The Murphy brothers are not just the emperors of ice cream. They are the most unlikely emperors of ice cream that one could imagine.
Consider their story: two American brothers move to Ireland and start an ice cream business. In Dingle. In a cold country where people only eat ice cream between June and August. In a country where a huge amount of the ice cream that is eaten is imported. A country with no gourmet tradition of ice cream, a country where the choice of commercial ice creams is between the Bland and the Wan.
And Sean and Kieran start making ice cream with flavours like avocado, or Dingle gin, or clove, or even smoked salmon (ok: that didn’t work.) They make ice cream with sea salt they collect themselves.
And here’s the thing: it works. From the original shop in Dingle, there is another opened in Killarney, then Dublin, then the Cliffs of Moher, then Dingle Pier, then Mallorca (yes, Mallorca).
Irish people start eating ice cream all year round. They argue about and discuss their favourite flavours: caramel honeycomb; chocolate sorbet; Christmas pudding; caramelised brown bread.
There is a lot to talk about.
So, the question is this: how did they manage to pull it off?
Simple: they communicated. Everyone in Murphy’s is a communicator. Everyone. The qualification you must have in order to work at Murphy’s is The Gift of The Gab.
We have never encountered a member of staff at Murphy’s who wasn’t voluble, fascinating, and charming. And kind: many years ago our kids were buying cones in Dingle and didn’t have enough money to pay for what they ordered. “No problem,” said the lady behind the counter: when you find your parents just get some more dosh and come back to us. Which they did, and which they have never forgotten.
Emperors of ice cream. And emperors of communication.