BANK OF IRELAND hosted its first Irish Farmers’ Market in the forecourt of its flagship branch at College Green in Dublin yesterday.
Over 20 small businesses were selling produce from Ireland and abroad. The event was part of the bank’s inaugural National Enterprise Week, during which the bank has organised over 120 events nationwide to assist SMEs.
The overall theme of the week is ‘Getting Business Moving’. Today the market will take place on the forecourt of the Bank’s Head Office on Lower Baggot Street from 10am to 4pm.
Damien Young, head of small business at Bank of Ireland, said: “The Irish Farmers’ Markets encapsulates the essence of National Enterprise Week which includes fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship and encouraging businesses to network and explore new opportunities for SMEs in a challenging environment.”
At the stalls yesterday were Ger Coyne, of Buns.ie, Damian Young, of Bank of Ireland, Sean McArdle, co-ordinator of Irish Farmers’ Markets, and Paddy Corbett, commercial branch manager BoI College Green.
IRISH BANKERS are not the most popular people at present, but it was smiles all round for staff at the Bank of Ireland’s flagship branch on Dublin’s College Green yesterday after the bank opened its imposing wrought iron gates to an eclectic farmers’ market.
Underneath the awnings of the former House of Lords, the first Irish strawberries of the season, picked the previous night in Co Meath, competed with Cretan olives, French crepes and Aran Islands fudge for shoppers’ attention. An estimated €40,000 was spent over the course of the day. Irish Farmers Markets was given the green light to organise the once-off event, featuring 20 stalls selling food and jewellery, as part of Bank of Ireland’s National Enterprise Week and co-ordinator Seán McArdle expressed the hope the market would become a permanent fixture in the city.
“It is one of the best locations in Ireland for a market like this and it is certainly the most beautiful. It’s like a market in an Italian piazza,” he told The Irish Times . “The stallholders had a fabulous day – it was so busy at times that you could hardly walk through the throng.”
As roasting hogs turned on a spit at the centre of the forecourt, Mr McArdle said the feedback had been universally positive. “I would love to do a Friday market here. Tourists would love it, the local people would love it. I’ve bent the ears of every director I’ve met. I’ve been asking them to give the go-ahead for a market here.”
A spokeswoman for the bank said it would give serious consideration to establishing a regular market on the site.
The general public certainly seemed to buy into the idea, and some of the stalls were so popular that their stock was gone before the last of the lunchtime crowd had returned to their office desks.
Cupcakes made by Paula Coyne and her husband Ger, a carpenter who turned his hand to baking after losing his job last year, were the first to go. The Coynes sold 1,000 buns in three hours before going home to bake a thousand more for a second market at Bank of Ireland’s headquarters on Baggot Street this morning.
Here is an article that appeared in the Irish Times Newspaper on Saturday the 5th of January, 2008.
Yes, we're all supposed to be tightening our belts, but it's January and it's cold and everybody needs a post-Christmas pick-me-up - what could be better than buns?
Home-made by Kildare based baker Paula Coyne, these luxury cup-cakes come in ten tantalizing varieties, among them Hummingbird, Butterfly and the deliciously decadent double-choc buns.
Perfectly presented and decorated with the likes of edible flowers, coconut dusting and fresh cherries, they are free from artificial preservatives and colours, packed instead with lashings of natural, fresh naughtiness.
Even the packaging is both wholesome and pretty, with a half-dozen coming in recyclable cardboard boxes tied up with ribbon.
Our answer to the cup-cake craze that swept the US, thanks to the likes of New York's Magnolia bakery.
Buns is a family affair and caters for parties big and small.
Contact Paula on 087-7571087 or see www.buns.ie.
Failing that, keep your eyes peeled at farmers markets, with Paula and co. setting up stall at various locations, because these are buns worth loosening your belt for.