Heralds 22 - Serving Hearty HappinessJul 19, 2023
From succulent home-cooked specials, fabulous coffee and mouth-watering donuts, Heralds 22 has been serving the people of Coleraine for almost 60 years
In the heart of Coleraine's main shopping area, you'll find a gem that's been cooking up a storm for almost 60 years.
Heralds 22, an iconic local haunt, is celebrated for its scrumptious home-cooked food, fabulous coffee, mouth-watering donuts, and a team of friendly faces that serve up smiles as effortlessly as they serve up meals.
Paula O’Kane, the beating heart of Heralds 22, took us through a stroll down memory lane, recounting how the family business began in what was a bicycle shop many moons ago.
“My wee daddy Willie Herald started the business in 1964 with my mummy Mona," said Paula., "At that time, there were no burger joints in sight. Not a single McDonald's or Burger King to be seen. It was a suggestion from friends of dad’s from Belfast who said burgers were all the rage in America and this place called Wimpy had opened up in the city.”
With a vision to bring this American food fad to Coleraine, Willie got in touch with Wimpy who helped set the business up into what would become an extremely popular Wimpy bar.
Paula recollected;, "I remember I was just eight years old then and the Wimpy bar was a hit with folk in Coleraine.”
Yet, as every seasoned chef knows, tastes change like the seasons. When the burger buzz started to simmer down, Willie seized the opportunity to cut ties with Wimpy and make the switch to providing high-quality, home-cooked food.
“That would have been about 30 years ago,” said Paula. ‘He set up Heralds 22 and we haven’t looked back since. Dad retired when he was 60 which was 24 years ago and I’ve been at the helm ever since.”
One thing is certain, Heralds 22 is no one-trick pony. The café has evolved with the changing food landscape, continually adapting to satisfy their customers' palates.
“These days, we see a growing demand for gluten-free dishes. As many people grapple with allergies, we adapt ourselves and our menus to cater to them and any other changing tastes," continued Paula.
From fresh donuts that are an absolute must with many customers to an array of dishes all cooked in-house daily, the culinary team behind Heralds 22 knows how to keep their customers happy. The secret ingredient? A team that's more like a family.
“Our cook has been with us for 22 years, and most of our staff have been part of the Heralds 22 family for about 20 years. They could almost serve our regular customers their favourites the minute they walk through the door!" Paula explained.
As the café gears up to celebrate its 60th year in 2024, there's no doubt Willie Herald would be proud of the legacy he's left behind. Paula has no plans of hanging up her apron any time soon.
“I couldn't imagine myself not working," she said, "I would miss it, the team and all our customers far too much."
In a world that's forever in a rush, Heralds 22 stands as a testament to the power of good food to bring people together. And it seems that this local favourite has no plans of stepping off the gas any time soon. After all, they've been 'baking' the world a better place for almost 60 years, one meal at a time.
Heralds 22, 22 Church Street, Coleraine. Tel: 028 7034 3761
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