Country Choice, an independent delicatessen, café and supply business was established by Peter and Mary Ward in 1982. The shop is still in its original 200 year old premises on Kenyon Street in the traditional market town of Nenagh in the Tipperary Lakeland area of Ireland’s Shannon Region. The shop’s hours of operation are 9:00 – 5:00 Monday through Saturday.
The Country Choice Shop and Café have a national reputation in Ireland for sourcing, cooking and selling good food. For the last 25 years, Country Choice has stuck to its core principles of local sourcing of foods and promoting the work of the best of Irish artisan producers both in the region and nationally. The shop has built up a large network of committed suppliers for such produce as eggs, fruits, vegetables and poultry products over the last quarter of a century.
The most important element of Country Choice is the presence of a large kitchen where all foods are made from scratch. No convenience foods are used in the kitchen. All soups, breads, pies, meats, pates, etc. are all made on a daily basis. Mary Ward still makes all the jams, preserves and dressings each day in the shop. Mary runs the busy café while Peter runs the shop and the food sourcing side of the business.
In recent years Country Choice has also moved to sourcing unique products from a committed group of small and select European artisan producers. Most of these producers are now our established partners for the supply of unique products to Country Choice. The majority of these people are involved in the international Slow Food movement and like Country Choice espouse the principles of “Good, Clean, and Fair”.
Country Choice sells and sources a growing range of organic ingredients for our kitchen and an ever increasing range of own brand products such as olive oils, tomatoes, vanilla and coffees, etc. The shop is a registered and certified organic trader and packer by Ireland’s Organic Trust. Country Choice also sells a unique range of boutique wines and champagnes, all imported from small organic farms in Spain, France and Italy. These wines are all sold at a very attractive price to the consumer and are part of the shop’s policy of competing with the ever powerful multiples.
In recent years Country Choice has introduced a range of consumer education events in the shop such as master classes in wine and food, gardening courses, and food product launches. Group visitors to Country Choice can avail of a full Tipperary artisan food lunch accompanied by a talk on the history of Irish food given by the proprietor Peter Ward.
Peter Ward was the past Chairman of the Irish Taste Council for 5 years, an industry body funded by the government for the promotion of Irish artisan food. Peter is also a board member of Good Food Ireland, a marketing group to promote the use of Irish artisan food in the hospitality industry. Tipperary Slow Food is also hosted and supported by Country Choice.
Country Choice is recommended by all major Irish newspapers and food magazines. It has received accolades from John and Sally McKenna of the famous Bridgestone guides and features in the Georgina Campbell’s guide to Ireland’s good food premises. The shop is featured on the Good Food Ireland website. Country Choice has also received many accolades in such overseas publications as The Boston Globe, Saveur magazine and Frommers and Frodors guides.
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