• Darren McCarroll

Running Crackin' Coffee

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

If we're gonna have the absolute gonads to ask other people to write about their coffee stories and experiences, we best write an article ourselves. It's only fair. So here is our Crackin' Coffee story to kick things off!

Hey! My name is Darren McCarroll and I am the Founder of Crackin' Coffee. I study economics and computer science at university, and study caffeine at home. Working as a barista in the Ulster Museum during the summer of 2019, I realised that I wanted to play some part in the coffee industry. Fast forward to March 2020 and I finally got that chance.

Idea Conception

As the COVID-19 situation spiralled out of control, many students, myself included, had summer internships and plans cancelled. Not wanting to lie around scratching my head and forging a deep butt-shaped imprint into my sofa, I decided that I should take matters into my own hands. What did that mean? Well, I didn't know. What I did know is that I needed some coffee to ponder these ideas. Searching around for local coffee to buy, I kept bumping into "coffee subscription" services based in England. I also started to realise how many quality coffee roasters were operating in Northern Ireland. Put two and two together and bam, there it was. Slapping me about like a slapping slap machine on National Slap Day. A coffee subscription service that showcased and supported solely Northern Irish coffee roasts.

Ideas to Reality

Immediately I ordered some coffee from Belfast Coffee Roasters, Ristretto, Bailies Coffee, and a few others. After a couple cupping sessions, I knew there was more than enough variety to warrant a Northern Irish coffee box. Brilliant. I brought the idea to my younger brother, Ryan, and we started to brainstorm the branding, the packaging, the pricing, and the logistics. Why would I go to my brother with a business idea rather than a close friend? Well, Ryan answered that question pretty well when he spent our second day pricing cardboard boxes on Amazon for several hours straight. Within a few days, we had stamps on the way, agreements with suppliers, and a rapidly growing social presence.

Launch and Growth

Wanting to waste no time, we launched two weeks after I had the original idea for the company, with a full e-commerce website, packaging ready, and coffee waiting to go. At that time, our only avenue for marketing was Instagram and so, that's where we'd try to make our big splash. Ryan and I posted on our personal social media accounts about the launch and then sat back eagerly awaiting the universe's reaction. On May 1st, our launch day, the website and Instagram blew up, entirely due to word of mouth. It's at this point that I owe a huge thank you to my family and friends who shared, liked, and spread the word about Crackin' Coffee. We started getting orders in, far surpassing my initial expectations for how this would all go.

Today & The Future

After a couple months of being open, I'm really proud to say we've shipped coffee all over the U.K., and to France, Italy, the USA, and the Republic of Ireland. We have also developed our first business collaboration with Bosh Bottles UK, working off of a friendship I developed working for a catering company a couple years ago. Our website continues to see consistent traffic and orders every week.

Our plans for the future revolve around providing value to you. Whether this means bringing new coffee roasts to your doorstep, developing new business relationships, or providing blog posts like this, we're in. As always, we welcome ideas and feedback from our community. Please reach out on social media or email us at

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