I had noticed the sign for the Craic’d Pot on my visit home back in March. It brought to my mind the coffee shops I’d seen in California – not the plague of Starbucks or Peets you see on every street corner, but more the “Mom & Pop” type coffee shops nestled into the likes of Palo Alto and Los Gatos – nice places, up-market places, places that made you feel you were on vacation.
As soon as I could after I moved home, I made a beeline for the Craic’d Pot to see what the craic actually was. I was not disappointed.
It had the ambience to match any upmarket Californian or Seattle coffee house, with that added Irish vibe – good craic (obviously) and great scones…
… not to mention the best-tasting coffee in town! Thank God they sell the beans so we can make the brew at home too – you know, for hurricane days, when you can’t leave the house!
I loved the thought that had been applied to the decor. Every last detail attended to in such a way as to make me feel that I, their customer, was valued and worth the effort.
I was complimenting the staff on the cups and asking if they had been specially made for the business when a person bringing an armful of empty dishes appeared and confirmed that, yes, they had been specially made. This was my introduction to Scott King the owner.
|Amazing staff – Sharon Donnelly and Ryan Little along with owner Scott King
Like myself, Scott, a county Armagh native, had travelled and lived abroad, though I considered his list of places that bit more exotic than mine – places like Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Vienna, Austria and Istanbul, Turkey. He spent 4 years at University in Scotland studying Management with Business Law and then went on to do a PGCE in Liverpool teaching Business Economics and eventually returning home to Armagh. By then he’d taught business for a while so decided it was time to stop teaching it and actually do it.
You could certainly see his expertise in marketing – Branding at its most functional level.
Not only is he a coffee connoisseur, he knows how to spread the love of the bean juice too – he gave us tasters of different varieties of beans made with various filtering techniques. Just fab!
But how did the grub match up?
Remember, this is a coffee shop. It doesn’t claim to be a restaurant or a bistro, like other excellent places in Armagh such as 4 Vicars, The Moody Boar, Mulberry or the nearby Rumours. The Craic’d Pot has created its own perfect niche – light bites – both savoury and sweet.
I had a panini with bacon, cheese and tapenade, with a side of salad ingredients of my choice.
Along with her salad choices, My Sister had the sausage roll – no ordinary sausage roll – this one had apple and herbs in it. And oh my, look at that pastry!