“You see far more cyclists and walkers in the past year, since the Wild Atlantic Way came along, and in the past few weeks you’d notice a lot more cars, as well, now that the schools in the UK are on holidays; there’s a good number of US and UK tourists doing some, or all, of the route,” say Eddie and Claire Ryan. And, they add ”we’ve wi-fi, and it’s remarkable. People flock in and they just can’t wait to catch up on Facebook, and other social media, making contact with the wider world.” Recovering tourism numbers aside, the shop is in a pivotal position on the Sheep’s Head peninsula, between Bantry and Schull, and serves a Sheep’s Head year-round population of 2,500, says Eddie Ryan.
The couple has just put their combined Durrus village businesses, Ryan’s Village Grocery and the Gateway cafe and restaurant, on the market, via agent John Hodnett, of Hodnett Forde, who cites a price of €700,000 for the entire, or he may consider selling the two elements separately.
The Ryan family bought the building back in 2007, moving over to Ireland from Swindon, in the UK, after years of holiday visits to Tipperary and Waterford. Eddie’s mother came from Tipperary Town, and his father from Cappawhite. They had emigrated to the UK in the 1950s, starting in London and later moving to Swindon, working with Rover, and that’s where Eddie Ryan grew up.
After Claire and Eddie Ryan bought the shop in Durrus, West Cork (and added the Gateway restaurant four years ago), Eddie’s mother, Nellie, moved over to see them established and hard at work building a two-pronged business.
Now, with four children (three of whom, aged 9, 12 and 14, are in school), the Ryans are keen to move closer to a school in Bandon and will seek a new business opportunity around there. Eddie says: “we’ve always been self-employed. We had gift shops in England, and may do something like this again, once we sell.” The couple say they note a pick-up in the economy and in the convenience-shop sector, and say if a new shop-owner signs up to a retail brand, and adds beer and spirits sales to wines, there’d be a further turnover boost.
They ran the restaurant as a cafe last year, turning over €100,000 on teas, coffees and snacks, and when it was run as a full 80-seat restaurant it turned over €400,000, plus another €120,000 pa on wine, with the grocery shop also trading very well.
Estate agent John Hodnett bills the sale of the adjoining businesses as a great investment opportunity, and stresses the quality of the physical work done to the extensive buildings, with 3,500 sq ft grocery with Lotto, news and tolls agencies, as well as the 2,800 sq ft/80-seat restaurant, all in top order and fully compliant.
Overhead residential accommodation includes living room, kitchen, dining, 4/5 bedrooms and two bathrooms.
: Hodnett Forde Property (023) 8833367