AT FOLK Expresso and Boulangerie Enniskillen, it’s all about creating a special tastebud experience that will be remembered by locals right across the county for a lifetime.
New Zealand’s loss has most certainly been Fermanagh’s gain after Michael McKenzie and his Fermanagh-born wife moved across the water to set-up-shop on Darling Street over a year and a half ago.
Since then, the FOLK brand has gone from strength to strength, “We moved over from New Zealand as we’ve got a young family so we came back to be close to family support,” explained Michael.
“We didn’t know whether the Enniskillen people would be ready for such a shop. FOLK specialises in three main things which is French patisserie, sourdough breads, and New Zealand style coffee.
“We make everything from scratch on the premise and we’ve been very lucky and well supported by the community since we opened.”
Speaking on the support his business has received, Michael told the Herald, “It’s been amazing, especially since lockdown. Everyone has been struggling, particularly hospitality.
“When the first lockdown hit we closed for a few months because we had three generations living in our house and we just didn’t know what the risk was going to be like.
“When we came back from that we decided just to open at weekends and we’ve been very blessed and very busy through this difficult time.”
Michael who has over 20 years experience in the hospitality industry said, “I have a real love and passion for what I do and it really reflects in the product. People can taste the freshness, quality and effort that goes into it.
“I’m getting up at 2am in the morning to make the products fresh everyday, it’s a real process and if you’re not in love with it or really obsessed by it you won’t go to that effort.
“For a weekend production we start on a Friday and I go in for 2am on the weekend mornings to prepare right through to our opening at 10am.
“So when you get a croissant from us it’s essentially about 30 minutes to an hour out of the oven fresh and that’s one of the reasons why the street queues outside are so long.
“People come and obviously have an experience when they eat our products which is what hospitality is all about for me.
“FOLK is really about creating an organic, handmade, and as high level of produce that we possibly can everyday for the local community.”
While public demand for his sweet sensations and coffee grows by the day, Michael and his team are gearing up to open a second FOLK premises on Forthill Street.
“We’re constantly asked if we’re going to open on more days, offer more products and for a long time I said I was just going to keep it small, special and exclusive.
“However, I’ve realised that we need to grow to enable me to have more help, share the local demand and be more sustainable.
“We’re going to move the baking production from Darling Street to Forthill and keep Darling Street as well.
“The demand is there which is great, we’ve established our market and clientele.
“We have a pre- order system at Darling Street and there’s around 300 people on that now and Forthill Street is going to be about us expanding to open more days once we come out of lockdown.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to serve the public, offer a high end product and to share what we love with other people.”
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