The Best Shops in Ireland 2015: Back Your Favourites

With nominations closing in a few days, the judges want to be guided by your advice

 

Readers, you have just five more days to make your voice heard in this year’s competition. Tell us about your favourite shops and don’t forget

to tell us also why it is that you like the place, what it is that makes it special and keeps you coming back. These comments will be a factor for the judges when they select their shortlist.

It is remarks like those of Seamus Grundy, who says “the staff at Sheridan’s Cheese, on Anne Street, Dublin 2, seem to delight in helping you find the product you wanted but didn’t know what it was called”, that truly give a sense of a store’s atmosphere and approach to service.

To take another example, Jillian Horsefield looks forward to her regular visits to Cavistons, Glasthule,“because the friendly staff go out of their way to help”.

Fiona Ellis captures the essence of online interiors store April and the Bear, run by Siobhan Lam, when she says: “I literally want everything she posts online, and her social media presence is both beautiful and functional.”

The shop assistant at Jane Carroll Design was so helpful and cheery that she made Fina Dooly want to buy. For David Jennings, “passing its window is always a treat for the little ones and ourselves, because it has so many gorgeous temptations and delightful gift ideas”.

The fashion in Samui, in Cork city, has reader Louise Quinn “weak at the knees”, while Jo Linehan says that everyone who goes into Brown Sugar, on Dublin’s South William Street, “feels like a celebrity for the duration of their appointment”.

Tom Hughes goes into even more detail on his experience at Melt Apothecary. He says he has been helped “in too many ways to detail: physically, mentally and emotionally. I have met numerous members of staff, from therapists to the people on the front desk, and was always met with a smile and listened to.” Best of all, his leg is feeling “a lot better” than when he went into the store for the first time.

We want to hear about shops that make you feel special and appreciate you spending your money with them. Laura Hennebry she says she would be lost without the healthcare advice of Kinsella’s Pharmacy in Celbridge. “This isn’t just a faceless pharmacy like so many others. Kinsella’s know you and your ailments, and are both friendly and knowledgeable.”

Miriam Mooney loves The Rathgar Bookshop for its “wonderful mix of eclectic books, plants from Mt Venus, delicious home-made fare and frequent readings by interesting and thought-provoking authors”, while online bookshop Kennys.ie “innovates all the time to compete with industry giants like Amazon, while still maintaining a great sense of the local bookseller”, says Sarah Kenny.

Aileen Considine gets a sugar rush when she enters the Sugarshack Cakery, in Caherdaniel, Co Kerry. “Gorgeous cakes, teas and coffees . . . it’s a simple recipe done with great style . . . Even the table covers are vintage, with old photographs.”

Recently returned from living in Buenos Aires, Saoirse McDermott says Suas, in Ennis, offers a slice of Porteño society in Co Clare. “The care and attention that is given by staff is beyond compare and the food is lovely and fresh. The coffee is fantastic and changes regularly, and you will always get a little information about what you are drinking. It is a small cafe, but you never feel rushed. It is a little oasis of coffee calm.”

You can still vote for your favourite shop at irishtimes.com/bestshops. Nominations close at midnight on Wed, Aug 5.

Best Shops 2015 is sponsored by Clover, a First Data product from AIB Merchant Services

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