Pat Conroy and Margaret Gillespie manning the flower/plant stand at Naas Country Market
Sixty seven years is not bad for any business to survive and compete against the trends of massive shopping malls and online buying. Naas Country Market (Naas CM) has been consistently providing home produce, crafts and wares in the town for that length of time.
With over 200 regular customers, Naas CM has 30 members who contribute to the weekly market which moved recently from Naas Town Hall to the Moat Theatre, Naas, literally just around the corner.
Last week, I popped into the market, never having visited the ladies at their new Friday morning 'hub'. Outside, a few customers were enjoying a leisurely cup of tea and some purchased goodies. From the fresh flower stand outside, I chose plants – a mature, tall geranium at €3.50 ready to go straight into an outdoor pot, good value as were some healthy nasturtium at €1.50 per portion. The fresh flowers were divine, and bunches varied from €3.50 – great value, lovely scents and a diverse selection from wild flowers to elegant lilies.
Jack Ward doing quality control on the icing!
Inside, the market was buzzing, a very social hub with more guests enjoying some light refreshments and confectionery at the seating area. With my two year old grandson Jack in tow, we filled our basket quickly, Jack taking a shine to some iced buns and fruit scones. He took a big shine also to hand knitted tea cosies and a chocolate cake but alas, there's only so many goodies his grandmother can buy or eat after he has licked the top icing!
On sale were free range eggs, gluten free breads and a massive selection of gluten free biscuits and cakes. One member is a regular 'forager', that is she takes many of nature's ingredients such as sea weed and brings in prepared sea weed products ready for cooking, along with keifer (a cultured dairy product, rich in probiotics, with incredible medicinal benefits) and savouries made without salt or any additives.
Lots of vegetables and fruits for sale with raspberries and gooseberries in season; also preserves, jams and delicious sauces, all home made. If you're organising a family barbeque or party, it's the ideal spot to shop, with pavlova cases, fruit cakes, tarts, buns and absolutely every type of cake you can imagine on sale.
Lots of crafts, hand made cards, knitwear and crocheted goods, and giftware available. It really was a very sociable experience – quality goods to choose from, guaranteed home made, and you can sit and have a cuppa in the Moat Café or outside, weather permitting. Open every Friday morning from 9.45am-12.30pm at The Moat Theatre, Naas.