Terry and Maureen Coughlan know good coffee – they’ve been working in the business since 1989 although, if you go back a little further, Terry’s been immersed in the coffee world since he was young. He and his father, in 1980, established Marco Boilers (Marco may sound Italian, but it’s actually just an amalgamation of Mark Coughlan’s first and second names) back in the day.
Terry and Maureen set up shop in the garage of their home in Dún Laoghaire – with two small children, and at the tail end of what was then the worst recession we’d known, it seemed like a risky move. But as business has expanded – to a purpose-built factory in Tallaght – so, too, has the family. Two children are now four, with the eldest, Ronan, working alongside his parents at the company.
Originally, the business was about repair and maintenance in commercial catering – but the passion? That lay in precision engineering, which led to specialisation in the fabrication of stainless steel products, and in coffee – so they diversified and, for many years, Watermark was the leading agent for Gaggia espresso machines in Ireland, until they sold that arm of the business in 2007.
So, what was left? That would be a love of – and you could say an addiction to – good coffee, and a highly skilled workforce that specialised in the fabrication of stainless steel products. The obvious love child? Watermark’s range of coffee knockout drawers – and the establishment of The Coffee Knock Drawer Company.