We got away with murder. We did the unthinkable. We got a gaff in Dublin in a ridiculously good location and it's not cheap but it’s also not a rip off. I've genuinely never heard of such a thing.
Harry's Nut Butter started out in the Fumbally at the beginning of a worldwide lockdown. I used to make it in the café kitchen and sell it on the menu and in the market next door on Saturday mornings. Then I took up too much room there and so I moved to The Fumbally Stables.
There's loads of different projects happening there. Could be a day of falafel making, a fermentation workshop, cake days for the café or bread days either. There could be a private dinner or event on, or someone could be cooking for a yoga class in the studio upstairs but all that came to a halt with Covid. It was rubbish in so many ways, but sheepishly, I admit it was really good for me. There was all of this room to grow into.
I started in The Stables one day a week, beside the sink over in the corner where the fermented drinks are made. Just blending a few buckets and jarring them on my own. I'd label them on the hand crank machine loaned to us by White Mausu. I had a shelf out in the hall beside the vinegars and I was happy out with that. Just tucking all my shite away at the end of the day and spending the rest of the week doing jigsaws and watching Tiger King like everyone else was. But as Nut Butt started to get momentum of its own, I began to take up more and more space and my little shelf in the hallway wasn't cutting it anymore.
So I moved to the long room. It's the dining room in The Stables but it's also where the Saturday market was held before lockdown and it's where Sceal Bakery sell their insane bread and pastries out of every Thursday and Saturday but it was just lying there empty and capacious, essentially asking to be commandeered.
So now I'm buying a pallet of cardboard cases, a pallet of carboard boxes and a pallet of branded outer boxes. Then add to that a pallet of jars, a pallet of lids, a pallet of peanuts and a pallet of stock in jars and that long room that felt huge when we moved in is now a labyrinth of stuff on pallets and there's a small corner left grinding and mixing buckets of nut butt with extension cables stretched precariously around the gaff.
Then I was able to piggy back on Fumbally Ferments acquisition of two shipping containers and was able to borrow one for a few months. We moved all our grinding and mixing there and just used the Long Room for storage, as well as paying for an auxiliary storage place down the road. It was TIGHT.
We were carrying out buckets by hand up and over dangerous steps, ruining our backs and holding up the lane while we loaded the van for deliveries. We'd sucked the Fumbally dry of the fountain of generosity it had given us and so it was time to go solo. We scoured the internet for suitable places but they're far and few. We still wanted to be a cycle-able distance to work and we all live in the city but that was looking nearly impossible to find. These things are always a fluke though, you know. Dunno if anyone ever gets their dream place through the regular channels but we were insanely lucky to get a text from a pal, who had a friend who knew a guy who had a warehouse.
You know when you see something and you're just like "THIS!" But you have to pretend to be cool so you can lowball the landlord? Well....that.
We're in now two months. We have a pallet truck so nobody's backs are gonna blow out, we have an office to write blog posts in, we have racks for storage, we have a ramp to a double door for heaps of pallets to come in and out and touch wood and light a candle we'll be here for the next few years.
There's no summary or lessons to be learnt here. I'm just bragging about our new gaff.