A local business in Cork City have come up with a simple yet brilliant gadget to help them serve customers in the Covid-19 era.
Cork Flower Studio on Douglas Street is a florist as well as a studio, gift shop and cafe that is bustling with colour and life.
Established in 2007, the little oasis of colour has grown in to something much bigger than they initially planned and now has a loyal customer base.
The shop was closed for five weeks following the announcement of lockdown restrictions in March however they are now fully open again.
One of the issues they encountered upon reopening was that they realised they would not be able to serve their customers coffee the same way.
Owner Justine Looney told CorkBeo how they decided to ask one of their suppliers to help them with their predicament.
“Over the last couple of years we have been trying to come up with ways to become more sustainable as a business, it has become a really big thing for us.
“We changed to all glass bottles for our milk and we encouraged customers to bring their own keep cups and we also sell them.
“We also started a cup deposit scheme where customers pay a euro deposit for the cup if they don’t have their own, then they get their money back when they return it afterwards.
“Everything changed with Covid then, it feels like all the progress we have been making with plastic reduction has gone away with all the latex gloves and masks that are being dumped.
“Over the last few weeks we have been using compost-able cups which are good but still not great.
“We really wanted to get back to using keep cups again but there is of course a fear of transmission of the virus”.
One of the shop’s suppliers then came up with a gizmo that is simple yet brilliant.
“Martin Horgan is a furniture designer with Craft Tech and we stock his work in the shop anyway, I asked him if he could come up with something.
“So that is how the Cuploop was born We only started using it yesterday but we just want to get the word out that people can start bringing their own cups again.
“Every cup that we have tried in it has worked, it is great because it means the customer is not touching anything and neither are we.”
Justine says that this handy little invention shows that we have the materials and the talent in Cork to come up with great ideas.
“Everything we need is here, there is a great network of people around Cork who are capable of doing all these things.
“During the lockdown, BenchSpace in the marina set up a scheme where they were making face masks for healthcare workers using 3D printers and they were being distributed all over the country.
“These are things that automatically we think come from further way but actually everything we need is right here and there is a real sense of helping each other out”.
You can check out the shop online via their website or why not pop in for a visit!