Limerick coffee company to lay Siege to Colbert Station

Christy McAllister and Aoife McKeon at the new Colbert Station café.

A NEW Limerick coffee shop will be hoping to have the right formula for success having just opened their second city centre outlet.

Siege Coffee Company, based in Colbert Station in Limerick City, is the sister company of Abbey River Coffee, who have been open on Matthew Bridge in the city since 2017, as well as operating the Abbey River Coffee Roastery, which opened in 2021.

Abbey River Coffee Roastery has recently been rebranded under the Siege Coffee Company name – a nod to Limerick’s past – with the new Colbert Station café opening a little over a month ago.

Speaking to the Limerick Post, owner of Siege Coffee Company and Abbey River Coffee, Christy McAllister, said the new base in Colbert Station offers some unique challenges but that, as the days go by, they’re finding their feet.

“We’re open 13 hours a day, we open at 6am and close at 7pm, so we find in the mornings its very busy for the first three or four hours,  but throughout the day then it really ebbs and flows based on when the trains come in and when they leave,” Christy explained.

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“Understanding that, it’s been a challenge for the first few weeks, but overall I think we’re getting the hang of it now.”

Despite big name global coffee brands also based in Colbert Station, Christy is hoping the fact that his is a local brand will help them stand out, and that the multi-million euro redevelopment of the station will benefit them in terms of footfall.

The graduate of pharmaceutical and industrial chemistry said that opening a second outlet was never part of his original plan, but when the opportunity arose to have an outlet at Colbert Station, he jumped at it.

“CIÉ came to us roughly this time last year, or maybe a bit later, with the idea of opening in the train station and I couldn’t actually say no to it. I didn’t really want to open a second outlet in many other places, I didn’t want to overcrowd the city.”

“But when the opportunity for the train station happened, I jumped at i, because I didn’t really see a better opportunity, and I said ‘now or never,” he said.

The company got funding from Microfinance Ireland in order to help them set up Siege Coffee in Colbert Station, and Christy says that, without their support, it probably wouldn’t have happened for them.

“We were very lucky to be able to get money off Microfinance Ireland, we were able to pitch our plan to them and we’re very grateful that they backed us up. Without that, I’m not sure we’d have been able to do it,” Christy explained.

In the future, Siege Coffee Company hopes to return to roasting their own coffee from their premises in the Potato Market, something they took a break from while opening their second outlet.