Bru Box: From GAA grounds to coffee grounds

GAA stars Nathan Mullins and Eamonn Fennell swap the pitch for lattes as they spoke with The Liberty about their new business venture.  

Creating a close community atmosphere and aligning with the COVID-19 guidelines have always been top priority for Nathan Mullins and Eamonn Fennell when opening their café “Bru Box”. 

“The health and safety of people was paramount,” Mullins says. “Most people know someone who has been affected by COVID-19, whether they got it or lost their job. We made sure to stay within guidelines, but we were determined to persevere.” 

The café employs a small handful of staff and is in Father Collins Park at Trinity Sports and Leisure Club in Donaghmede. It has been a big hit with families living in the area according to Mullins: “A huge number of young families walk around the park every day, we obviously wanted to try and help make the leisure centre a focal point of the community when restrictions ease.” 

A group of people standing in front of a police station

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Pictured the Brubox team via Brubox Instagram 

Mullins plays for St Vincent’s Gaelic Football club alongside his business partner and former Dublin football player Eamon Fennell. Mullins told The Liberty that the 5km limit was the biggest struggle of opening the coffee shop.

“When we wanted to sort the layout for the inside of the container, we couldn’t visit showrooms. Obviously setting up with our coffee supplier Silverskin, we had to be careful travelling – meaning we couldn’t go to meetings or taste the coffee.” 

As a first-time entrepreneur, Mullins said, “I’ve no experience setting up a business, let alone a coffee shop, definitely be prepared for the unexpected. You might be told your electricity supply is enough for the coffee machine to work but then you add in a couple of fridges; a till system; pressure pump and then a grinder for the coffee, you realise you don’t have enough and you’re calling the electricians back.” 

Mullins also highlighted the importance of time management as he himself found it difficult whilst time sharing between his new baby, his family business and working a full-time job. 

The football duo, who opened their business on March 5th, say that they have no idea how the next year will go for them, but are hopeful “obviously it’d be great to be able to open up a coffee shop.” 

Mullins and Fennell are also hoping that “the GAA will get the greenlight when restrictions lessen. Setting up a business and having a family at home leaves you trying to get a run in or kicking a few balls, its another challenge but if you want something, you’ll find a way to get it done.”  

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