The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on our approach to grocery and food shopping with many of us turning to online shopping as an alternative, or to supplement, our usual grocery shop. As well as online supermarket delivery, many more consumers are searching out local and craft producers. We’ve handpicked some of our favourite Irish meat and dairy producers who are delivering their freshest, quality products directly to your door.
Castlemine Farm has a long and rich farming heritage, located in the heart of Co. Roscommon. The Allen family have farmed the land since the 1820’s and the farm has been passed down through the generations with Sean Allen taking over in the 1950’s – he was a firm believer that grass-fed meat has a sweeter taste, especially in limestone regions like Roscommon. The farm is now run by Sean’s son Derek who is responsible for producing all Castlemine Farm’s beef, lamb, pork and bronze turkeys for the Christmas market, all of which are sourced from the family farm. The online shop offers nationwide delivery and a click and collect service which is available from the farm shop in Roscommon town.
Toons Bridge Dairy is a family run business making Mediterranean inspired cheeses in West Cork. Toby Simmonds spent many weeks and months travelling between dairies in Italy, Spain and Greece learning and perfecting the traditional methods used to create unique cheeses but the quality of the end product comes down to the quality Irish milk that gives Toons Bridge Dairy cheeses their unique and delicious taste.
The online shop (available via their sister company The Real Olive Co) is packed with delicious authentic cheeses including Caciocavallo, Straw Smoked Scamorza, Ricotta, Halloumi, Mozzarella and Cultured Butter. Fresh Mozzarella is shipped on the same day as it’s made so customers are receiving their product within 24 hours of production.
Online shopping and nationwide delivery are available for customers:
Clare based Brónagh and Cathal O’Rourke raise happy, grass-fed cattle on their farm in The Burren and credit the rich Burren limestone pastures, interwoven with wild herbs and clover, in giving their succulent and tender meat products a unique “Burren flavour”. Burren Premium Beef pride themselves on being the only consistent supplier of Hereford/Angus premium beef directly to customers across the country.
Their Beef Box offering comes in different weight options for customers including 5kg, 10kg and 20kg variations, each of which include a range of premium and household meat products from Roast cuts to steaks, ribs and mince.
Wicklow Farmhouse Cheese is a small family business based in South East Wicklow and was set up by John Hempenstall in 2005. The cheeses are handmade in a purpose built dairy on the farm and the range has been awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze at several national and international competitions and Wicklow Blue, in particular, has enjoyed critical acclaim since its arrival on the market.
The range includes Wicklow Blue Brie; Wicklow Bán Brie; Wicklow Gold, a mild and sweet mature cheddar and St. Kevin Brie
Andarl Farm in Co. Mayo is the home of Velvet free-range Pork. Described as sweet, subtle and disarmingly delicious Andarl Farm’s Velvet Pork is a moist, flavoursome and firm meat that guarantees a mouth-watering experience. Andarl Farm, founded by Dave and Diana Milestone in 2011, produces a variety of velvet pork and bacon products including from pork and apple burgers, superb dry-cured rashers, delicious sausages and beautiful roasting joints.
The online store also offers customers a premium selection of Black Angus Beef, Killenure Castle Dexter Beef and Mayo Lamb products. Nationwide delivery is available and is free for orders over €100.
Located on rolling pastures in East Cork, Tom and Norma Dineen’s cows on Bó Rua Farm enjoy the ideal combination of fresh air, fertile soil and rain which produces a plentiful supply of lush grass for grazing. Their herd comprises Montbéliarde cows, a native French breed synonymous with cheese-making. These beautiful red and white cows produce milk high in fat and protein, and are the inspiration for the company name – the Irish for red cow. Bó Rua Farm farmhouse cheese is made on the farm using traditional methods and the cheddar range is carefully produced and gently aged to develop a firm yet delicately creamy texture and a full, approachable flavour.
Perfect for the ‘treat night in’ occasion, John Stone Beef has been supplying some of the best restaurants in Ireland and around the world with award-winning dry-aged beef for the last 50 years. Since the onset of the pandemic, they have been selling directly to the public so they can enjoy restaurant quality beef at home. They offer a huge selection of beef and lamb cuts, burger and steak boxes with wine and beer and for a special occasion, there’s a ‘Beef and Bubbles’ Box complete with organic prosecco and mouth-watering steaks.
Delivering to Leinster across the week, Munster on Wednesday with limited delivery in the east Connacht region.
The Bourke family of Kilmullen Farm in Newcastle County Wicklow have been in the lamb business for three generations. The family pride themselves on their quality assured traditionally reared lamb which is clover and grass fed with the natural addition of the herbs found in hedgerows, including wild mint and garlic.
They have a very unique customer offer with whole or half lamb cuts available, in a selection of cuts and roasts to suit individual customer needs. Lambs are born from early March to early May and ready from July onwards, having spent their lives at grass.
Lauded as one of the only family owned farming and butcher operations in Ireland, the story of Gilligan’s Farm in Roscommon goes back over 100 years. Tom Gilligan built the farmhouse and began farming the land and ever since then, the family have been passionate about rearing beef. They opened their first farm shop in 1990 with one simple key message – all of the produce came direct from the family farm. Being a family-focussed operation allows the Gilligan family to maximise the quality and consistency of their beef and lamb as well as providing customers with full traceability.
The online shop offers everything including beef, lamb, chicken and pork. Delivery is available in Dublin six days a week and to Mullingar, Maynooth, Celbridge and Leixlip.