A century of service at Grace’s Londis Loughrea
By Kevin Hough
As the store edges towards a landmark centenary celebration, Grace’s Londis in Loughrea recently revealed their revamped store. The exterior has undergone a substantial makeover, with a new shop front and signage. The painters have also been in, and the end result is a beautiful premises which takes pride of place on Dunkellin Street.
While beauty may often be described as only skin deep, shoppers will be pleased to note that the improvements continue inside the store. The centre of the shop has been opened up to allow more space for promotional special offers and the layout is now more shopper friendly. The deli was also recently updated and a new coffee machine has been added so you can purchase your takeaway tea and coffee.
Grace’s have had a foothold in Loughrea’s retail industry for almost one hundred years. Delia Keane set up the original store in 1913, just across the street from the current location. With the help of her son Paddy Grace, she sold groceries and hardware and the shop possessed everything required by anglers who fished the local lake, as the business grew and expanded throughout the course of the last century. Paddy passed the business on to his son Joe, the third generation of the family to manage the enterprise. In 1975, Joe Grace purchased a premises across the road and the store moved and its success has prompted several extensions in recent years. Sadly Joe passed away in 2002 and the store is currently managed by his wife Teresa Grace with the help of their four children Laura, Michelle, Lisa, and Robert. Currently, Grace’s Londis sits on a 10,000 square foot premises with parking to rear of the shop.
The revamped layout and renovated exterior mark another stage of the store’s continuing development. As well as updating the deli, Grace’s have also recently installed a scratch bakery which allows customers to choose from a diverse range of home made baking such as brown bread, scones, and muffins. The meat counter has a wide selection of locally sourced beef, chicken, lamb and pork while a range of solid fuels has been another popular addition, with customers able to stock up on coal and briquettes for the cold winter ahead. The off licence is now in its eighth year, and continues to thrive, with its unique stone and wooden interior.
Grace’s Londis Supermarket employs almost 30 staff, and with the aid of new Londis area manager David Maroney, the recent revamp was carried out in six short weeks, with everyone working together to get the job finished quickly with as little customer inconvenience as possible. The store offers a free delivery service with more and more customers opting for phoning, faxing, or emailing their shopping list and having their goods delivered to their door.
To underline its customer focused approach, Grace’s Londis has recently launched its loyalty card scheme as part of its new Christmas promotion. For details, just ask in store.