It’s a testament to the food at The Happy Pear Greystones that even when you’ve missed the direct train by 2 seconds, been stuck in Bray waiting on a delayed train for over a hour and have to queue for twenty minutes to order food, you still think “Wow, this was completely worth it!” afterwards.
The Happy Pear feels like a little ray of sunshine that the Flynn twins, who set it up over 10 years ago, seem to have somehow bottled to unleash on everyone who makes the journey to visit their beautiful cafe and shop.
When we arrived the queue was already snaking out of the shop and along the footpath outside, but there wasn’t an unhappy face to be found.
A coveted seat outside in the sun became free and I pushed my little sister in the way of everyone else scrambling for it so we had the best seats in the house. Little sisters are handy for things like saving seats in restaurants, and importing your wisdom on, like how you should never be polite when trying to get a table outside a cafe.
As the queuing was starting to get tedious someone popped out of the crowd holding a board of vegan tiffins, hollering “have one with the tangerine segments, it tastes amazing!”
He looked vaguely familiar, and then an identical man appeared around the corner with a board of hummus and pesto shouting: “try this wild garlic one, it’s amazing!
The twins, Stephen and David Flynn, had appeared from the health-packed shelves of the shop, pushing their vegan goodies on the delighted members of the queue.
“My friend is getting married today and she loves you! She’s going to be so jealous!” one customer squealed.
“Do you want a photo? Let me get Stephen, Stephen come here! So where is she getting married?”
The Flynn twins are happy to oblige in whatever request is asked of them, whether it’s signing a copy of their new book or listing the fresh ingredients of the hummus they are showering the crowd with.
They are the living, breathing ‘Happy Pear’, a brand they have worked hard to grow into the profitable business it now is. The reason their brand has been so successful is because they live it, they aren’t pretending to be The Happy Pear, they really are.
They really love doing handstands every time they see a free space on the ground. They really love handing tiffin out to their adoring customers. They really go swimming in the ice cold Irish sea most mornings.
In the growing health industry you need to be the ‘after photo’ for the public to inspect to see that this whole ‘healthy eating thing’ really works. You can’t just state “eat more veg and you’ll feel happier” and hope people get the message. You have to show how powerful healthy eating is, and that’s exactly what The Flynn Twins do.
As my little sister said when she first saw them brandishing tiffin outside the shop: “ooh, so muscly.”
Of course the food was great, but it’s easy to please two vegans and one vegetarian who are used to only being able to order a cheese-less pizza or a falafel salad, at best.
We had chilli, pinto bean burgers, green pesto, rice, salad, tiffins and a caramel slice. And the glorious sun beat down on us as we stuffed everything in our mouths as though someone would take it away if we didn’t eat fast enough.
You come away from The Happy Pear not only full of lovely food, but energised with a spontaneity that only a really unique establishment such as this can give you.
I can’t wait to go back.
Heres a link to their new cookbook: The World of the Happy Pear.