Potato producer's drive-through spud sales a smash hit

Potato producer's drive-through spud sales a smash hit
Maria Flynn. Photos: Seamus Farrelly

A vintage potato producer who saw her niche business flatline overnight has started a contactless drive-through spud shack.

Maria Flynn of Ballymakenny Farm was supplying many top restaurants and bars across the country with heritage potatoes when Covid-19 virtually closed the hospitality industry overnight.

Rather than being left with 15 acres of rotting potatoes, she decided to set up a drive-through spud shack on her farm, outside Drogheda, Co. Louth, which is receiving a huge response.

The six varieties of heritage potatoes including Violetta, Rag Emmalie, Pink Fir Apple and Mayan Gold - had been a huge hit with many top Irish chefs including JP McManus, John Coffee and Jeff Murphy.

Potato producer's drive-through spud sales a smash hit

"The business literally flatlined overnight so I decided to convert a shed and convert to a drive-through spud shack.

"I didn't expect that much interest from members of the public but I've been overwhelmed by the support I'm receiving. They're loving the potatoes and they are intent on helping local businesses as much as they can through this time.

"Most people opt for a mixed bag of potatoes so they can try out all the varieties.

I literally stand in the shed, gloved-up and they pull up in the car and talk to me through the window. I pack the potatoes in paper bags and then pop them in the boot for them.

"They never get out of the car and they either tap their card or call out their card number for payment so contact is not an issue.

"I'm delighted with the interest and so grateful for all the support but I think people are genuinely trying to help local businesses survive through this and when it's all over, I believe everyone will shop local first to get all back on their feet."

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024

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