Whether it’s coffee, chat, Hummingbird cake or riding partners you’re after, look no further than Girona’s not-so-hidden gem.
What started as an idea took root and germinated into a purchase….two purchases actually; a piece of real estate in the Barri Vell and a coffee machine.
When Amber and Christain Meier retire a few years from now they will proudly -and justifiably look at that Rocket planted on the dusty concrete floor of their little slice of heaven up the cobbled street Carrer de la Llebre.
What they’ve created in a little over a year is nothing short of staggering and this article won’t come close to fully capturing the wonder that is their coffee shop, La Fabrica.
(They’ve since opened another, Espresso Mafia, but that’s for another day).
At its absolute core, La Fabrica is a place that sells damn good coffee but it’s so much more than that.
It’s where the world’s top professional riders go for a pre or post-ride espresso, it’s where curious tourists stop by to savour lattés, where students rock up for language lessons or cure hangovers, where first-timers come to make friends, where locals ‘treat’ themselves, where business ideas are plotted and planned, where people like myself go to just feel alive.
The atmosphere is amazing because it’s where people actually chat (so don’t even ask for a wi-fi code) but what really makes the place special is their absolute conviction to making the customer happy. Every single one.
You feel part of it and that ‘come-on-in-what-can-I-getcha’ welcome starts with the lady of the house, Amber Meier.
A more genuine, kind-hearted and mild-mannered person you will not find and as well as looking after her own affairs with what is clearly a 24/7 occupation, she’s always got time to hear yours.
I’ll never forget the time she rocked up to the bridge with brownies a week after I arrived here. Though I wished they were all for me, they were for everyone, even the guys her husband would be trying to beat next week.
He, by the way, is Christain – one of the more talented riders in the pro peloton.
But don’t be one bit surprised if he’s serving you coffee a day after a WorldTour race. Bleary-eyed, bandaged or both, he will do it right.
One recent Saturday morning he trained early, did a couple of hours in ‘La Fabs’ (as the Kiwis and Aussies call it), whipped down to Barcelona to compete in the Spanish aero-press championships and was back in an apron at 4pm selling coffee.
We could go on and on and on, but you get the idea.
Find them on instagram @lafabricagirona