The best of Clare’s artisan food and crafts will enjoy a unique shop window next month at the inaugural Cliffs of Moher and Clare Retail Expo.
Clare food and artisan suppliers will come together with consumers and retail buyers for the event which takes place over two days on February 19th and 20th.
Supported by the Clare Local Enterprise Office, Clare County Council and the Burren & Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark, the two-day event is the biggest showcase of its kind to be held in County Clare in recent years.
The Expo opens at Cliffs of Moher Experience on Sunday February 19th with a business-to-consumer event from 10am to 4pm during which local Clare artists, producers and craftspeople will exhibit their products at Ireland’s most visited natural attraction.
Amongst the suppliers in attendance will be McConnell Woollen Mills (Killaloe), Airmid Soap (Kilfenora), Anchor Crafts (Kilrush), Western Herd Brewery (Kilmaley), Creative Clay (Sixmilebridge), Brideog Trad, SIAR Photography and Wix and Wax (Ennis), JJ Corry Whiskey (Cooraclare), Clare Jam (Doolin), Bunratty Mead (Bunratty), Quin Art (Quin), Doreen Drennan Art Studio, Burren Smokehouse (Lisdoonvarna), Irish Slate Craft (Lahinch), Cratloe Hills Sheep’s Cheese (Cratloe), Rowena Sheen Jewellery (Ennistymon), Wilde Irish Chocolates, Palm Free Soap and McKernan Woollen Mills, (Tuamgraney), Wild Irish Seaweed (Quilty) and Ballymorris Pottery (Cratloe).
The Falls Hotel in Ennistymon is the venue for The Burren Extravaganza, which includes a North Clare food producers’ showcase and a three-course dinner (ticketed), hosted in partnership with the Burren Ecotourism Network, on Sunday evening from 5pm.
Buyers will have a chance to “Meet the Maker” and touch, taste and see some of the award-winning and internationally renowned products from the Burren, including cheeses, whiskey, salmon, oysters, jams, chutney, breads and beef to name but a few.
Participating suppliers include Burren Smokehouse (Lisdoonvarna), Burren Premium Beef (Boston), Clare Jam Company (Doolin), Wild Kitchen Salts (Lahinch), Moher Cottage (Liscannor), Aillwee Cave, Burren Distillers, Hazelwood Bakery, Burren Fine Wine & Food (Ballyvaughan), St Tola Goats Cheese (Inagh), and Flaggy Shore Oysters (New Quay).
On Monday February 20th from 10am to 1pm, Cliffs of Moher Experience will host a business-to-business retail buyers’ event at which Clare artists, producers and craftspeople will present their products and network with national and regional buyers.
Bobby Kerr, Chair of the Board of Cliffs of Moher, described the upcoming Expo as a unique opportunity for retail buyers and consumers to engage with Clare suppliers, saying, “the number of food and artisan producers in Clare has grown considerably in recent years with many visitors to the county citing the food experience as one of the outstanding features of their stay. Clare suppliers are increasingly successful in getting their products supplied via retailers across Ireland and overseas and Cliffs of Moher Experience is delighted to play a role in this continuing success story.”
Geraldine Enright, Director of Cliffs of Moher Experience, said the forthcoming Expo presents opportunities for new business relationships to form between suppliers and retailers, and for consumers to learn about the quality and breadth of food and artisan products being produced in Clare, stating, “as part of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark we are proud to be able to support local suppliers. Throughout 2022, we provided a platform for local suppliers to showcase their products to visitors to the Cliffs of Moher. The initiative forms part of our Meet The Makers programme which invites visitors to discover more about the artists, producers, and craftspeople.”
Padraic McElwee, Head of Enterprise at Local Enterprise Office Clare, commented, “many of the suppliers partaking in the Expo will have benefited from a broad range of supports from Local Enterprise Office Clare, including mentoring, upskilling and other practical supports. Being able to access such training and mentoring locally is a huge step forward for businesses in this county, and we are now delighted to be able to further support these suppliers as they seek to expand their operations and introduce their products to a wider consumer and retail audience.”