What are we all about ?

They didn’t knock, they didn’t ask permission, they just walked in off the street, right through the door as if it was their own home!

Such a ridiculous thought that fleeted through my mind when The Stray Bean’s first ever customers, a New Zealand family of four, wandered in. I mean, that’s the whole idea, getting people to walk through that door, and I’d just succeeded in doing it for the very first time!

Ridiculous, but maybe not as surprising as all that. I’d just spent a year getting the project going, with plans, approvals, builders, equipment deliveries, and so on, building a space that would make people feel good about being there. Like building a home.

And if it were a home, you’d be putting locks on the doors and deciding who was coming in and who wasn’t. And if you had a lot of money, you’d have chosen a quiet, exclusive area with little risk of noise and other disturbances that human life can cause. And the wall around your house would be taller, and the security system tighter. You protect. You isolate.

The Stray Bean is the opposite of all that. Anyone can walk in off the street, come in, sit down and get a good coffee for just a few euros. No filtering, no reservations, no judgement. We have people from all walks of life coming through, from artists to accountants, business leaders to the unemployed, school kids to grandparents, and locals we’ve now known for five years to tourists from all around the world.

You’re all strays to us.

If you want a great coffee, we’ll have it for you. Or if you want something else, we’ll have plenty of other good things to offer you too. That’s what we do. But what matters most is that, once you’ve walked in that door, you’re glad you’ve come. We will be too.

That was always the whole idea – I just took a few minutes on that first day of opening in 2017 to realise it myself.