Siobhan Lawler's passion for good food and cooking turned into a full-time business career quite by chance. This enthusiastic home cook was forever searching out unusual ingredients to use in her recipes. In the village of Gowran where she lives with husband Derek and their children, it was difficult to find everything she needed for the kitchen. Clearly, there was a gap in the market for an all-encompassing food shop that concentrated on good local produce, gourmet continental items and exotic ingredients from further afield. When husband Derek's work changed, the office space he occupied in the downstairs floor of the family home became free. Almost immediately, Siobhan spotted her chance to convert the cosy space into a little gourmet shop. This she has done with huge success. Glasraí and Goodies was born in 2010 - one of the prettiest and best-stocked food shops in Ireland.
Situated on the Main Street of Gowran, right opposite the heritage site of St. Mary's Abbey, this shop occupies an idyllic spot. Inside, the place is packed to the rafters with the best Irish artisan produce. It's all here, The name Glasraí and Goodies epitomises the range. Glasraí is the Gaelic word for vegetables - appropriate for the wide range of fresh local seasonal vegetables, particularly in summer. Siobhan's father is one of the suppliers, along with various other family, friends and neighbours, all keen gardeners. Goodies accounts for delicious sweet things, from handmade artisan chocolates to tarts, biscuits and fresh bread. Even those with dietary requirements are looked after with spelt bread and gluten-free cookies and bars.
Farmhouse cheese is in focus, with Knockdrinna and Lavistown made in Stoneyford not far away, Cashel Blue, Carlow Nettle and Onion Cheese, Wicklow Bawn, Wicklow Blue and others. On the Pig's Back in Cork, Goatsbridge Trout Farm in Kilkenny and Burren Smokehouse products all feature.
The deli counter houses a vibrantly fresh and appetising salad selection, made every morning by Siobhan. Takeaway sandwiches are made to order on the bread of choice, with fillings like home cooked honey roast ham or an Irish cheese, salad with homemade dressings and relishes or chutney. Siobhan's own little tartlets are a pure delight. The working population of Gowran are so glad to have this shop in the village! As are the many visitors to the abbey. But most of all, the cooks of the area, who now have a first-class gourmet store, brimming with glasraí and goodies - everything they need in their own home kitchens.