FIELDS of Skibbereen is celebrating 85 years in business this year, and say their staff and customers continue to be at the heart of everything they do.
The SuperValu supermarket employs a team of around 200 people, making it a major employer in the region, and the business has won many leading retail awards over the years.
John Field, who is at the helm, was presented with a special ‘Outstanding West Cork Business Ambassador’ award at last year’s Southern Star West Cork Business and Tourism Awards
He told The Southern Star: ‘We are so delighted to be celebrating 85 years in business this year, particularly because we are still trading at the same entrance that we were 85 years ago in the very heart of the town.
‘We have extended many times over the years and have gone from counter service when Jack Field started the business, to innovative self service checkouts and now to embracing online delivery.’
The father-of-five typically works six days in the supermarket and is a familiar sight stacking shelves and meeting customers. However, Covid-19 has meant that for the first time in 50 years, he’s been off the shop floor now for nearly 10 weeks.
‘I’m so looking forward to getting back to doing that soon,’ he said.
He modestly says: ‘There’s no magic formula for what we do, we work hard but we really enjoy what we do. Our customers have been so good to us and I hope we have been good to them, too. I hope they are all staying safe in these challenging times and I look forward to returning to the shop soon.’
By John’s side in the business is his daughter Ruth who said she fels very lucky they were able to continue trading during these challenging times. ‘The crisis really hit us on March 12th when the schools closed. Immediately, our shop was almost as packed as Christmas Eve. But our staff rose to the challenge, and every day since then they have excelled. We are so looking forward to when our customers can come back through our doors with a smile on their faces, and we will be delighted to greet them.’