It’s the end of an era – this week was James’s last week pouring your cuppa in Dock Cafe.
He’s not exactly taking it easy in retirement – he’s heading off to start a brand new tea room and also will be becoming a father in a few weeks’ time – so all of a sudden a hectic day in Dock Cafe might look like a haven of tranquility by comparison!
Hard to believe it’s over 2 years since James took up the reins in the cafe. We’ve got so much to thank him for during his time with us – among many many other things, James can be credited with Dock Cafe’s 5-star hygiene rating, #1 position on Trip Advisor’s listings of coffee shops in Belfast, the introduction of our famous carrot cake and ginormous cookies, and bringing an almost obsessive love to the cleaning of the glass tray bake cabinet!
I would also like to thank him for looking almost exactly like me – at least according to the many customers who called me James, or called James Chris! James tells the story of one busy Saturday afternoon in the cafe when I had been a guest speaker in front of thousands of Mothers Union members in the Waterfront Hall that morning. Inspired by the story of the Dock, the MU all hot-footed it straight over the footbridge to Dock Cafe when their conference was over – and, as James says, so many of them thanked him for his inspiring talk in the Waterfront Hall that he gave up trying to correct them and just enjoyed all the love!
As with all things Dock, we’ll never know just how much impact James’s time with us has made during his two-and-a-bit years. We’ll never know how many cups of coffee he served, how many lonely travellers he welcomed, how many stressed students he chilled, how many stretched volunteers he inspired, how many lives he changed and how much difference he made.
We just know that we’ll miss him!