A few weeks back I had a chance to catch up with the lovely Damien Vossion, co-owner of Legit Coffee Co., a charming coffee house located in the heart of Meath Street. Passionate about food and design, Damien hoped to mix and match his French, Brazilian and Irish inspiration to bring something unique to the Dublin scene.
When did it all start?
I’ve always loved good food. I grew up in France and I did a cookery school for 4 years. After that I moved to Ireland in 2005 and started working in technology companies. By and by, I started dreaming of opening my own place where I could marry my love of cooking, coffee and design. At that time Dublin’s coffee scene was kicking off. I thought it was a great time to do that.
Meath Street is quite a unique choice. The street has got a distinctive character with its tiny stalls and shops. What brought you here?
I first lived in Phibsborough and I wanted to open a place there. But I couldn’t find any suitable location for my cafe. Then my friend bought a house with space on the ground floor on Meath Street. So I stopped by to check it out, and I fell in love with the area. I could feel the potential of this place, with all these creative minds from NCAD and the Digital Hub roaming the street. So I made my decision and Legit Coffee Co. opened its doors some time later. The reception was phenomenal. People were so nice, saying they really needed a place like this.
What’s on the horizon?
I would like to develop it more. Next step will be to expand our food options, e.g. lunches and breakfasts. We are working on fitting in the kitchen to offer a bit more. And who knows, there may be another Legit springing up in some funky place. The menu will be definitely influenced by French cuisine – my partner is Brazilian so definitely some inspirations from there. I want to share things that I love, so hopefully in the future I will treat visitors to French Onion Soup or a tasty breakfast mix of eggs, avocado, and smoked salmon.
What coffee wakes you up in the morning?
Opening a coffee shop definitely made me more adventurous. I drink espresso, Americano – you need to know how to serve good stuff to your customers. It changed my personal taste: before I used to like very sweet caramel and chocolate flavours – now, I am more into fruity aromas. I am working with Reggie from Baobab Coffee Roastery and I am immersing myself in the beauty of the African coffee, especially beans with a cherry taste. It is funny how people change. But my favourite is still latte. It’s sweet, smooth – a nice way to start your morning.
If you could choose two Dublin cafes, where would you go?
It’s a hard question. So many things depend on your routine, I guess. As people’s life changes, you start going to different spots. I used to work in Ballsbridge and I would go to Base WFP, a pizza place but they do coffees too. For me they had the best coffee around with a special blend from 3FE. I was like ‘Wow, it’s a great coffee’. Next, when I worked on Baggot St, I would go to a Cafe To Go outlet, and I liked their coffee. For me it is more about coffee than the place itself. If the coffee is good, I would definitely go back. It’s about the quality of what the place does – looks are good but it is about the essence of the place.