Rocketman lands in space

The Rocketman has come back to earth — but will continue to do the satellite orbits of farmers markets, along Cork’s Ring Road.

The Cork-based food company which does dozens of seasonally-adjusted takes on salads, this week opens a fresh food shop at 38 Princes Street — a stone’s throw from the city’s acclaimed English Market, home to dozens of purveyors of fresh produce.

Billing No 38 as ‘Rocketman HQ,’ the food company up to now has traded primarily at farmers’ markets in Douglas, Mahon and Wilton, and also previously on the Coal Quay, It also did catering at the first Ballymaloe Food and Literature Festival in East Cork: founder Jack Crotty, aka Rocketman, is Ballymaloe-trained.

Up to now, Crotty’s food business has been more about canopies than canapes, with the pale blue Rocketman old Mercedes van, complete with logo of flying superhero propelled along on frizzy rocket leaves, the link between the several markets, and its many customers.

Now, the Rocketman HQ’s new, first physical premises neighbours another highly-regarded food retailer, Iago’s, which moved from the English Market to Princes Street just prior to Christmas, and put the lease on its long-held English Market stall up for sale last week, seeking €100,000 key money via Casey and Kingston.

Initially employing three full-time, Rocketman HQ at No 38 will sell for take-away only, offering seasonally changing salads, with beans, pulses and seeds as well as herbs, leaves, veg and fruits.

Rocketman has been trading for two and a half years, with further development stages in the business plan, says Crotty.

Meanwhile, just as Rocketman lands on Princes Street, a new business off-shoot has emerged from the English Market’s award-winning Farm Gate restaurant.

Former Farm Gate chef Kim Walsh, and front-of-house Liam O’Leary, have taken over the Market House cafe in South Square, Rosscarbery in West Cork, in the midst of artisan food producers.

Carrigaline-born Walsh has Michelin-star restaurant experience under her apron, and both she and Bantry native O’Leary have spent periods working abroad, as far away as New Zealand, before opting for now setting up a fledgling West Cork cafe/bistro business.


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