The Six Days of (Dock) Creation

It’s five years since Dock Cafe opened its doors – five unforgettable, exciting, challenging, surprising, crazy years…

It has grown beyond our wildest dreams.  Nothing could have prepared us, back in the early days, for the amazing movement Dock Cafe has now become: over seventy volunteers, hundreds of customers every day, thousands upon thousands of conversations, catch-ups, prayers and pieces of cake…

But right at the start we knew it was something special.  Right from the moment that we were handed the keys to an empty shop unit, and a team of volunteers rose to the challenge of turning it into a cosy community cafe in just six days, ready for the arrival of Eamonn Holmes and the Songs Of Praise film crew.

So began the Six Days of Creation:

Hey birthday boy!

Can you believe it?  Dock Cafe turns 5 next week!

8th March 2012 was the day that Tegan cut the ribbon on our crazy pop-up Honesty Box coffee shop. On that day we hoped and prayed that we would be able to keep it going for a few weeks, even a month or two – I’m not sure we would have believed that we would still be growing and thriving at the centre of Life in the Titanic Quarter five years later.

So that’s worth a party!

We would love to see you at Dock Cafe on Wednesday 8th March 2017 at 7:30pm for cake, coffee and celebration. We’ll recap the story so far, and dream some dreams of the future and the next chapter.

You don’t need to bring any gifts – your presence is your present! It would just be fantastic to gather the community of the Dock to give thanks for this life-changing adventure that we all share.

See you there!

PS if you’re new to the Dock, you can follow the amazing story of the events leading up to the grand opening here:
The Six Days Of Creation

Or you can watch the excitement of getting ready for Eamonn Holmes, our very first customer, here:

Live from Dock Cafe…

As Storm Doris blasted through the UK on Thursday, Chris Buckler and the BBC News team needed a safe, dry place where they could film their live broadcasts about the NI elections.  A place where every interviewee they had lined up, every politician of every party, would feel welcome.  A place where the new Northern Ireland is being built day by day.  A place where the coffee is good and the craic is mighty.  Can you guess where they chose…?

And so throughout Thursday BBC News kept cutting live to the morning bustle, the lunchtime madness and the afternoon chill of Dock Cafe.  By the end of the day every political party had been featured and had a chance to chip in – although it was a close-run thing as Emma Pengelly, stuck in traffic, still hadn’t arrived when the last live link of the day had started – but in the nick of time, she burst through the door to breathlessly share the last interview with Máirtín Ó Muilleoir – nail-biting TV for those behind the camera at least!

One of the amazing aspects of the day was the way that Chris Buckler used the background and ethos of Dock Cafe to introduce many of the links.  From the ‘Pin Where You Come From’ map to the beautiful artwork on the walls of the cafe, the hope and positivity of The Dock was a great visual lead-in to the questions and challenges facing the candidates and interviewees.  “This election is all about Honesty – and so here we are, in the Honesty Box Cafe” was my favourite!

All great fun and fascinating to watch.  I’m hopeful that the informal surroundings of a cafe rather than the confrontational setup of a TV debate studio created some warmth and humour between the candidates.   And across party boundaries there was lots of love for the Dock!

And although I popped up in one of the interviews, I think I’m very VERY happy doing what I’m doing rather than running for office – despite Mark Simpson’s best efforts… Thankfully #votevicar is not trending!