Celtic Phoenix? Harbo says the nightmare’s over and he’s ready to sell cornflakes.
Renowned Dublin Web 2.0 mover-and-shaker, Niall Harbison, has revealed plans to open Lovin Flake, the capital’s first Breakfast Cereal Café.
“It’s going to be totally fucking savage. Whopper. Game changer”, enthused the 34 year old.
“I suppose I’ve always been super passionate about this fantastic little city, and right now I’m super passionate about obscure brands of breakfast cereal. But then who isn’t? If you’re not, then you’re a fucking loser in my book, and you should be ashamed of yourself. Standing on the sidelines criticizing the pro-active, positive thinkers who are pulling us out of this recession. Fucking keyboard warrior.”
To give the venture his full attention, Harbison will be stepping back from his role as CEO at Lovin Dublin, the Dublin-based foodie culture website he started by accident in 2013.
Whether the process of making mashed potato is being explained (step-by-step, with pictures) to Irish people by a contributor, or Harbison himself is listing the symptoms of a hangover, Lovin Dublin, remains, he argues, “a whopper relevant online resource. Well, at least for the kind of person who would actually sign up to our new-post-alert mailing list.”
It’s this very same tried and tested brand of good humoured, energetic originality that Harbison will be bringing to Lovin Flake, he says.
“I think we can be as great as Melbourne or New York, or even some of the edgier London districts. But if people like me aren’t prepared to belatedly ape already dead overseas trends, then we’re in serious danger of looking like a total fucking backwoods to outsiders.
“And yeah, probably you’ll get some anonymous pricks whining on Boards or wherever, but we don’t want fuckheads like them coming in the shop anyway.
“Just get me their IP addresses. We’d see how big they are then.”
Harbison’s forceful yet confused opinions on subjects as diverse as sandwiches, Dublin 8 and heroin addiction have won him his reputation as a person who will quickly retract a claim if it generates enough negative publicity, but then publicly reaffirm the same claim if given subsequent encouragement. And then retract it again.
“Hey, it’s a fast moving world. I just try to ride the waves”, he reasoned.
They Might Be Tech Giants
“I mean, a couple of years ago if you told potential buyers that 70 Mavens were following your Facebook page and you had the phone number of an NCAD student with two digital camcorders, you could flog the whole thing to them as a package for a couple of million. As long as you kept repeating terms like ‘Tech’ and ‘Metrics’ and ‘UPI’.
“You can’t do that anymore. So now it’s marshmallows on Ricicles. Same principle. And anyway, opening a boutique cornflake restaurant is something I’ve wanted to do since, I don’t know, last weekend?”
Harbison believes the timing is perfect. He feels a ready-made, painstakingly honed clientele of thousands exists for Lovin Flake in the form of his Lovin Dublin ‘community’.
“My site has repeat visitors. We write up lists of pubs that have a fireplace. We tell people they should put frozen grapes in their white wine if the wine isn’t cold enough. I repeat – repeat visitors. Trust me, they’ll be amenable to the idea of breakfast cereal as a lifestyle statement.”
The former Conrad Gallagher protegé says he is confident he can source enough boxes of South Korean Count Chockula (as well as the attendant 1980’s advertising paraphernalia) to agree terms on a recently wound down Pop-Up beside the Powerscourt Centre by early next year.
“Assuming some Public Sector dinosaur with an axe to grind doesn’t put the kybosh on it.
“You’d fucking think they’d have better things to be doing, wouldn’t you?”, he continued.
“I mean, I love sharing simple recipes with people, and I love cooking for rich people on their yachts. But I also want my own fucking yacht. I hope that with Lovin Flake I’ve finally managed to somehow unite these disparate strands of my personality in one rock-solid, game-changing concept retail experience.
“I’d say I can probably get four, five Euros for our ‘Fucking Tiny’ bowl of Smurfberry Crunch. Tenner for a large serving – we’ll probably call it ‘The Shitload’. Maybe another two on top if they want milk. But more for almond milk.
“Everyone’s saying almond milk is whopper.”
Harbison went on to point out the striking core similarities between being head chef at Lloyd’s Brasserie, selling a media agency at the height of the madness and importing a supposedly special sort of Coco Pops from Argentina.
“Misplaced inferences of elitism and insincere positivity have always been two compulsories at the Harbo School of Business. I fail to see how these elements will not transfer well into the day-to-day running of Lovin Flake”, he predicted.
Haters Gonna Tweet
“Unless some prat gets a hate campaign going on Twitter. And I’m the one creating jobs here! Paying fucking tax to keep them all in whatever it is they spend their poxy dole on!”
He was also quick to rubbish conjecture that Lovin Flake might be quickly sold on to unassuming investors after a big opening push for a grossly inflated price by the end of summer 2015.
“No no. This one’s definitely a keeper. I like to think it could become a hub for our rising class of Social Media and Branding creatives.
“I might do one on Capel Street too.”
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