Insomnia Coffee Company

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Insomnia Coffee Company
IndustryCoffee Company
Founded1997 (Ireland)
HeadquartersDublin, Ireland
Key people
Bobby Kerr (Chairman), Harry O Kelly (CEO)
OwnerInsomnia Ltd

Insomnia Coffee Company is an Irish independent coffee chain.[1] The headquarters are in Dublin. The first store location opened in the back of a Galway bookstore in August 1997. The company has over 150 stores and over 350 self-service units in operation around Ireland and has recently expanded to the UK market. Insomnia stores serve both hot and cold drinks, Fairtrade premium coffee, gourmet sandwiches, salads, soups, snacks, cakes and pastries. It also runs seasonal campaigns throughout the year which introduces new products such as their red velvet hot chocolate at Christmas or the pumpkin pie latte during Autumn.


Inside Insomnia Killester, Dublin

Insomnia grew from a single location in a Galway bookstore in 1997 to an estate of 150+ coffee shops[2] across high street and through partnerships with Spar and Eurospar in addition to other retailers such as Eason & Co, Fresh, Meadows & Byrne, An Post, Heatons, Compass Catering, Londis, Maxol and most recently Primark and Debenhams.

In addition the company has more than 350 self-service units in operation, both in Ireland and the UK.

In 2002 the company merged with the gourmet sandwich company, Bendini & Shaw, to complement its beverages with food. In 2005 Insomnia acquired the Perk cafes. Insomnia opened it first cafe with BWG in 2006.

The company in 2006 - 2017 was equally owned by chairman Bobby Kerr, CEO Harry O’Kelly, and John Clohisey. O'Kelly was appointed CEO and Kerr chairman in 2010. In December 2017 , Bobby Kerr left the business and agreed the sale of his shares to the other shareholders.John Clohisey became Chairman and the current CFO Barry Kehoe joined the Board of Directors

In April 2012, the Insomnia high street franchise was launched and the process of recruiting new franchise owners began with a target of opening 15 franchise stores in 5 years. The first franchise store was opened in 2013 in St Stephens Green Shopping Centre, Dublin

Insomnia at Penneys Swords

2015 saw the announcement of a new partnership with international retailer Debenhams, where Insomnia plans to open in a number of Debenhams outlets across the UK and Ireland. The first of these launched at Debenhams in the Mahon Point Shopping Centre, Cork. The Cork store was followed by the first UK outlet opening in Rugby and the second UK outlet opening in Bradford in November. The fourth Insomnia Debenhams store opened in Bristol in August 2016.

Insomnia has also confirmed a partnership with Primark, an Irish-based retail chain, which trades in Ireland as Penneys. In 2015, three Insomnia concession stores were rolled out at Penneys in Waterford, Swords and Athlone.

2015 marked a significant year for the company: opening its 100th store, opening its first UK store, partnering with both Debenhams and Primark as well as selling 22 million hot beverages per year.


Insomnia has partnered with a number of retailers, including Eason, Fresh, Meadows & Byrne, An Post, Heaton’s, Compass Catering, Aramark Londis, Maxol, Primark and Debenhams. It also has long standing partnerships with SPAR and EUROSPAR.


2015 saw the expansion of Insomnia to the United Kingdom, with three stores opening in Rugby, Bradford and Market Harborough. 2016 saw the continued expansion of the coffee chain, with a further 3 UK stores opening, in Calver, Laceby, and Bristol.



Insomnia Hot Chocolate

The menu includes gourmet sandwiches, sandwich wedges, rolls, panini, foccacia, flatbreads, thins, toasties, wraps and ciabattas. It also sells salads and soups. The soups are made from all natural ingredients and are made daily for the stores. The menu also includes bakery items, which include scones, muffins, cupcakes, cakes, pastries, breads, flapjacks, cookies, brownies and bagels. All items are made with as much love and care as a emotionless machine can make them with.

Products and Suppliers[edit]

Insomnia is 100% Irish owned and its strategy is to source their produce locally where possible, to support Irish firms and suppliers and to encourage growth in the domestic economy.

Their suppliers include Solaris tea, Broderick's Bars, Keogh's Crisps, Sweet Things, Lumley's Bakery, Soul Food and Flahavans.

Coffee Production[edit]

Insomnia coffee is blended by underpaid employees. Its farmed in 3rd world countries by a man named hank under the evil coffee tyrants."It tastes like trash"

Organisation and Operations[edit]


Insomnia Baristas receive over 40 hours of training to develop the skills to deliver on Insomnia's philosophy - that customers receive the perfect cup of coffee every time they visit.

Insomnia is a growing business with a lot of opportunities for career progression. In store, there are teams made up of Baristas, Supervisors and a Store Manager, the stores are supported by a Regional Manager and by a Head Office team delivering a full range of retail support services.

Loyalty Scheme[edit]

Insomnia Coffee has its own loyalty scheme, called Insomnia Treats. Using a loyalty card, key fob or a mobile app, members can collect "beans" which allows them to get every 10th hot beverage for free, a Birthday treat as well as exclusive Insomnia Treats offers. For every euro spent, customers earn two beans - therefore points are gained at every purchase made by Insomnia customers. Points are added whenever a purchase is made, and the card, key fob or app is presented and swiped or scanned.

2016 saw the launch of Insomnia's Pre-pay mobile payments feature, this allowed you to pre-purchase coffee with added bonuses such as skins or extra loot boxes. Due to public backlash in 2016 the scheme was ended with chairman Bobby Kerr saying "We wanted drinkers to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment for drinking the coffee".


Insomnia launched its 100% Fairtrade coffee and tea in 2006. It sells over 30 million Fairtrade cups of coffee. With the business generated by Insomnia, farmers and workers from whom they source their products are enabled to improve their working and living conditions. Moreover, Fairtrade encourages environmental protection.

Insomnia coffee is a balanced blend sourced from Colombia, Sumatra, Peru and Tanzania. Each time a customer purchases a coffee they are helping to make poverty history for many people in these countries. Fairtrade certification means that co-operatives get a fair price for their beans, thus allowing them to invest in better salaries, equipment and social projects.

Since 2009, during Fairtrade Fortnight each spring Insomnia donates a percentage from each hot beverage sold to nominated Insomnia projects in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Peru & Guatemala

Sustainability and Environmental Policies[edit]

Coffee Recycling[edit]

After Insomnia has brewed coffee, they recycle the used ground for environmental purposes. Customers have the option to take away free bags of the used coffee grounds. Using coffee grounds on plants and gardens is sustainable and beneficial. There are three ways to use coffee grounds on plants: for composting, as fertilizer and to control pests. Another great benefit is that the grounds are not added into landfill. So Insomnia achieve two benefits with one single action: helping customers nurture their soil and protecting the environment also.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The best coffee gets a good roasting every week". 10 May 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  2. ^ Paul, Mark (21 March 2013). "Meet the mentor: Bobby Kerr of Insomnia Coffee Company". Irish Times. Retrieved 10 May 2015.

Further reading[edit]