Wednesday, May 31, 2023

The Spiced Bean Cafe: Celebrating 25 Years

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On 14 October 1996, Aidan and Delia Mulligan opened the doors of The Spiced Bean Cafe on Mary Street and twenty five years on, they continue to serve the people of Mullingar with great food, a very warm welcome and always with a smile!

It takes quite a bit of hard work and effort to run a cafe and not least in the current Covid times when there are many obstacles to overcome. However, the hard work and friendliness of the owners along with the loyal customers of The Spiced Bean Cafe, have brought Aidan and Delia into their twenty fifth year, and they could not be more delighted.

Delia and Aidan from the Spiced Bean.

Time has flown by for the two, who are both natives of Mullingar. They started the business in 1996, unsure of how long it would last and what the road ahead had in store. Both Aidan and Delia are delighted to have come this far and both harbour a clear passion for what they do. Aidan takes pride in the fact that they are a small, local company who are able to keep going simply by ensuring they continue to provide fresh food and good service on a daily basis.

They both are aware that the cafe is a constant, a place where you are guaranteed a laugh and a chat and maybe even a bit of banter. They are aware that if they didn’t put in the effort of getting up early in the morning and preparing everything from scratch, they would not have the success they are now enjoying, twenty five years on.


On entering The Spiced Bean Cafe, guaranteed your taste-buds will go into overdrive as the display of fresh scones, breads, salads, cakes and bakes as well as daily special warm meals meets you in the food display unit. Every item inside and on the display counter is made from scratch every single day by Delia herself and all of it is made in their kitchen on-site, so nothing requires extra packaging and extra transportation.

The scones, the breads, the salads, the specials, the cakes – are all prepared by Delia. “This is why people keep coming back to us” says Delia, proud of her immaculate display of mouth watering food. The constant stream of customers popping in and out of the cafe in the short time Topic visited, was a clear testament to their successful fresh food approach; the fish pie daily special was almost gone, and the lunch rush hadn’t even started!

The Spice Bean Café.


The Spiced Bean Cafe also do outdoor catering. They added the outdoor catering to their repertoire in response to the large orders they regularly received for their fresh bakes, quiches and salads.


No, it’s not Delia Smith were’s talking about here it’s The Spiced Bean’s very own Delia Mulligan, whose Christmas puddings are known to turn up on Christmas dinner tables in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and America! Delia won’t divulge the special secret ingredient/s she bakes into her 2lb puddings but, the best way to find out is to order yours now. Better be quick though – order before mid-November to be sure you’ll get one of Delia’s famous Christmas puddings in time for Christmas Day.


The cafe has had several memorable moments that many of you, our readers may probably remember. Although “every single day is memorable” laughs Aidan, and we’re sure it is.

Some characters from the town can often be seen “having the craic” with Aidan and Delia and customers. Sadly a few of the well known characters have passed on; the late Albert Morris gets a special mention and a heartfelt smile. Mullingar’s own Joe Dolan was also known to “drop in every now and again”, Aidan tells us.

As the picture on the wall shows, our current President Michael D. Higgins was a memorable visitor some years back. He called in for a cuppa in 2011 when he was canvassing as a Presidential candidate.

Coffee fit for President: Then presidential candidate Michael D. Higgins drops by the Spiced Bean while canvassing in the 2011 Presidential election.

The cafe was also host to the Morning Ireland TV AM show several years ago, when the TV crew visited Mullingar as part of a special budget review live show.


With a big smile, “retirement” was the witty answer given by Aidan when they were asked if they had any plans for the future – quickly backed up with assurance that they will “keep on going”. Both Aidan and Delia are content with the success of their business and have no plans to expand or downgrade as they say everything is perfect as it is and they won’t change what is working well.


When much of Mullingar is just waking from it’s slumber, Aidan and Delia are busy serving their first teas and coffees and breakfasts of the day.

The Spiced Bean cafe opens at 08am every day, Monday to Friday and closes at 4pm.

So, if you haven’t been to The Spiced Bean yet, or you haven’t been there in a while, call in and enjoy some of the freshest food in town. The Spiced Bean Cafe have a cosy interior, perfect for a private lunch or a catch up coffee with friends. You won’t be disappointed.


Aidan and Delia would like to acknowledge and thank all their customers through the years, and especially those who loyally turn up every day in The Spiced Bean Cafe. They realise that without the goodwill of locals, they would not have reached the milestone they celebrate today. The staff also get special word of thanks as well as the few staff who have worked in The Spiced Bean cafe in the past. Aidan and Delia make it a point to say they have been very lucky to have such hard working staff for so long, with one staff member serving customers for twenty three years!

Aidan Mulligan, Delia Mulligan, Laura Petetti and Ally Allen.

The Spiced Bean Cafe assures us they will continue to serve up great coffee, fresh bakes and salads, tasty daily specials and Delia’s famous Christmas puddings for the forseeable future.

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