Category Archives: Staff

Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah ‘Zaconey’

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I do enjoy a funfair and a little tipple, but not usually together. Well last week I got to enjoy both with  the launch of Zaconey, a new delicious fun spirit with a bourbon twist. It was held in the wonderfully appropriate Everleigh Gardens on Harcourt Street, and from the outset it was a triumph. This was one of the most impressive and enjoyable launches I have been to.  The location really encapsulated the fun aspect promised by the theme park styled invite. A welcoming theme park attendant told us to ‘enjoy the ride’ and we  certainly did.

The branding was impressively ubiquitous and the staff really seemed interested and friendly. I must admit that I undertook an extensive taste test in order to give you a reliable review!  Various mixtures and combinations later (including a Zaconey slushy), I can attest that it is quite delicious. It’s a sweet-ish drink,  just like the candy floss mini cones, sweet potatoes and jars of sweets we were tempted  and lured into tasting.

This was certainly not the typical funfair offering of chips in a plastic box and unlike many funfairs, I actually won something. An enjoyable game of ‘hoopla’ turned out to be more fruitful than anticipated. With my Zaconey tee-shirt proudly stashed away, I reflected on the event. The lesson I learnt here is that alcohol and funfairs actually go quite well together, contrary to  horrific housewife tales of exuberant hurdy gurdy mishaps! Thankfully no mishaps at this launch, this was a slick operation. A fun-filled launch of roller-coaster proportions.

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I’m in love with KC Peaches..

I’m enamored. KC peaches has my heart and I’m hooked. We met a week or two ago on Nassau Street. This place has it sussed. Their visual merchandising and simple use of neutral colours make this place look rather special.

All I wanted was a humble salad, well, let me tell you that I had a veritable choice of goodness to choose from. As someone who is rather indecisive, this posed a bit of a problem, and waved goodbye to the ‘quick lunch’ I had planned.  Fifteen minutes later, I was still shoveling a bit of couscous and assorted leaves into my ‘box’.

I love how you pick a box and fill it with anything, no horrid weighing scales or sneaky extra charges. The only rule I’m guessing is that the box must be able to close and not be overflowing with spinach and rockety goodness. The staff are cool and helpful and even offered me a cheeky student discount, without me prompting. Not so cheeky considering I am a student but it was a welcome change to see a staff member take some initiative. More of that is to be encouraged.

There have been recent reports from one of my informants of burnt broccoli stowing away in said informants ‘box’, but I am not here to judge on the kitchens over zealousness cooking in relation to the tree shaped vegetable.

Take a walk down Nassau Street and you won’t miss it, they have delightful cakes in the window to lure you in. I do warn you though, If you are tight on time, indecisive or put off by choice,  you may need to plan your time to get the full effect. This place deserves time, effort and a bit of thought. Ironically similar to the ingredients of the perfect relationship !

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Up all night..in the pursuit of customer service.

Never one to be a follower of sport – in fact I swiftly recycle any sport supplement that comes my way -something changed  this weekend. I write this whilst sipping on a free latte from Insomnia. I have always been a fan of this company, I like their style and their brand has a personality that fits kinda well with me. They treat their customers pretty good and this weekend they had a special treat for their ZAPPA tag loyalty card holders. Obviously being a promiscuous loyalty card fiend, I was in on the offer too.

The deal was this, whenever Ireland scored against Croatia, you get a free coffee. Genius ! So for the first and potentially last time, I watched the match from a partially selfish ‘what’s in it for me’ perspective. How joyful I was when we scored, I could taste the milky frothiness of my Monday latte already.

On a less positive note, I find the only weakness with Insomnia can be the staff. I had a think about as to why this might be. The only theory I could suggest is that they are true ‘insomniacs’ dedicated to their job and forego sleep in order to stay true to the brand name. It works as sometimes their enthusiasm and customer service is  lack lustre and I leave feeling a little nonchalant about their staff. Luckily their coffee pulls me away from my grumpy mumblings.

Lets not dwell on picky negativity though. We must applaud companies who run such great loyalty offers, more of it is needed ! Insomnia have done what not a lot of people could do, get me mildly interested in a sporting event. Now ‘Come On You Boys In Green, I am getting quite accustomed to these free Lattes and the suspense of the matches is becoming an enjoyable pastime…Perhaps I am the one in need of some sleep.

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Brilliant Brioche

I must admit, it is not often that I feel compelled to tell you all about my lunch, nor would I think you would be interested in such mundane musings, however this is different. Brioche is one of our local haunts providing the sustenance a student needs to make it through a grueling college day. In my opinion, they are just great. Not only do they have great prices and lunch deals (€2 for coffee, with extra kick) but they are genuinely nice people.

It was this week that we made the stroll down Aungier Street to said cafe. I must add that we battled the wind and rain on two occasions and on one occasion I lost an umbrella to it (Doesn’t this scream brand loyalty to you). Nevertheless it was packed. One member of staffed soon realised the impending herd mentality that was about to break out and took it upon herself to come out behind the counter to hurry things along.

She proceeded to take our orders in advance, writing them and our names on their bags. This is brilliant customer service in action. We were impressed. They even succumbed to my addiction for mayonnaise by providing me with a little extra pot for my pleasure (Remember it is the little extras that I love). We returned today and were greeted by the uber professional staff member by name, this threw me over the edge into a pit of delight.

Every single company should have staff members like this, she surpassed any expectations I ever had about the place,  I am now a loyalist to Brioche.

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It really is the little things that count.

Camden street has become quite the melting pot of chic eateries and great bargains. As an aside, one of my favourite shops, The Camden Casket, is an absolute must visit for the savvy buyer, but more about that in a later post, I must stay on topic !

Back to NEON, or as they put it Asian street food, now I don’t know if the term ‘street food’ really does this justice,  it is way better than any urban street food I have ever tasted. The staff are most attentive even helping me choose dishes that would limit a chilli overdose.

Now to a little note or suggestion if you like, we visited at the rather unsociable hour of 5pm on a Monday thanks to a hectic day of project work. The lunch time deal was over at 4pm and whilst the only other two people in the place were content with this, I feel a little nudge in the way of customer loyalty would have been beneficial had it been offered. I do like a deal you know. Still €11.95 for noodles and a main dish is great.

And talk about saving the best till literally last, your meal comes with two ice cream cones that you can fill at your leisure for free. So ice cream cones in hand, a nod of thanks from the staff and a ray of sunshine breaking through, we left with definite promises of a return visit.

A little piece of paradise with delightful extras, a great combination. 

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Top Marks

A spur of the moment Thursday trip to M&S turned out to be quite the fruitful one. Initially lured in by their €12.50 dinner deal (which cannot be beaten for value) we were greeted by a selection of delightful treats being offered.

Yvonne was just as delightful as her samples, she amazed me with her enthusiasm and knowledge of all things Marks and Spencer. I left feeling knowledgeable  not just about the new range but a whole host of tips and tricks regarding all things cookery.

The most important point though is that Yvonne had bundles of passion without being pushy. She was absolutely brilliant at her job and could sell me a Spanish risotto in an instant, despite my abhorrent dislike for the mini rice dish. There needs to be more Yvonne’s out there !

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