Part 2 - a county by county guide: From food to fashion and art, here’s your guide to keeping businesses alive

Today, the Irish Independent is helping readers to think local and shop local ahead of Christmas, with Part 2 of its guide to shopping lo...

Today, the Irish Independent is helping readers to think local and shop local ahead of Christmas, with Part 2 of its guide to shopping local in the Connacht and Munster regions. It could be the difference between ensuring we have shops to go back to when the pandemic ends or the creation of ghost towns



Red Rooster Coffee

William Davenport’s small roastery in Tullaghan ships bags of coffee all over Ireland and if you buy in bulk you need never risk running out again. The Bantam’s Brew – strength 4 – is a classic Mocha Java blend that’s their best-selling product.

Roy Humphreys Woodturner

Mohill-based woodturner Roy creates handmade bowls using native Irish wood and no two pieces are the same. The fourth generation of his family to work with wood, Roy also has a range of lamp bases, pens and homewares.

The Reading Room

The Reading Room in Carrick-on-Shannon will tailor a ‘book profile’ individual to you and send handpicked recommendations as part of a subscription service. A very popular gift idea for all ages it’s turned out to be, too.

Sundew Crafts

Leitrim-based Fiona O’Driscoll creates commissioned knitted animals in freshly washed natural fleece. Her work celebrates the natural world, the warmth of childhood in a wonderful variation of colours and textures.

Linchen Ceramics

Bairbre Kennedy, based in north Co Leitrim, makes light and colourful pottery in four distinct colour ways, heather, pink, lichen and blue. She also has Christmas-themed present ideas on her website.


Gra Chocolates, Kilchreest, Co Galway

Young chef Gráinne Mullins set up her hand-made chocolate business in the middle of the pandemic, and you can pre-order now for delivery in December. Flavours in the beautiful range include Nuts About You and Mint To Be.

Maggie Mangan of Cloon Keenon Galway’s High Street


20/08/2020 , Maggie Mangan in Galway at her medieval styled store, Cloon Keen Atelier . Photo:Andrew Downes

Maggie Mangan recently opened her second store in Dublin’s Powerscourt Townhouse and continues to sell her bespoke and very exciting collection of candles and fragrances from her website. These gifts are heaven scent.

Galway Food Tours Guide Book

Unable to run food tours right now, Sheena Dignam and Gosia Letowska have produced a cute pocket book outlining a self-guided stroll. It costs €35, but contains vouchers and discounts worth €55. That’s a stocking filler right there.

Clifden Bookshop

This Connemara business is Ireland’s best little bookshop and is on hand for all enquiries and offers attractive national delivery rates. For November, this hub for all things Tim Robinson is packaging his essential Connemara Trilogy for €40 including postage.

Galway Bay

Based in Oranmore, Galway Bay brewery, which has expanded greatly since it opened in 2009, has a massive range of beers. There’s even an online shop.


Cafe Rua

Order from the heat and eat menu by Wednesday for collection on Friday, with dinner priced at €23pp. Last week you could have had chicken and ham hock pie with cauliflower cheese and garlic and rosemary crushed potatoes, followed by tiramisu or a selection of Irish cheeses. Add on a bottle of organic wine for €15, and visit the Rua shop and delicatessen on Spencer Street to stock up on supplies for the week ahead while you’re at it.

Foxford Woollen Mills

There’s more to fancy lifestyle stores than Avoca, you know. These Mayo mills make a brilliant browse and lunch stop in Ballina, but for now you can shop its homewares, clothes, furniture (and yes, throws) online.

Tertulia Bookshop

Personal shopping appointments – private time slots to browse the shelves with complimentary refreshments – are on the menu at Tertulia in Westport, along with member discounts (membership is free) and giftee deliveries.

Mescan Brewery

Local Westport brewery Mescan sells a range of beers such as IPAs, stouts and saisons, including hampers that can be bought online or in a range of off-licences listed on the website.


Husband and wife team of Gearoid Muldowney, a craft designer and Jo Anne Butler, an artist and architect, create simple and beautiful home goods for people who love the wild and outdoors. Superfolk tells the story of the ever-changing colour, patterns and texture of the wildlife, wild food, landscape, geology and seasons surrounding them in Clew Bay.


Synergy Cafe

Sham Hanifa of the terrific Cottage Restaurant in Carrick-on-Shannon has a new cafe located just across the county border in Roscommon offering takeout breakfast and lunch, and his delicious small- batch sauces, all made without additives or preservatives. Think poke bowls, curries and stir fries, as well as more traditional sandwich options and a serious breakfast bap.


This fashion gem in Boyle got its name from the Marian Year when it opened in 1954. Perpetua McGee sells online, offers click and collect and also offers a virtual personal shopping service.

Roscommon Arts Centre

Virtual arts and crafts activities for kids can be found via the centre’s social media channels, while it is also streaming live drama right to your home. History podcasts are another speciality.


Timi Kovacs, based in Castlerea, Co Roscommon, makes keto-, diabetic- and coeliac-friendly, low-carb breads and sweets. Since lockdown the business has moved online and Timi ships baked products and dry mixes all over Ireland via post.

Hazelrocks Jewellery

Based in Roscommon, near the Leitrim border Hazelrock uses ethically mined/sourced genuine gemstones from around the world to create jewellery to bring joy. (Oh, and there’s free postage in Ireland.)


Baker Boys, Finisklin Road, Sligo

Baker Boys of Finisklin Road is the younger sibling to Shells in Strandhill and is playing a lockdown blinder with great coffee, milk bun sandwiches, croissants, amazing doughnuts (pistachio and salted caramel anyone?), salad boxes and hot food to go, six days a week.

The White Hag Brewery

The White Hag is an innovative brewery in Ballymote that offers virtual beer tasting parties and will have online gift boxes including two brand new seasonal beers, The Noel Eggnog Christmas Ale and Dark Druid Mexican Hot Chocolate Pastry stout.


Ingrid Morgan buys one of each size for Zulu boutique. She stocks sizes 8-18 and assesses every piece based on its fit and relabels them on a nought-to-five sizing mechanism.

@zulusligo on Instagram or (071) 9144738

Shells Treat Boxes

Because nobody can survive Level 5 without treats (that’s just science). Strandhill’s Shells Café has Treat Boxes for delivery nationwide, packed with yummies like chocolate fondants, soda bread and hand-roasted coffees. From €48;

Liber Bookshop

Offers bespoke Christmas book hampers, a 3-for-€10 book range, a vinyl record selection, and free deliveries for orders over €30 are being served up by Sligo’s Liber Bookshop. All the usual click-and-collect services provided too.



Gregan’s Castle

Robbie McCauley’s pop-up menu is available for order on Wednesday for collection or delivery on Friday. The three-course menu changes weekly, and you can add on extras including cocktails, sourdough and local cheeses. 25pc of the profits are split between Clare Haven and Pieta House.


Maureen Harrison of Seoidín jewellers in Ennis, and Skerries is one positive lady. Two weeks before lockdown, she launched her Hope collection of earrings, pendants and cuffs in crocheted gold. Seoidin means ‘little jewel’ and 24 years after opening, she has 350 pieces of jewellery to buy online.

The Burren Perfumery

This family-run company makes perfumes, soaps, lotions and creams inspired by the Co Clare landscape around it. Choose from ‘scent families’ like Atlantic Coast or Herb Garden (lotions from around €24) until we can visit this wild National Park again.

Salmon Bookshop & Literary Centre

Nothing is a problem for Ennistymon-based Salmon, who are on hand for recommendations, virtual browsing, and collection or delivery solutions. Poetry is a speciality, but all genres are catered for too.

Linda Bracken personal trainer

Personal trainer Linda Bracken is still working online with her clients during the current restrictions. Based in Kilalloe, Co Clare, she has a private training space and has a wide range of equipment to cover all abilities.



Aisling Moore’s fish and ale-focused restaurant on Oliver Plunkett Street in Cork city has morphed into a fishmonger, offering a range of fish and seafood sourced from local day-boats as well as heat at home dishes to pop in the oven.

Fran and Jane

The store on Oliver Plunkett Street is a popular Leeside style destination along with Clodagh Shorten’s Samui on Drawbridge Street. and

The Glucksman

Take care of lockdown boredom with a mix of kids’ craft and activity kits, educational books, design goodies and even online masterclasses from a gallery that is always innovating.


With the pubs often closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, one option is to bring the pub to your house. SnugPub, based in Macroom, Co Cork, build backyard bars.

O’Leary’s Camera World

This is a small, family-run business located on Oliver Plunkett St in the heart of Cork city. Established by Kieran O’Leary in 1985, the business is now one of Cork’s leading photographic specialists. Whether a professional photographer or an enthusiast, they have what you are looking for.


Solas Tapas

Nicky and Anne Foley and their team in Dingle have reinvented themselves several times over during the pandemic, their latest offering is an Indian pop-up on Friday nights. It sells out quickly, so book early.

Aidi Mac Dáibhiis

A third-generation master goldsmith based in Listowel, Aidi is currently working on “miniature works of art in precious metals” and special pieces for under the Christmas tree.

Woulfe’s Bookshop

The Listowel shop offers click-and-collect or delivery services are available, while owner Brenda Woulfe has a very special treat planned for the first three customers through her door after lockdown – book hauls worth €50.


Based in Tralee, Landers is a family-owned business that has been operating since 1984 with the aim of supplying outdoor enthusiasts with a complete range of specialist clothing and equipment to optimise their enjoyment of the outdoors. Deliveries nationwide are available online.

DANA Jewellery

Anne Louise LaFlamme based in south Kerry designs and creates by hand, contemporary jewellery from old vinyl records, metallic detail and recycled magazine paper. She ships worldwide in plastic free packages with free postage within Ireland.



Wade Murphy’s Abhaile menu is a ‘collect, heat and eat’ offering in Adare that allows you to experience the talented chef’s excellent food at home. The €32pp menu changes weekly and is available for collection on Saturday and Sunday – last week you could have had crab fishcake, navarin of lamb and a fancy tiramisu.

Aoife McNamara

All about slow-fashion, Aoife McNamara pioneers sustainable luxury clothing in tweed and linen. She opened her boutique in Adare in September and is open to bespoke bridal commissions.


Besides free delivery for orders over €20, the mighty O’Mahony’s have lots of special Christmas offers on their website, from bestsellers, to toys and stationery, to tailored book subscriptions.


It opened its first outlet in Galway in 2011 and has gone from strength to strength. There are two stores in Limerick. As well as operating a RepairHub, it has a wide variety of products for sale including macbooks, printers, tablets and gadgets.


At Duo, they have hand picked the best eco-friendly and sustainable goods, with all orders packaged responsibly using plastic free and eco-friendly materials. From tote bags, to face masks to body care and skin care, food and books. Online deliveries are available too.


The Scullery, Nenagh

Florrie Purcell started making Christmas puddings back in 2004 and produces a wide range of Christmas products including fig chutney with balsamic vinegar and Cumberland sauce, as well as barbecue sauces and year-round chutneys. Without a physical shop, in other years Florrie sold mainly at Christmas fairs. Now everything is available via her online shop for delivery nationwide. The mini plum puddings with brandy butter are her biggest sellers.



Nicola Connolly of Tipperary’s Nunaïa range of beauty treats

Nicola Connolly’s Nunaïa natural skincare range has won a slew of beauty awards for its hero products including a nourishing serum, superfood cleansing balm and its very comforting hand sanitiser infused with soothing lavender and tea tree.

Hamper happiness

Can’t take a trip to Tipp? Bring the county to you with a ‘Taste of Tipperary’ hamper crammed with goodies like Con’s Irish Cider, Cooleeney Camembert and Galtee wildflower honey from €70. A neat Christmas gift idea, too.

Sheela na Gig

This charming bookshop, cafe and wholefoods store in Cloughjordan is offering 10% discounts on all Christmas Book Wishlist orders received before November 18. In the meantime, there are gift hampers, take away coffees and order collections worth calling by for.

Phoenix Fitness

Paddy Coady set up Phoenix Fitness Gym with Daniel Connolly in 2013 in Clonmel and they have lent out their loose equipment like dumbells, plates and kettle bars to members for lockdown. They are currently running online classes and seminars to keep all their members engaged.


Beach House, Turkey Road, Tramore

Peter Hogan and Jumoke Akintola opened their wonderful restaurant earlier this year and have since added a gorgeous food and wine shop and a Beach House At Home menu, available to collect on Friday and Saturday. If you’re making the trip to Tramore, be sure to visit the Seagull Bakery and Mezze deli too.


Designer Bebhinn McGrath is currently knitting up a storm making jumpers and hats in 45 different shades of Donegal wool. She is taking Christmas orders until the end of the month.

Blackwater distillery

When it opened back in 2015 Blackwater distillery was the first micro-distillery to open in Waterford for 174 years. The producer is currently selling its range of gins online.

Kelly and Dollard

Located in Kingsmeadow Retail Park, family-owned Kelly and Dollard is part of the Irish-owned Electro City group and sells range of tech from computers to TVs and deliver nationwide.

KiKi Roosli

Waterford-based artist Kiki paints bright and bold abstracts and funky looking animals such as cows and hens. Originals and limited edition fine art prints available from her online shop which offers worldwide shipping and free nationwide postage.

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Newsrust: Part 2 - a county by county guide: From food to fashion and art, here’s your guide to keeping businesses alive
Part 2 - a county by county guide: From food to fashion and art, here’s your guide to keeping businesses alive
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