A West Cork couple have hatched a new business after seeing a gap in the market for the delivery of farm fresh produce right to customers’ doors.
Michael and Carmen O’Sullivan, who live between Bandon and Timoleague, started out in 2018 with three hens and a cockerel – Henrietta, Mrs Brown, Mags and Willy – and sold eggs from an honesty box by their 150-year-old labourer’s cottage.
Demand led to the purchase of a few more hens and ducks and over time Michael built up an egg run, delivering eggs door-to-door while earning the name the ‘Egg man’ from children in the locality.
During the first lockdown in March, customers began to ask about other products, which led to the couple seeking out local and chemical-free produce to supply and deliver alongside their eggs.
Since then the business has grown, and ‘Farmsy’ was launched with deliveries being made every Friday and Saturday throughout the region.
Carmen, originally from Garrettstown, said: ‘At the start of this year we wouldn’t have foreseen ourselves setting up Farmsy.ie but when your customers keep asking about other produce you have to listen and think about it – so Farmsy.ie was hatched, quite literally!’
She said that from the beginning, the support they received from both local suppliers and customers was amazing.
‘Food For Humans and Horizon Farm started supplying us straight away and we now also have Ancient Organic’s in Rosscarbery, Duhallow Organic meat and West Cork Coffee based in Innishannon, in our delivery van each week. So many artisan food producers were badly hit this year and we see our service as supporting them, something we are really passionate about.’
Michael, who works in road maintenance for the County Council, added: ‘When we started selling eggs from an honesty box, we couldn’t have imagined where it would take us but the joy of delivering fresh, chemical-free, honest produce to people’s doors is just brilliant.
‘I love getting to know the families and over time you get to know what they like so I can introduce them to suppliers that I know their family would enjoy. This year has taught us that the power of human interaction can change someone’s day so I always do my best to deliver a good chat with the produce – that’s what life is really about.
‘Amazing things are happening in response to climate change and environmental issues and Farmsy is our way of playing our part.
‘We are supporting sustainable farmers and food producers who are working in a way that does not harm the environment. We are sowing the seeds of change by delivering them to doors and we couldn’t be happier to do it.’
The couple have plans to expand their suppliers, and delivery areas this year.