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Neighbourfood initiative helping to support West Cork businesses

May 1st, 2020 7:10 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

The 'Neighbourfood' operation in full flow in Skibbereen. Picking up her order from Emma Mock was customer Ann Hillyard from Baltimore. (Photo: Andy Gibson)

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BALLYDEHOB is known for its innovative and creative ideas and the launch last week of Neighbourfood Ballydehob is  just another example of locals working together in a time of crisis.

First  developed in Cork city by Jack Crotty and Martin Poucher back in 2018, Neighbourfood operates not just in Ireland but is active in the UK and seeks to build a food network within communities and promote small scale producers and fairer food prices.

Skibbereen, Kinsale, Drimoleague and Macroom are all running their own successful Neighbourfood hubs.

Joe O’Leary of Levis’ Corner House said: ‘West Cork, and the Mizen in particular, is known for quality produce which in turn has led to phenomenal standards in all the restaurants in Ballydebob.

‘We know that small producers are struggling now more than ever before as they have lost all their restaurant custom. So the saying “shop local” has never been more important. So to support those great artisan producers we have teamed up with our friends in Neighbourfood to bring you the best of the West.

‘We are starting off small and will build over the coming weeks and we want all these top class local producers to still be in business when we start coming out of this isolation eventually.’

He added that where there is not an available producer in the immediate area, they have stretched out to the rest of West Cork so that the customer has a broader range of goods to chose from.

Those interested in engaging in Neighbourfood can visit the website www.Neighbourfood.ie and join the ‘Ballydehob Market’.

‘You will be notified every Friday when we post the online collection and you can shop and pay online until Monday night. Once the online shop closes we will send your orders to the producers to get them ready for collection on Wednesday at Levis’ Corner House from 11am to 1.30pm.’

Organisers are asking people to adhere to social distancing guidelines and that only one person comes to collect their shopping.

Joe and his partner Caroline continue to operate their market shop at the bar every Wednesday from 9.30am to 12pm and a list of their produce is posted on Levis Corner Facebook page every week.

Meanwhile, the village’s Michelin star restaurant, Chestnut – which was forced to postpone its re-opening for its third season due to the Covid-19 pandemic – opened a pop-up take-out called ‘Sticks & Twigs’ this week.

It will operate from Wednesday to Sunday with collections from 12pm to 4pm with all food to be pre-ordered and purchased. Individual collection times will be allocated also to each order to ensure social distancing.

See www.restaurantchestnutwestcork.ie for more info.

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