Success of local firms lauded at Person of the Year awards

February 10th, 2023 2:40 PM

By Southern Star Team

Angela Cantwell at her traditional sweetshop and cafe ‘Angela’s Shop’ on the seafront in Fountainstown. (Photo: David Creedon)

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THE owners of two of Cork’s old traditional businesses, Shandon Sweet Factory and Angela’s Shop & Coffee Dock were announced as the Cork Persons of the Year. 

The awards were held last week at the Rochestown Park Hotel before an invited audience of 250 people who represented all sectors of Cork life. 

Known to generations of Corkonians, Shandon Sweet Factory and Shop has been trading since 1928 in the Shandon Quarter of old Cork city. 

Angela’s Shop and Coffee Dock in Fountainstown, overlooking the beach, has served ice cream, buckets and spades, fishing nets and absolutely everything you would need for a day out at the seaside, and is well known to Cork families for decades. 

Award judges, Ann Doherty, chief executive of Cork City Council and Tim Lucey, chief executive of Cork County Council, said they were ‘struck by the perseverance, adaptability and quality of these two businesses and their contribution to the fabric of Cork through the generations – these two are some of the ingredients that make Cork so special and great.’

Shandon Sweets is Ireland’s last remaining traditional shop and sweet factory, run by father and son duo Tony and Dan Linehan. The duo have overcome many obstacles over the years, including a major fire. Their sweets are all handmade using traditional methods.

A shop with a similar legacy is Angela’s in Fountainstown. 

Angela Cantwell has owned her shop for more than 30 years and has been a staple for visitors and locals alike.  

‘As well as a small business it’s also my social life,’  said Angela, ‘and I love meeting many generations of the same families on their days out at the beach and swimming in the sea.’

Speaking about the winners, awards organiser Manus O’Callaghan said Shandon Sweets is ‘Cork’s own Willy Wonka’ factory. ‘Operating in a competitive industry, up against confectionery giants, the local and export successes of three generations of Linehan’s is amazing. Angela’s iconic little business by the sea brings back many happy memories for Cork families and it’s great to know that this is one tradition that continues on,’ he said.

This year marked the 30th anniversary of the awards and Kinsale tenor Finbar Wright received the ‘Cork Supreme Award’ for representing Cork in such a distinguished way in concert halls around the world.

An appreciation award went to director general of RTÉ Dee Forbes from Drimoleague. 

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