During the downturn, it seemed that every second small retail letting was to a barber’s or a hairdresser’s salon.
Now that the country is on the way back up again, the new growth in evidence seems to be florists and cafes. Ireland’s shopping streets and malls are coming up smelling of coffee — and of roses. And smelling of freesias, and lillies, too.
In deep-winter, new flower shops have popped their heads above ground, including Mimosa Flowers in Douglas Village Shopping Centre, run by Gráinne Galvin, a daughter of poet Patrick Galvin, as well as in Cork’s city centre, in the Market Parade right by the English Market.
In advance of the opening next March of the Capitol retail and office magnet onCork city’s Patrick’s Street and Grand Parade, already bringing in new footfall to Market Parade (an all-weather access point and quirky retail strip to the thronged English Market) is The Floral Fish.
Taking its name from the goldie fish on top of Shandon, and from the market’s celebrated fishmongers, the niche florist’s shop Floral Fish, posy-sized at 340 sq ft, has opened in recent weeks, replete with goldfish bowl with three as-yet un filleted lively goldfish.
And, just across the covered Market Parade arcade and due to open Monday next is another new arrival, Three Spoons, set to sell coffee beans and loose teas, chocolates and nougats.
The duo of start-up traders will bring the Market Parade back to full occupancy following the deals negotiated by agent Amanda Isherwood of Lisney, for landlords OKR, who own the building as well as the BurgerKing franchise on Patrick Street.
Market Parade is one of the several access points to the famed English Market, one of the city centre’s largest tourist draws, as well as being a free-ranging larder for the city and the wider region’s denizens and gourmands.
Trained florist, Nina Lowe, from Shropshire via Kinsale, moved to Ireland at the start of this year and while she’d have coveted a unit within the English Market itself,“once I saw this spot in the Parade I just went for it. The traders are lovely, and we all look out for one another,” she says.
The flavour among fellow traders tends towards the funky and the vintage, including Peacock & Ruby, Miss Daisy Blue, and Chair Artistry of Hair among the dozen or so retailers.
Taking a larger unit in the Parade, the 750 sq ft Unit 10/11 (with mezzanine) is another start-up venture, Three Spoons. It’s being fitted out by owner Jurgita Ziurniene, and will sell loose teas and coffee beans from around the world.
It will also be a case of ‘chocs’ away, as its offer of speciality chocolates will add to the range already tempting the sweet-toothed, from existing chocolatiers within the 1788-founded English Market, the 2000 established Chocolate Shop and David’s.
The arrival of two new anchor traders in the Capitol in March will add huge footfall, and already opened nearby is Sostrene Grene on Patrick Street and Bean and Leaf, on Grand Parade.
In the Tesco and M&S-anchored Douglas Village Shopping Centre, meanwhile, Mimosa Flowers opened this week, with a full-time staff of three plus part-timers; among its tech-savvy services is a photo studio, so customers can be sent a picture of completed bouquets before they are delivered, to anywhere in Ireland.
DETAILS: Lisney, 021-4275079;
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