Insomnia Coffee Company

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Insomnia Coffee Company
Industry Coffee Company
Founded 1997 (Ireland)
Headquarters Dublin, Ireland
Key people
Bobby Kerr (Chairman), Harry O Kelly (CEO)
Owner Insomnia 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 120 stores and over 300 self-service units in operation around Ireland and have 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. They also run 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 120+ coffee shops[2] across high street and through partnerships with Spar and Eurospar in addition to other Retailers such as Eason, Fresh, Meadows & Byrne, An Post, Heatons, Compass Catering, Londis, Maxol and most recently Primark and Debenhams.

. In addition the company has more than 300 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 is now owned equally by chairman Bobby Kerr, CEO Harry O’Kelly, and John Clohisey. O'Kelly was appointed CEO and Kerr chairman in 2010.

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 promptly 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 business. In 2015, three Insomnia concession stores have been 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 have partnered with a number of Irish Retailers, including Eason, Fresh, Meadows & Byrne, An Post, Heaton’s, Compass Catering and most recently in 2015 Londis, Maxol, Primark and Debenhams. They also have 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, paninis, foccacias, 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. Most of the soups are gluten free too.

The menu also includes bakery items, which include scones, muffins, cupcakes, cakes, pastries, breads, flapjacks, cookies, brownies and bagels.

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 has their own unique blend which is specially roasted for them weekly. The shorter the time between roasting and serving, the fresher, smoother and fuller flavoured the taste

Organisation and Operations[edit]


Insomnia baristas go through three levels of training. There is 50 hours of barista training behind every cup of coffee that is served. 87% of managers have started out their careers as a team member, as well as some progressing to head office.

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, which allows customers who are signed up to their Treats loyalty programme, load funds onto their account to use in store, as an alternative to cash or credit cards. The pre-pay feature can be used alongside the other features the loyalty programme provides, such as a birthday treat, free seasonal beverage and the 10th coffee free.


Insomnia launched their 100% fairtrade coffee and tea in 2006. They sell over 18 million Fairtrade cups of coffee. With the steady and fair business generated by Insomnia, farmers and workers, from who they source their products from, 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 the Fairtrade Fortnight Isnomnia donate a percentage from each hot beverage sold to two nominated Insomnia Projects at the Oromia Coffee Farmers Co-operative Union in Ethiopia (OCFCU), and to Hekima Girls School in Bukoba, Tanzania.

The Insomnia fairtrade coffee is specially roasted weekly.

Sustainability and Environmental Policies[edit]

Keep Cup[edit]

Insomnia's takeaway KeepCup reduces landfill by saving all the disposable paper cups. Reduce and reuse is the motto of the KeepCup: by bringing your KeepCup into Insomnia for your favourite coffee, you contribute to their efforts in saving takeaway cups. To encourage and reward customers for using a keepcup, Insomnia rewards them with 5 extra beans to their Insomnia Treats account every they bring it in store.

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]