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Wake up and smell the coffee…

Something’s brewing on Bull Lane

This project was so much fun for all sorts of reasons.

I really like getting my teeth into a campaign and that’s all the easier to achieve if you are interested and invested in the project. I try to avoid jobs I don’t like.

So it was great get the call to work on some media for the opening of The Wandering Elk café on Bull Lane in Portlaoise. It’s also great to work with young people who have ambition, vision and no inhibitions about having a go and giving it a shot.

Portlaoise GAA mates, Zach Tuohy and Murry Rogers have teamed up for this business venture and the possibilities and prospects for some interesting storylines are endless. This was further demonstrated when I got a sneak preview of the exquisite and classy offering which the new coffee shop had in store.

I must admit that I’m not the biggest donut fan in the world but The Rolling Donut varieties that the lads have scored are donuts to die for and if opening day on Friday was anything to go by,  destination donuts in their own right.

But there’s a whole lot more than delish sourdough donuts going on at The Wandering Elk.

There’s that quirky and curious, The Wandering Elk name to start with and then there is the location in what a creative estate agent might call a ‘cosy’, ‘quaint’ or ‘compact’ premises on Bull Lane in the heart of the Town. The place is tiny!

Therein lies the lesson as the intrepid duo have turned the diminutive space with its window hatch out onto the waiting world into a place where people are willing to queue up for 45 minutes on opening day in order to tuck into their favourite specialty coffees, gourmet melts and those famous donuts.

It’s not just another coffee shop, it’s a great story with lots of interesting angles and no surprise then when the opening of The Wandering Elk earned blanket coverage across all the local media outlets and created quite a coffee buzz and water cooler chatter on your favourite social media sites.

A big thank you to all the media outlets who took up the story – Leinster Express, Midlands 103 Radio, Laois Today, Laois People and Laois Nationalist – and it’s a story which is still running, thanks to those queues down the road to Main Street all weekend. The café even sold out of everything by 2pm on Saturday and had to close up earlier than planned.

While the queue was a highly visible manifestation of the public’s appetite for The Wandering Elk offering, the smooth operation out front concealed the opening day jitters which weren’t helped when The Wandering Elk team arrived to get the coffee brewing on Friday they found their water connection turned off thanks to the ongoing roadworks down the street…

Unphased, they persevered and were commendable in their approach, attitude and service on what proved a memorable opening weekend… with the icing on the donut being Zach’s team Geelong dishing out a double scores hiding to arch rivals Richmond Tigers in a rematch of last season’s grand final in front of 55,000 fans at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds stadium in Melbourne on Friday night.

The Wandering Elk, the brainchild of Murry and Zach actually has its origins from their time together as pals in Australia and it does bring a taste of metropolitan Melbourne to Downtown Portlaoise.

Portlaoise GAA mates, Zach Tuohy and Murry Rogers have teamed up for this business venture and the possibilities and prospects for some interesting storylines are endless. This was further demonstrated when I got a sneak preview of the exquisite and classy offering which the new coffee shop had in store.

Media Services

The Wandering Elk Cafe Launch Portlaoise

A big thank you to all the media outlets who took up the story – Leinster Express, Midlands 103 Radio, Laois Today, Laois People and Laois Nationalist – and it’s a story which is still running, thanks to those queues down the road to Main Street all weekend. The café even sold out of everything by 2pm on Saturday and had to close up earlier than planned.

Media Services

The Wandering Elk Cafe Launch Portlaoise

A big thank you to all the media outlets who took up the story – Leinster Express, Midlands 103 Radio, Laois Today, Laois People and Laois Nationalist – and it’s a story which is still running, thanks to those queues down the road to Main Street all weekend. The café even sold out of everything by 2pm on Saturday and had to close up earlier than planned.

Media Services

The Wandering Elk Cafe Launch Portlaoise

A big thank you to all the media outlets who took up the story – Leinster Express, Midlands 103 Radio, Laois Today, Laois People and Laois Nationalist – and it’s a story which is still running, thanks to those queues down the road to Main Street all weekend. The café even sold out of everything by 2pm on Saturday and had to close up earlier than planned.

Media Services

The Wandering Elk Cafe Launch Portlaoise

A big thank you to all the media outlets who took up the story – Leinster Express, Midlands 103 Radio, Laois Today, Laois People and Laois Nationalist – and it’s a story which is still running, thanks to those queues down the road to Main Street all weekend. The café even sold out of everything by 2pm on Saturday and had to close up earlier than planned.

In that regard it got me thinking a bit about how we do things differently and how we can see things so differently in different places and parts of the world.

One person’s graffiti, an act of vandalism and hooliganism which requires prosecution, punishment painted over, is another person’s masterpiece, which should be preserved, prized and promoted, as a work of art and of urban heritage and social significance.

The back alleys and narrow laneways of Melbourne instead of being viewed as the grotty hangouts of gougers and best avoided are celebrated landmarks, social hubs, their graffiti cherished and protected with conservation orders, all with their own distinctive names and stories to tell. Books have been written. Stories which percolate, resonate and ricochet as locals and visitors rub shoulders in the cities famous street cafés and coffee shops.

This is something that has been harnessed and promoted by the State tourism board, Visit Victoria.

Melbourne is a big city that feels small, thanks to the compact inner-city grid with its network of laneways running like capillaries off the main arteries. Around corners and down stairs, the city’s history is laid bare in its lanes, alleys and arcades, some furtive and obscure, others loudly proclaiming their presence with lights and layers upon layers of spray paint. Each laneway has something unique about it: a motif, an artwork or a venue; each arcade bears the hallmarks of its era. The only way to find out Melbourne’s secrets is to spend time lost in its latticework of laneways.” (Alex Greig, April 28, 2021, for Qantas in association with Visit Victoria).

It’s most appropriate therefore that Murry Rogers and Zach Tuohy should take their shared Melbourne experience and import/export a serving of it on Bull Lane in their own home town. There’s something brewing on Bull Lane in the heart of Portlaoise town centre and it’s more than just specialty coffee

Zach is of course a story in himself, popular naturally in Portlaoise, but Down Under he’s in a different league altogether. In Australia he’s a brand. And not just with the Geelong fans or in the football mad city of Melbourne where 50,000 fans at the weekly Aussie Rules AFL matches is standard.

Zach has honed an identity and brand recognition across broader Australian society landscape. Known for his uncompromising style of no-quarter-asked-or-given play and his good humoured, always smiling, quick wit and turn of phrase which have made him a favourite with the fans and media off the pitch. He is much sought after as a pundit, panellist and to front up media and marketing campaigns for everything from insurance products to selling the delights of The Greater Geelong and The Bellarine district on the TV for the tourism board. Much of this is embedded in his charming banter and Irish brogue with a hint of an Ozzie accent and mischief mixed in for good measure.

That’s brilliant John, great read. You could almost do that for a living ya know,” says Zach, stirring more than his coffee. He didn’t have a bad game himself against Richmond on Friday night at the MCG either…

If Zach keeps up this slagging I am toying around with the idea of a new song based off the Bill Wither’s classic, Lovely Day

When I wake up in the morning, love

And I know it’s going to be

A lovely day,

In Zach’s Café

Lovely day, lovely day…you know the one I mean?

Tús maith leath na hoibre and it was great to see the coffees, donuts and gourmet melts flying out the door, literally selling like hot cakes, all weekend at The Wandering Elk, so much so that they sold out completely on Saturday and had to wrap up earlier than planned…

PS I also have to mention the classy retro and understated signage down at The Wandering Elk, love it!

 

 

 

Media Services Ireland
Regional Media Services

With Communicate Ireland

the world can be your oyster

Hi there, and welcome to our new look Communicate Ireland platform

with its client centredpre-booking facility and user-friendly e-commerce function.

We want to make the accessing of the services we provide easier, efficient and effective for you.

Firstly, let me explain something.

I don’t take myself too seriously, but I take what I do and I take my work seriously.

Therefore sometimes I can come across as ‘very serious’.

But I’m not. I’m having lots of fun in my head, it just doesn’t always show on my face… or in some photos!!

What I am taking seriously is you, your business and your brand.

You have put a lot of time, energy and investment into it so it’s important that it’s handled with care, the respect and attention it requires.

I’m passionate about that and what I do when I’m working with people and yes, competitive also to achieve the best results for you and your business.

Just like this year working with David Keane and his Connemara oyster business. It’s been a joy. We’ve both learned along the way and most importantly it’s been a hugely successful media campaign.

Media Services

David Keane and his Connemara oyster business

This media campaign has caught the attention of the Connacht Tribune, Woman’s Way, Dundalk Democrat, LMFM Radio and Conor Pope of The Irish Times, among others.

Social media and our photography have been central to the success of this media strategy.

Media Services

David Keane and his Connemara oyster business

This media campaign has caught the attention of the Connacht Tribune, Woman’s Way, Dundalk Democrat, LMFM Radio and Conor Pope of The Irish Times, among others.

Social media and our photography have been central to the success of this media strategy.

Media Services

David Keane and his Connemara oyster business

This media campaign has caught the attention of the Connacht Tribune, Woman’s Way, Dundalk Democrat, LMFM Radio and Conor Pope of The Irish Times, among others.

Social media and our photography have been central to the success of this media strategy.

David Keane and his Connemara oyster business

This media campaign has caught the attention of the Connacht Tribune, Woman’s Way, Dundalk Democrat, LMFM Radio and Conor Pope of The Irish Times, among others.

Social media and our photography have been central to the success of this media strategy.

With the hospitality sector shuttered David and his team have been working hard at developing and opening new markets, both here in Ireland domestically as well as for export to new customers in France, Norway, Estonia, The Netherlands and South Korea.

All the while, whether for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day or Easter they have been busy dispatching a Taste of the Atlantic, fresh Connemara Oysters from Letterfrack to your letterbox all over Ireland, ordered online from their website www.dkconnemaraoysters.com

And it’s a media campaign that has caught the attention of the Connacht Tribune, Woman’s Way, Dundalk Democrat, LMFM Radio and Conor Pope of The Irish Times, among others.

Social media and our photography have been central also to the success of this media strategy.

It’s a campaign that’s ongoing as the business continues to evolve and pivot with the constantly changing and sometimes challenging environment.

Next up is a focus on the Farm Tours and Oyster Picnics that David provides in the midst of the stunning scenery on the verge of the Connemara National Park. This experience will be on offer again this summer, once it’s safe to travel and it’s also as you might imagine a firm favourite with overseas visitors, when we can welcome them ashore once more.

DKConnemara Oysters are all the time looking ahead and exploring these opportunities and are currently marketing the Farm visits and oyster picnics to tour operators from all over the world at the Meitheal online marketing showcase in association with Fáilte Ireland.

We asked John to help us commercialise our online presence. It worked. It was a great decision and we achieved our goals using his expertise. He became a team player overnight and worked with us in a really committed fashion to achieve our objectives and is continuing to do so,” explains David Keane.

Like Communicate Ireland, David Keane likes to deliver the goods, leave a good taste and a memorable experience.

That’s healthy. That’s good business.

And that’s just a flavour of what we do here at Communicate Ireland.

Watch this space…