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a busy pair

Happy Pear twins talk working on three hours sleep, no days off and those Jedward comparisons

The Greystones twins start their days at 5am and share nearly everything they do online. / YouTube

NO DAYS OFF and working on as little as three hours sleep a night. That’s what life can be like for twins from Greystones who – between a business, a lifestyle brand, an appearance on the Late Late Show and a likeness to Jedward – you will find hard to escape from in the coming months.

Speaking to, Stephen and David Flynn describe how “life and work are blurred, to get a full day off doesn’t really exist”.

The brothers have turned The Happy Pear in Greystones from a small vegetable market to a national brand and now they’re reaching out to the UK as their second book launches across the water.

It’s a far cry from how they describe their teenage years.

“We’d go out and spend €50 getting drunk but the next day we wouldn’t go out and buy ourselves a punnet of blueberries or a decent lunch.”

However, it hasn’t been an overnight success. The brothers have been chipping away for 12 years and have what they describe as a holistic approach to the business.

Stephen says of their second book: “It’s a philosophy book with recipes.”

“This book is called the World of The Happy Pear and it’s our life. I think it’s not just about healthy eating but our lifestyle.”

Energy balls 

The brothers are energetic and passionate about their work.

That enthusiasm was evident from the start as Stephen revealed how, “When we started the business Mam asked what colour we wanted the shop – we said the brightest colour they have.

“The choice was between an a luminous green or a bright orange and she said ‘you’re not having the green’.”

That energy and enthusiasm is what caused Ryan Tubridy to liken the pair to Jedward when they appeared on The Late Late Show last week.

When asked how they felt about the comparison, David said, “I can see why – we’re twins and we’re doing our thing and we both have lots of energy.

I think people are always going to parallel you with something they can relate to.

Discussing the criticism that comes with becoming well known, Stephen said:

Initially you can be a bit sensitive and a bit proud and I think the more you get up there, the more you realise people like to throw stones.

“I think if you’re comfortable in why you’re doing it, then you really don’t mind about people throwing rocks at you. It’s like ‘I’m doing my thing, if you like it great and if you don’t, that’s okay – that’s your choice too’.

“I’m not doing it to try and impress you, this is something that we really feel passionate about and we want to try to make the world a better place and add value.

“And then your skin gets very thick … I often don’t read them, I don’t feel a reason, I’ve expressed what I want to express.”

All consuming 

The brothers fit a lot into their days – which can mean skimping on sleep – and they’re constantly sharing what they’re doing on social media.

David says, “I probably get up at around 5am most days … if you’re doing things that you like to do it’s a lot easier”.

While Stephen added, “I could function on three, four, five” hours sleep.

Asked if they feel pressure to share every aspect of their life, including their children – who appear in the latest book – David said:

I don’t feel a pressure. For us, it comes natural because there’s so much we want to express and share. It’s really in our nature to want to share, if you’re quite private it might be hard.

“I think it builds more emotional connections and that’s what it’s about. In terms of social media and other things, it’s about where people can emotionally relate to you and I think the more you can show how authentic and genuine you are – that’s why snapchat and vlogging are great because you can actually show what you do in a day – it’s not just a filtered perfect veneer that Instagram has.”

Stephen added that people see how hard they’re working and how much they get done in a day.

“I think the more you share and the more real and transparent and authentic you are the more people can relate to it.”

The work is paying off: they now have two books on the shelves and their products are being stocked in more than 200 Supervalu stores across the country.

So what’s next for the Flynn twins?

When asked about expanding with another restaurant, they said, “We’d love to … I think we will at some stage but I wouldn’t like to say something and then not do it.”

Hinting at the possibility of looking to the UK, the brothers described how aiming the new book at a UK market is exciting, adding “maybe start with the book and see where we go”.

When asked if we could see a store popping up in London, they replied with wide smiles saying, “That would be great wouldn’t it, we’d love that” before considering, “Dublin is closer – we should go there first.”

Read: Meet the twins behind the happiest, healthiest restaurant in Ireland>

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