Co-op food out­let has unique place in Cork’s his­tory

Irish Examiner - Supplement - - FOOD & DRINK IRELAND -

The Quay Co- Op was founded in 1982. Through­out the 1980s it pro­vided a lo­cal base for the pol­i­tics of the new so­cial move­ments of the pe­riod, at a time when Ir­ish So­ci­ety, and its econ­omy seemed to be go­ing back­wards, rather than for­ward.

In the changed en­vi­ron­ment of the 1990s and 2000s the Quay Co-op re-in­vented it­self as a worker’s co-op­er­a­tive, run­ning a suc­cess­ful vege­tar­ian restau­rant, whole­food and or­ganic food store and in- house bak­ery. How­ever, with a work­force of over 60 it still aims to re­tain the per­son­al­ity and val­ues of its ori­gins.

The Quay Co-op Restau­rant aims for a healthy, in­ter­na­tional range of meat-free dishes at af­ford­able prices. We use or­ganic in­gre­di­ents when avail­able and pro­vide op­tions for ve­gan and spe­cial di­etary needs. All our food is freshly pre­pared daily in our own kitchen and bak­ery. The restau­rant is self- ser­vice with seat­ing for 80. Break­fast, lunch and din­ner menus change daily and are avail­able in house or take­away.

“Our Or­ganic, Health and Whole­foods Shops based in Sul­li­vans Quay, Ballincol­lig and Car­ri­ga­line carry a huge prod­uct range at com­pet­i­tive prices,” Quay Co- op chair­per­son Nancy Sher­lock said. “With our ex­ten­sive choice of whole­foods we also cater for spe­cial di­etary re­quire­ments and have a Gluten, Di­ary and Sugar- free depart­ment. We stock a comprehensive range of sup­ple­ments and cos­met­ics. We also have a very wide se­lec­tion of or­ganic fruit, veg­eta­bles and sal­ads.

“Our food pro­duc­tion unit pro­duces a wide range of vege­tar­ian soups, ready meals and deserts Our bak­ery pro­duces a va­ri­ety of breads scones and cakes, in­clud­ing Sour­dough Spelt Rye and of course our ever pop­u­lar Car­rot cake. Our Thank Good­ness range of frozen meals, par­tic­u­lar the Nut­loaf range are now widely avail­able through­out the UK and here in Ire­land.

“Over re­cent years there has been an enor­mous change in Ir­ish eat­ing habits,” ex­plains Nancy Sher­lock.

“With a huge num­ber of in­no­va­tive qual­ity Ir­ish pro­duc­ers, greatly in­creased cus­tomers food aware­ness, and an ex­pand­ing re­tail sec­tor present both chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties within we which we are con­fi­dent of our role.”

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