Root & Branch opens new café in Ormeau Baths

Root & Branch founders Ben Craig and Simon Johnston.

Ormeau Baths has today announced the opening its new coffee shop, which will be operated by Belfast-based specialty coffee roasters Root & Branch, becoming the brand’s second outlet in the city.

Ormeau Baths is a newly developed co-working space and tech community based in an historic former bath house in the heart of Belfast. Its founders aim to create an entrepreneurial campus that helps the brightest and best indigenous tech start-ups gain access to new networks, funding and expertise and give them the tools to flourish in global markets.

Founded by Ben Craig and Simon Johnston, Root & Branch began life as a pop-up, but made its permanent home at the top of the Ormeau Road in May 2016 and later the same year was voted the top coffee shop in Northern Ireland by the Irish Times. The micro-roastery on Jameson Street has gone from strength to strength with Root & Branch now supplying their coffee into Dublin, London, across Europe, and selling online.

The coffee bar in Ormeau Baths will reflect the ambitions of the Baths project as a whole, furnished with the best of coffee and brewing technology, and run by a team which they believe is capable of setting new standards in the world of specialty coffee.

They have also teamed up with local Chef Andy Rea of Mourne Seafood and Home Restaurant, who will provide fresh food each morning for a ‘grab and go’ fridge.

Simon Johnston said: “We are really excited about taking up residence in the new Ormeau Baths and have teamed up with our friends at Terry Design to create a space which represents an evolution of the coffee bar from our successful Jameson Street location.

“Root & Branch’s aim has always been to combine art, science, care and attention, to create something beautiful for Belfast and beyond. The coffee bar in Ormeau Baths will be run with that same ethos.”

Steve Pette, one of the co-founders of Ormeau Baths said: “Coffee is the rocket fuel for any tech and digital community so having Root & Branch on site and creating great coffee for the members of the baths means they have access to the best in Belfast.

“The same way that Ormeau Baths is offering something new to Belfast’s tech scene, the guys from Root & Branch are at the cutting edge of the coffee world, so it was natural that we approached them to run the new coffee bar in the space. We’re really excited about what they will add to the experience that tenants and visitors will get at Ormeau Baths.”

Root & Branch is one of the first coffee roasters to use fully compostable coffee bags. They are also the first bar in Ireland to host the world class Slayer Espresso machine hand-built in Seattle, and, in fact, they’ve recently become Slayer’s distributors in Ireland.

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