BY HELEN RIDDELL
A TELEGRAM found by Lorraine and Chris Downey, owners of Murphy’s SuperValu Castletownbere, sent in 1910 and requesting a bag of flour to be sent to Allihies, demonstrates the shop was doing deliveries over 100 years ago – and flour is still as popular!
Communication methods have changed, but the shop, which has been in Castletownbere since 1840, and is one of the largest employers in the area, is working to ensure that everyone who can’t visit the shop during the current restrictions, will still have groceries delivered to them.
Chris said: ‘We receive orders via telephone, email, the website, text message and hand-written notes. All forms of communication are in full flow. We have three vans on the road, with two team members working through the night to ensure the following day’s orders are ready for delivery.’
Chris praised staff for the way they have been dealing with the current situation: ‘We have an incredible team and are very proud of each of them. Being on the front line can be especially difficult – there is a fear of contracting the virus but also of bringing it home. Community spirit has been incredible. We have had help from friends, family, local community groups and individuals. We are very proud to be from Beara, in tough times you really see the great spirit in our community.’
Looking to the future, Chris is hoping that the shop can get back to some form of new normality soon: ‘I think that the way people do business will change forever. Although times have been tough, there is a silver lining. We have been able to appreciate the beauty of Beara and how lucky we are to be living and working in this part of the world. In our own house, family has become so much more important and is something we will look to build on going forward.’