A Mayo schoolteacher and freelance journalist has launched her new business by converting a horsebox into a coffee shop.
Nicole O’Malley, from Louisburgh, is the founder of Melody’s Brew, a coffee shop operating out of a converted 1970s horsebox.
Ms O’Malley told the she got the idea for Melody’s Brew just after the first Covid lockdown last year.
“I thought about buying a rice box to use for camping and planned to convert it into a coffee shop over the winter. The model is hard to get but a sustainable 1970s rice box in great condition came up at the end of the year and I went for it.”
Ms O’Malley works as a freelance reporter for thatsfarming.com and as an agricultural science and biology teacher at St Joseph’s Secondary School in Castlebar. In addition, she has worked in the cafe business during her time in school and college. She said her interests tie into the business she has set up.
“My interest in my subjects and talking to Irish food producers complement the idea and what I’m about as a person. I’d place an emphasis on sustainability
“I like baking and that would have brought on this idea but I have opted to go with local hand-picked suppliers to look after that for me.
“They all share similar values in terms of supporting Irish and sustainability. I can concentrate on running the business.”
Ms O’Malley said the name ‘Melody’s Brew’ came from a broodmare her late uncle Anthony owned named Melody. She thanked her brother Jason for his help in converting the horsebox and said the rest of her family has chipped in greatly to the project.
“Everyone has chipped in without ever being asked to and they’ve all been great. It’ll be coffee on the house for them!
“We live in a beautiful area naturally full of activity – surfers, cyclists, walkers, runners – and I’m looking forward to being around this summer.”