The Donegal pancake pro shared the devastating news with friends last night.
Maria Mc Cormack from Churchill has announced that she will call time on The Happy Camper at Glenveagh – one of the most iconic pop-up cafes in Donegal.
The colourful van outside the Glenveagh national park has been a post-hike treat for walkers and hungry travellers for two years now, where each delicious pancake comes with a side of happiness.
Maria last night shared the announcement of her difficult decision to close the hatch in a few weeks. The news came with a mix of shock and sadness to friends and loyal customers who loved the cafe and rallied to support her after an accident in 2017.
The Happy Camper made headlines last Easter when the original van was destroyed after rolling into a bog. Thanks to a community fundraiser, it wasn’t long until before Maria could afford to kit out a second mobile cafe and get back to flipping pancakes.
It’s been a rocky road as a single mum, Maria said, and she looked ahead to an unknown future: “I have made so many lifelong friends since we started back in June ’16 but unfortunately it really is a lot tougher out on the road than it looks. I don’t know what’s down the road for me but I hope you will all understand,” she said.
Maria thanked her ‘Happy Campers’ and promised to stay open for another while to say goodbye.
“Thank you for being Happy Campers I will miss you all. I’m not finishing up for a week or so .. so maybe see you one last time before I close the hatch for the last time,” she said.
Maria marked this end of an era with a poignant quote “And suddenly you know… It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”
Speaking with supporters, Maria said it was the hardest decision to make. Fans have been sharing their support once more with happy stories about the cafe and Maria’s great singing and positive personality.
There’s still a place to get those famous pancakes though, as Maria’s sister Jane will continue with her branch of the cafe.
The Happy Camper is having its last week at Cooneys in Letterkenny before moving to a permanent place at the Wild Atlantic Camp in Creeslough. The grand opening will take place on Saturday 24th March.