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Foodies Fight Back with Lucinda

Foodies Fight Back with Lucinda

Wednesday 03 June 2020

Cork's legendary English Market is in many ways more than a market. It's a whole community of people working together year after year under one roof, not only selling their food, but bringing enormous life and energy to the city. They know their customers from their daily encounters. There's banter and fun, but, at the heart of it, it's all about good food from hard-working producers in the region. The Roughty Foodie was set up 60 years ago by Michael F and Peggy Murphy, described by their daughter, Margo Ann, as "country people".
"We're now third-generation traders. We stock an array of artisan food from producers based in Ireland's most rural communities. The stall is a platform for them to showcase their amazing products, which include homemade preserves, chutneys, farmhouse cheeses, raw Irish honey, strawberries, free-range eggs and West Cork flowers."
Margo Ann says there needs to be change. "Parking needs to remain free to entice people to come in and shop with us. There needs to be more seating for people to be able to enjoy their goodies from the market. Moreover, the waterways and quays need to be developed safely for both local businesses and the public to enjoy."
Margo Ann and her daughter Harriet, a home economics teacher, who makes the most delicious lemon curd with passionfruit for the stall, have put together food boxes, which are delivered all over Ireland. Their English Market food box starts at €70, while their 'Rolls Royce' food box is from €100. Call Margo on (087) 635-2415.

Michael and Aisling Flanagan produce their Velvet Cloud sheep's milk, yogurt and cheese on their family farm in Co Mayo. Having founded their business in 2015, their delicious yogurt was an instant hit and they'd been growing steadily. However, they've seen a 50pc drop in their weekly sales just from restaurant closures, apart from the loss of retail sales. Fighting for their fab foodie business, they've started a new delivery service of their Velvet Cloud yogurt, but are planning to give their 'Rockfield by Velvet Cloud', a semi-hard three-month-old cheese with a natural rind, its online debut in June.

"It's amazing how quickly you can learn about online applications and how to set up an e-commerce shop, when your back is up against the wall," says Aisling. "We've been surprised at the uptake so far, while it's still modest, and only running for five weeks, we've doubled sales each week."

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First Published In The Sunday Independent