As a team and with such great community spirit anything can be achieved.
Cafe Fia opens every weekend from 11am – 5pm for the next 8 weeks, we hope to see you there and maybe our pop-up cafe might be a permanent fixture in the village one day.