An old shed that used to house cobwebs and yoga mats is now One Kinda Folk, a Byron Bay inspired hidden gem in the middle of Dublin city. Set behind the most gorgeous ivy wall, you’ll find a little oasis filled with dried flowers and the smell of specialty coffee and chai brewing.
We caught up with owner Rachel Elliman, to learn more about how she got started and how selling coffee is more than just what’s in the cup.
The power of community
The idea to open a coffee shop first came to Rachel 8 years ago while living and working in Australia. She always worked in cafes and restaurants, but realised how the Australian coffee scene was much more advanced than Ireland. She saw the opportunity to build a unique outdoor space, where she could create a great customer experience centered around fresh quality products and specialty coffee culture.
“We noticed an old yoga studio behind an Ivy wall and decided to convert it. We wanted something a little different, so this unique location was perfect as it sat between Ranelagh village and the bridge into town” described Rachel.
Not only was the location and space perfect for what Rachel was looking to create, the community she was about to become a part of was also a huge asset.
“The business community here is really amazing. Everyone is so kind and generous. We started a WhatsApp group with 30+ female business owners in the area. When you open a business and no one tells you how to do it. You’re constantly winging it! So it was great to have that supportive group of women as a safe forum to share knowledge and ask questions”, Rachel explained.
Serving up a delicious experience
“You’re both nervous and excited, and when you open the door you need customers. You expect people to just come - but it takes time and patience. And eventually you’ve worked so hard, you then become established.”
Passionate about good coffee, One Kinda Folk proudly serves coffee by 3fe, as well as fresh pastries and a range of vegan, gluten free and dairy free treats, which are delivered daily by local suppliers. However, when Rachel thinks about the success of One Kinda Folk, she puts it down to creating a great experience and making customers feel good when they visit.
“You can serve the most amazing product, but if customers don’t feel good when they leave, they won’t come back.”
The team has regular staff meetings to learn how they can improve the customer experience and product. Not only that, but Rachel is also keen to ensure the staff have a great working environment and that they are happy to come to work. “We want to ensure they feel part of a family here”.
One Kinda Folk was just 5 months old before the pandemic hit in March 2020. They became so busy during lockdown that Rachel had to upgrade all of the shop’s equipement with new coffee machines and grinders. She also had to build out a shed extension. “It really showed me what the place was capable of.”
As more people were working from home and venturing outdoors, a long queue began to form for their delicious coffees outside the ivy wall. Rachel described the queue as one of the best pieces of marketing One Kinda Folk could have got.
Keeping it simple with Square
Rachel was previously using SumUp as their main payments provider but described how the card reader would often break and was unreliable. She was hesitant to switch as she noted how complicated the pricing structure was with various providers.
“A lot of payment providers make things complicated in terms of pricing and monthly fees. With Square, it’s simple as you have a 1.75% transaction fee and no monthly contract.”
She had heard about Square through the grapevine, but was hesitant to switch as Square was so new to the market. She eventually took the plunge and hasn’t looked back since.
“It was so easy to switch over that it only took me 10 minutes to set it up! Also, the ease of use for the staff is incredible. We process a large volume of coffees everyday and lots of variations of those coffees. Square helps us to process these fast and easily. I’m delighted with it”.
With her last provider, Rachel found she could only see limited statistics sales information.
“With Square, it’s so easy for me to see how we are doing from a business perspective. It’s great to see how we’re trending at certain times of the day, how many coffees we sell and what the average sale spend was. The simplicity of the dashboard is key.”
To learn more about coffee, community, tunes and chai, you can visit One Kinda Folk in person in Ranelagh, Dublin. Or check out on Instagram.