Pat Joyce has come a long way from packing tea and dried fruit in his father’s shop. The Headford man says that as a schoolboy meeting reps and watching his father making deals, inspired him to enter the family business.
Establishing himself as a grocer in Headford in 1951 Patrick C Joyce senior and his wife Maureen sold groceries to the people of the local village. Shortly after, he set up a travelling shop. He found this was easier for local residents, and with customer service always being his main focus he was happy to go to them. As the business continued to expand into hardware and building supplies, a new premises was bought in Headford.
When he finished school Pat went to England to train with Tesco on a management course. When he returned he worked with his father in the Headford shop, until 1988 when Pat senior passed away. He then took over the Headford store and began to build his empire.
1996 saw the end of cows grazing in one Knocknacarra field and the start of developing the area as a community. Pat Joyce bought the field and turned it into something useful. “From day one the shop went from strength to strength. My father always put an emphasis on customer service, and I’ve continued that passion, that is what has been the driving force of the business,” says Mr Joyce, adding; “We offer the best selection of fresh foods, deli, in store bakery, and we have very competitive wines and great bulk deals throughout the store.”
“People are not always aware that Joyces are cheaper than the big stores, the key to this he says is buying items as cheap as possible and passing on that saving to the customer,” he said.
It’s been 10 years since the shop opened its doors in 1999, and as promised, it has proved to be an invaluable resource.
The family-run supermarket employs 120 people, providing much needed employment in the growing suburb. In addition to providing a grocery service, Joyces Supermarket has put money back into the community through local GAA and soccer teams, community events, and the Knocknacarra amateur theatre society. Above the shop there are community meeting rooms which have become a focal point for the community in Knocknacarra.
“All of our stores support local events and companies as much as possible, buying our own brand products from local producers,” says Mr Joyce.
“I put the success of the business down to attention to detail. I like to think of it as being like an all-Ireland every day, each day is only as good as the one that comes after it, it’s in the blood, it’s what we do, the kids even work in the business on the weekends and on their holidays.”
The success of the Knocknacarra shop has seen numerous refits, there are plans for yet another refit for parts of the shop in the coming months, to make room for more fresh food.
“The shop is 10 years old and we are continuing to be innovative, our plan now is to create a centre for excellence, to be known as best place in Galway for quality,” said Joyce adding, “we aim to provide a catering service for customers, using our own in house chefs. If we can do more for the community, we will, the customer is always right.”