Meet the Artist {Shaggy Dog Coffee- 10 Questions)

This week we ask our Ten Questions to Dublin based coffee barista Harry, owner and founder of Shaggy Dog Coffee, one of the coolest mobile speciality coffee shops we have seen in all our travels, and not to mention that the coffee is dangerously delicious! We first discovered Shaggy Dog Coffee on a day out in the Wicklow Mountains, it was a special experience to buy a cup of coffee and enjoy it before heading into the forest for a wild hike.  This brand and the detailed touches, adventurous locations and overall experience inspired us as creatives and so we had to include Shaggy dog coffee in our ‘Meet the Artist’ collection, because let’s face it making the perfect cup of coffee really is an art!

Firstly, we have to say we just love ‘Shaggy dog coffee’? Please tell us a bit about what inspired the name and branding?

The name is an ode to my favourite comedian, who is well-known for telling Shaggy Dog tales. A type of joke that is long and rambling, filled with nonsense and misdirection, and in the end is ultimately pointless, just like life. I thought that name would suit perfectly. It also meant I could have my friend’s dog, Ernie, who is an actual Shaggy Dog, be the mascot. It’s his face that is on every cup from Shaggy Dog Coffee.

Now that we know a bit more about the brand, tell us a something about the man behind the coffee magic?

I first tried coffee (instant) while ‘studying’ for the leaving cert. I thought it seemed like the kind of thing a conscientious student would do. Of course I neglected to do any actual studying at all, but the caffeine addiction stuck. I went on to spend my summers through college working as a cook at festivals. When I eventually felt the need to start my own business, I merged my childlike desire to drive around in an ambulance with my obsession for coffee and my love of working outdoors.

Like I mentioned, we discovered you while hiking in the Wicklow mountains and thought that your mobile coffee shop was one of the best ideas ever, not to mention that every sip of coffee was oh so heavenly, what inspired you to pick spots like the Wicklow’s to serve your artsy coffee?

I love to go hiking, and grew up close to Cruagh Wood. It was Shaggy Dog Coffee’s first location and was chosen because it is a beautiful place and whenever I would go there for a hike I’d think to myself that it is criminally under-served for visitors. At first it was planned to be a stop-gap between finding other locations, but it quickly took off and kind of stuck.

For some of our fellow creative followers, what is your word of advice for starting your own business and staying inspired to put your best foot forward when you are out there representing your brand?

Constantly remind yourself that this is better than having a real job.

Being an entrepreneur can be challenging, do you have any advice for people out there that would like to launch their own business?

Nope, none. People who are crazy enough to start their own business don’t tend to take advice well.

Are there any mantras you live by as an entrepreneur and coffee artist?

One is only as good as one’s last cup of coffee.

What is your process about selecting your amazing coffee?

When the business was starting, a lot of roasters were visited, but as soon as I walked in to Upside Coffee, I knew that was the coffee we would work with. The coffee is always amazing and the passion, knowledge and work ethic at Upside Coffee assured me that we would be forever in good hands.

Since you are your own boss, do you have any advice for maintaining a work-life balance?

Try to not be too hard on yourself while consistently telling yourself that you can work harder.

Lastly if someone is reading this article and suddenly has the burning desire to get their hands on a cup of Shaggy dog coffee – when and where can they find you over the next few weeks?

Over the next few weeks we can usually be found in Cruagh Wood on Weekends. Have a couple of tricks up our sleeves that we can’t quite divulge yet however.

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