We’ve been trying to find a pic of O’Donoghue’s Foodmarket for quite some time now…
For now, we’ve had to settle for the crappy newspaper shot above…
One of the few missing pieces to our main street jigsaw puzzle of old shops, O’Donoghue’s arrived in 1977 like a spaceship. And was later reborn, after an unfortunate fire, bigger and more spaceshippy than ever.
Sure, wasn’t it four times the size of Ireton’s. And 400 times the size of Scuffil’s.
During one of our recent expeditions down into the bowels of the Bray People archives, we managed to find the big hurrah commissioned in 1983 for the new, refurbished, state-of-the-art, top-of-the-range, oven-ready mini-supermarket.
Even though the refurbished shop had re-opened the year before.
And, once again, Alan Partridge’s Irish uncle seems to have written the blurb.
The great thing about arrivals, departures, anniversaries and, as with operation transformation, it gives local papers a chance to get straight on to the neighbours, and blackmail them into taking out a small ad of welcome and congratulations.
And so it was with O’Donoghue’s, with a bunch of Greystones’ local businesses – such as Murphy’s newsagency and the New Waves hair studio down by the station – taking out little spots to make the feature look like the town was just one big happy family of happy, thriving shops.
Bizarrely, the journalist didn’t find any space to mention that Martin and Mary’s very reason for living was catching The Baskerville Sisters in The Stables every weekend.
Still, there’s real gold in the blurb the Bray People threw together for the O’Donoghues’ glorious return to Greystones…
“There’s more to running a foodmarket than just opening the door and saying ‘yes, ma’am‘” is how Martin O’Donoghue of Greystones summarises his business. Martin is the man behind the most up-to-date foodmarket in Greystones, where he brings together the personal service of the family grocer with the latest developments in modern supermarket trends.
Located in the town’s main shopping area at Church Road, Martin re-opened his business just three weeks before Christmas after extensive renovation and rebuilding. The work was necessitated by a fire last year which badly damaged the premises. But, every cloud has a silver lining, as they say, and Martin took advantage of the rebuilding to bring a completely new look to his business.
O’Donoghue’s foodmarket now boasts one of the finest shopfronts in Greystones, and, indeed, in North Wicklow. Built of wood and teak in the ‘old style’, it brings a friendly and pleasing old world feel to the premises.
Inside, much careful planning and thought has gone into the layout and design of the foodmarket, with the aim of providing the ease and convenience for the customers. The foodmarket is laid out in supermarket style with cashiers’ outlets. The shop also includes a delicatessen, wines and Bewley’s Coffee in addition to a wide range of grocery items. Also available at O’Donoghue’s is bread from Molloy’s of Bray, and barbequed chickens.
Martin tells us that he will even facilitate customers who give him a ring by having the chickens cooked for them when they arrive. All items are at the keenest prices. Martin also stresses that hygiene and cleanliness are very important factors in his business, and the most rigorous standards are applied. O’Donoghue’s Foodmarket also enjoys the benefit of many years experience which Martin has in the business.
A native of Ruane, County Clare, Martin began his career with Lipton’s in Ennis before moving to Dublin to work for Power’s supermarket. After a spell with Quinnsworth, Martin took on a post with Galtee Food Producers, a job which took him around servicing the major supermarkets in the Dublin area. As Martin explained, it was this period which gave him an excellent grounding in all aspects of the trade, and set him thinking about going out on his own.
The chance came when he moved with his wife and family to Greystones, almost six years ago, when he set up the business on Church Road. The fire was a setback, but by rebuilding the premises on a prime position in Greystones’ main shopping area, he is looking forward to a busy future. He reckons the old Lipton’s group had the right philosophy in setting store in personal service, but fell behind because they did not keep up with the times in the trade.
Martin stresses the importance of combining service with the best of supermarket trends, and feels that traders like himself should give back something of what they take out of the community.
He also feels that Greystones is a growing area in which shopping will develop in a major way over the next few years. “After all, it was not so long ago that there were hardly any shops in Bray and now look at it,” he added. As he sees it, there is a large market to be tapped among residents of Greystones who travel outside the town to Bray supermarkets for their weekly shopping.
Martin O’Donoghue’s Foodmarket is open 9am to 7.30pm every week-day, from 9am to 6pm on Saturdays, and from 10.30am to 1.30pm on Sundays, although, as Martin explained, opening hours can be made more flexible to suit customers.
Jump in your shopping trolley and explore more of Greystones’ gone-but-not-forgotten shops right here.
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