When I was young my grandmother brought me to Beweleys a few times every week and I really loved the place but looking back maybe it was not a good idea for a five year old to have developed a taste for coffee. What I cannot understand is how Beweleys have been, more-or-less, overtaken or replaced in Ireland by operations such as Starbucks and Costa Coffee.

While walking around Dublin if one comes across an empty shop it is almost guaranteed that it will be occupied by Starbucks within a few weeks.

Costa Coffee is a British multinational coffeehouse company headquartered in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Whitbread. It is the second largest coffeehouse chain in the world behind Starbucks and the largest in Britain.

Costa Coffee was founded in London in 1971 by the Costa family as a wholesale operation supplying roasted coffee to caterers and specialist Italian coffee shops. Acquired by Whitbread in 1995, it has since grown to over 3,277 stores across 31 countries. The business has 2,121 UK restaurants, over 6,000 Costa Express vending facilities and a further 1,280 outlets overseas (including 395 in China).

Bewley’s is an Irish hot beverage company, located in Dublin and founded in 1840, which operates internationally. Its primary business operations are the production of tea, coffee and the operations of cafés. Bewley’s has operations in Ireland, the UK and the United States; in the Boston area under the Rebecca’s Cafe name and in California as Java City.

The Bewley family were Quakers who originated in France and moved to Ireland in the 18th century. They entered the tea trade, and in 1835, Samuel Bewley and his son Charles landed 2,099 chests of tea shipped directly from Canton in China. The Bewley family subsequently expanded into the coffee trade and in the late 19th century, they opened cafes in South Great George’s Street in 1894, and Westmoreland Street in 1896. The flagship Grafton Street café was opened by Ernest Bewley in November 1927. The building had once housed Whyte’s Academy, a school whose pupils included the Duke of Wellington and Robert Emmet. By 1999, the company operated more than twenty cafes in Ireland and a further six overseas. In 2010 they employed around 800 people worldwide, although 140 jobs were lost in early 2015 with the closure of the Bewley’s Oriental Cafe on Grafton Street in Dublin.