Shoppers urged to keep it local
Irish consumers are being asked to put their money where their mouths are in the run-up to Christmas by supporting local artisan producers as part of a campaign launched by a leading independent retailer in the south east.
The “Take Ours Back to Yours” initiative aims to encourage more consumers to sample local food and sustain local jobs through in-store tastings and meet-and-greet sessions with local producers.
It is the brainchild of Colin Jephson whose family have run the Ardkeen Quality Food Store in Waterford for 45 years,
While he accepted that artisan producers are typically more expensive mass producers, he insisted value was about more than just cost. He suggested that growing numbers of consumers are considering quality, supporting local jobs and food provenance when drawing up shopping lists.
“This is not a new message from us at Ardkeen, we’ve been extolling the virtues of food grown and made locally or nationally on a small scale for the best part of our 45-year existence,” he said. “However, we thought that it was time to remind ourselves and our customers why it’s still an important message — if not more so, in these
Mr Jephson’s shop currently provides a platform for over 80 artisan food producers from across the south east and beyond so they showcase and sell their products.
He said producers benefited from Ardkeen’s expertise in consumer trends, marketing and in many instances, making the transition from a farmers market to full retail production.
The “Take Ours Back to Yours” campaign includes a YouTube video to introduce the general public to some of the artisan producers who are selling in the Waterford shop. There will also be in-store signage, meet the producer events and food sampling
As part of the Waterford Winterval festival Mr Jephson has also brought its artisan foods into the centre of the city with a new Christmas pop-up food hall at Greyfriars Municipal Art Gallery.
“The response in-store has been very encouraging. But we want to reach out further by directly linking with the people of Waterford and the many thousands that will be visiting Waterford during Winterval,” he said.