Every time we pass by the Lolly & Cooks stall in Dublin’s Georges St Arcade and their super-cute store on Merrion Row, we make a swift body swerve inside to buy one of their legendary Savage Rolls. Every single time we are powerless to resist. Sisters Lolly and Churpy Strahan have successfully brought their irresistible enthusiasm to the enterprise (which they began in 2008). The whole city’s hungry for their ‘real cool food’. Lolly talks us through her foodie life…
What do you love about your job? I know I’m really lucky to be working at something that I genuinely love doing. It’s varied every day- it’s exciting, it’s challenging, it’s extremely rewarding, and it’s mine!
What made you make the move into food (and away from your old life in PR) when you did? I HATED PR! I have absolutely no idea why I thought it would be a good idea to get into it all those years ago. I had always worked in food, even through my school holidays I worked in a local deli and helped out in a catering company. I went back into it again after packing in the PR and managed a few different delis in Dublin & London before deciding to set my own company.
So what’s the best thing about Lolly & Cooks in your eyes? Lolly and Cooks have a very ‘real’ food ethos. You won’t find any low-fat substitutes for real ingredients, because we simply don’t believe in any of that rubbish. All of our products are made with the real deal and nothing else added. You won’t find any yucky margarine in our kitchens – no siree, it’s butter all the way!
So what should be ordering? Well! Some of my personal favourites from the menu are the Gingerbread & Lime Cupcakes, the Pastrami & Emmenthal Sandwich, the Sweet Potato, Chilli & Coconut Soup is amazing and the Spaghetti with Chorizo & Basil is to die for!
What is your best-selling dish? Savage Sausage Rolls, baby! (NB: Beware – highly addictive!)
What’s next for Lolly & Cooks? We are in negotiations to open a third (and substantially bigger) café in Dublin City Centre, so watch this space!
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? Crab lasagna, cooked from one of Heston Blumenthal’s recipes. I have never tasted such a good tomato roux.
What else should we know about you? My guilty pleasure is watching re-runs of TV series Californication, I frickin’ LOVE Hank Moody! I also have been known to pinch my daughters ‘Laughing Cow Triangles’ and eat them whole…
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? Ryan Gosling on a desert island, of course!
Follow the sisters @lollyandcooks
Photography by Ailbhe O’Donnell