Our secret ingredient? Come and see!

“It’s all go!” says Yvonne, on yet another busy morning at Café L’Arche in Callan, Ireland. “And it’s been like that since 2007, when we opened the doors. We simply haven’t looked back since.”

Café L’Arche runs each weekday except Monday, from 9.30-4.30. What makes it such a local hit? “Partly, the variety of our menu,” recognises Yvonne who leads the café team today: “We have a different menu on every day, a different main course, soup, different salads, panini sandwiches; all different desserts; it is all home-made, the core members help out with everything, and most of it comes from local producers, as well.”

But what is it that has customers coming back again and again, – and again? An enthusiastic comment from Claire Ann, a café team member with an intellectual disability, reveals a special ingredient – each person walking through the door is made to feel truly welcome: “I do really enjoy meeting all the customers and serving them their food.”


And those customers include teenagers, business-men and women, mothers and toddlers, and people in retirement. Whoever you are, you are guaranteed service with a smile, and a friendly word from Claire Ann or Malissa, or Podge, or other team members. One loyal coffee-drinker proudly announces, “I have been coming here almost every day for the last 10 years now,” while his companion recalls: “I celebrated my 50th birthday here, and I will be celebrating my 60th in a couple of weeks; that is how long I have been coming here.”



Another commendation comes from Marguerite and Anthony Kramers, long term members of L’Arche Edinburgh, on holiday locally. Enthuses Marguerite: “I remember visiting the community not many years after it started over 40 years ago. Then it was small and hidden; now, how beautifully that little mustard seed has grown! I love seeing the ‘Cafe L’Arche’ banner on the main street of Callan.”

And perhaps that is the best thing about Café L’Arche: as an ongoing and friendly bridge between the L’Arche community and their neighbours. Last word to Deirdre, who has been in Café L’Arche for years: “I think it is particularly good for the local community: how they have come to know our people; listening to Malissa telling jokes, or the latest goings on. They are the life and soul of the place. I think it has been a great opportunity for L’Arche to be really part of the local community.”

Come and see! Click here for directions – And read the reviews

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