Best Shops 2014: have you started to campaign yet?
With a record number of entries for this year's Irish Times Best Shops competition, shop owners trying to get ahead have started some wonderful campaigns
Vote for us: Siobhan Lawlor of Glasrai and Goodies in Gowran, Co Kilkenny drumming up nominations
The search is on to find the nation's favourite places to shop and reaction has been phenomenal. After just five days we’ve already surpassed the entire number of nominations last year’s competition.
This is the third year of the Irish Times competition which launched in recession-blighted 2012. We’ve enlisted experts in their fields to sit on our judging panel, a new feature of the competition. Simon Pratt, MD of Avoca, Edmund Shanahan, a retail, fashion and homewares consultant, fashion designers and Frockadvisor columnists Sonya Lennon and Brendan Courtney and Irish Times journalist Alanna Gallagher.
So what have you been nominating? Here's a tiny sample:
In the specialist shop category Martin Bridgeman is a fan of Rollercoaster Records, Kieran St, Kilkenny a shop he describes as “specialising in the pursuit of music in all its forms”. Chris Coffey says it is “less a record store and more a lightning rod for everything that happens on the music scene in Kilkenny”.
In the artisan food/greengrocer category Noirin O’Dwyer describes Glasrai and Goodies in Gowran, Co Kilkenny as a “fantastic selection of delicious foods and a great supporter of local produce”. Reader Denis Hetriojs is a Gowran native who now lives in Sydney, Australia and buys hampers from the grocer for birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. For him it is the “smell that wafts out the window” and “the colourfulness of the shelves” that draws him in. He describes it as one of the best artisan grocers he has ever been to, saying it outshines all the beautiful and diverse foods at his fingertips in Oz. Owner Siobhan Lawlor has started an edible form of canvassing. Atop a baked ham and cheese quiche they’ve spelled out, in strips of rooasted bell pepper, ‘vote for us’ in the Best Shops 14 competition. This has been devoured by hungry shoppers.
We love this creativity and want to see more of it. We will publish the best pictures.
How do you nominate your favourite shop? Go to irishtimes.com/bestshops and fill in the form. Use our hastag: bestshops14 to keep up to date on social media.