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25th Feb 2020

Donegal’s first zero-waste and sustainable coffee shop has opened

Sarah Finnan

The green movement has spread to Donegal.

A zero-waste and sustainable coffee shop, Simply Green is the brainchild of Fiona McIntrye.

Originally from Skerries, Fiona returned to her father’s hometown of Ballyshannon where she opened Simply Green – Donegal’s first zero-waste and sustainable coffee shop.

The cafe’s produce is supplied either by Fiona’s family White Hill Eco Farm or locally in the North West of the country. Not only that, but the coffee is also fairtrade with ingredients delivered without plastic and in cardboard boxes that are then reused for the next delivery.

And in an effort to cut down on waste, the cafe doesn’t use single-use coffee cups. Customers are encouraged to bring their own keep cups or use one from the cafe which has been donated and upcycled.  Takeaway food is served in plastic-free alternatives or customers’ own lunch boxes.

Speaking of the decision, owner Fiona said:

“Committing to having no single-use cups was a risk, but when we let people know what we’re up to there has been such a positive reaction, either customers bring their own cup or sit in with us in the cafe.

The Ballyshannon community has been so engaged with the cafe before we opened I went to all the local businesses to tell them about what Simple Green was trying to achieve and staff from a local charity shop even dropped in crockery and mugs to help out.

We’ve had queues out the door… the community has been so enthusiastic about the zero-waste element of our business.”

It’s even dog-friendly too.

As for the menu, it’s chockablock of seasonal produce – altering based on whatever fruit and vegetables are growing. Think organic beetroot in January, cauliflower florets in February, courgettes in June and fresh tomatoes throughout the summer.

Their bread is fully vegan with a wide range of gluten-free and vegan sweet and savoury options on offer as well.

Looks like we’ve decided where we’re going on our next staycation.

READ NEXT: Pay it forward: Why buying two coffees should be your good deed for the day