Last month, the FiXX team headed to the RDS in Dublin for the 2019 CATEX Exhibition. Running from February 26th to 28th.

As Ireland's largest foodservice and hospitality show, CATEX provides trade suppliers and partners such as FiXX, a platform to promote their products and services directly to industry buyers. Organised by the Irish Foodservice Suppliers Alliance (IFSA), CATEX 2019 saw thousands of visitors from the foodservice, hospitality, catering and on-trade sectors, descend on the RDS, making it the biggest turnout for the exhibition to date. With footfall up by almost 10%, many exhibitors reported that substantial business was done.

FiXX had a great location, for our stand. Facing on to two "streets" we enjoyed a steady stream of visitors each day, eager to taste our coffees.  Jo had the pleasure of serving up our delicious bespoke espresso based coffees using an E71 Faema Espresso machine.

The equipment:

For more than 70 years FAEMA has been a respected name in espresso machinery, lighting up many European post-war-era bars and clubhouses with captivatingly styled machines. The company then broke new ground in 1961 with its now-iconic E61 group- head, widely recognized as both the first heat-exchanger machine as well as the first machine to push water through coffee at 9 bars via volumetric pump in place of a lever.

In its 71st year of operation (2018), the company built upon that legacy with its design for the E71: a stylish new flagship machine featuring individuated groups and a suite of clever and innovative features controlled by digital grouphead touchscreens,

The coffee:

On each of the three days, we introduced one of our new house blends (added to the range in 2018 - LISBON / OSLO and SEATTLE ) so that potential customers could taste and experience the coffee in a variety of espresso based drinks.

We also showcased some amazing single origin coffees, brewed as filter coffees, so visitors to the stand could get an understanding that there are many ways of providing a great coffee offering. What is most important for each business owner is to establish what works best for your audience, your operation and your budget.

One of the stand-outs for us was the new found interest in our Cold Brew coffee. We have a premade solution on offer that appealed to a number of markets such as cafes, offices and especially to bar owners and mixologists.  It is not only the great taste that is on offer with our Black Eye Cold Brew but also the convenience of how your team can serve it.


While coffee is no doubt enjoying a surge in popularity in Ireland and we have seen a lot of positive changes since we began this journey in 2004.  Consumers expectations are rising and that is fantastic. What needs to be understood by potential operators is that great coffee in a cup just does not "happen". There is a lot of work that takes place on the journey, from the farmers to the roasters to the baristas. Coffee is a natural product and needs to be cared for and understood on that journey in order to shine through.

We chatted with many people wanting to add Coffee to their existing operation from owner of crèches, gyms etc. (i.e. non food and drink related businesses).  This has always intrigued me when coffee is seen as an easy solution to bring more money in to a business.

While it may appear a good idea on many levels, to add coffee to a current non related business as a new revenue generator, the coffee operation still needs attention, care and the necessary skills required to make it work (in conjuction with the existing business).  

It's comparable to a cafe owner suggesting that in the corner of their cafe that there is an area were one of his staff will cut consumers' hair (yet that member of staff may never have cut hair before or know anything about cutting hair ) this would never happen in reality. Yet it appears to be ok to add coffee to an existing non related businesses because it is perceived as something simple.


As well as having the chance to catch up with customers and other familiar faces in the industry, we enjoyed meeting new ones.

The team also made the most of the many activities, demonstrations and displays hosted by the festival. From coffee brewing events to coffee cocktail demos, to the variety of Chef workshops and tastings.

The event had something for everyone.


Thanks to all who stopped by to see us


  • Anne Abberton

Anne Abberton is CEO and founder of FiXX.

Entering the coffee business initially as a coffee importer and distributor by setting up her own business in 2004, Anne has since delved into many aspects of the industry.