Just a shout out to a new food business in Enniskerry, County Wicklow - it's always heartening to see a supermarket alternative arrive in any town and this butchers is a great little shop and unexpectedly, very very good value for money.
The Donovan family have a well known shop in Rathgar and have won a slew of food awards. Their Enniskerry outpost is packaged meats rather than a carcasses hanging behind the counter type of butchers (there are less and less of these which is regretable).
When they opened recently I had a good poke about and asked loads of pesky questions which probably marked me down as worst customer ever. Nevertheless my research paid off as
I thought they had really good value for money on good quality burgers, lovely puddings and bacon. And every morsel was eaten, believe you me. The black pudding in particular is the lovely old style product - not the current vogueish pudding which has more barley in it than pig's blood. It also does Italian style breads from a bakery on the Northside and plenty of deli type stuff; pestos, salamis etc.
Together withh the greengrocers across the road, people in the area could get most of their food shopping done with little effort and support local businesses rather than the multiples. This is the type of thing we need to be supporting, and regrettably it’s the type of shop that is disappearing fast from so many Irish towns. Bray has virtually no food shops left, perhaps two butchers remain in the entire town, Greystones has gone the opposite way and become very food centred - there is Cavistons, Butlers Pantry, the Happy Pear veg shop and loads of other really good food outlets and cafes. It really is a model for how small Irish towns can keep footfall and offer an attractive food retail experience.
Enniskerry has another farm kitchen shop about to open, two coffee shops and another food business at the bottom of the town which I have yet to check out. I know that in villages such as this, particularly when they are within spitting distance of two monolith Avoca Handweavers, retail can have real problems competing, especially in the foodstuffs or gifts area. I hope these businesses do well and we’ll be keeping an eye on their progress, sourcing of Irish goods and hopefully good value for money.