Over four generations and 90 years of high quality retail of artisan food and wine, the renowned Galway business family, Mc ambridge’s has grown from a 1925 high class grocery, provision, wine and spirit establishment to an awardwinning family owned deli, fine foods shop and restaurant in 2015.
On Friday and Saturday July 3 and 4 in the company of generations of loyal customers, suppliers, artisan food producers and staff, the McCambridge family business at 38 Shop Street in the heart of the City of Tribes will celebrate a taste of 1925.
Enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff dressed in 1920s attire, will whet customer’s appetites at Galway’s landmark store with a taste of delectable food samples some of which were sold 90 years ago alongside many of today’s expansive array of artisan cheeses, meats, olives and breads.
Whiskey and wine tasting to pair with food samples will also be available. Deli products and groceries purchased over the birthday weekend will be wrapped as food parcels including the brown paper and twine wrapping of the bygone 1920s era.
Customers will also be in with an opportunity to win a limited edition vintage 1920s hamper with nine exclusive food and beverage products sold in store each representing the nine unique decades from 1925 to 2015.
Founded by George McCambridge and Frank Brennan as McCambridge and Brennan on July 3, 1925, the business has always embraced change and pioneered food innovation. Coming from the era of the roaring 20s when Ireland and the world experienced dramatic social and political change, the then McCambridge’s shop and pub became part of this transformation and has continued to lead the way in business in Galway city and the West of Ireland.
In 1930 George Mc Cambridge became sole owner and in the subsequent decades, it has become the first shop in Galway to make and sell its own paté, while going on to import exclusive French wines in the 60’s, open Galway’s first off licence in the 70s and in more recent years, the first in-store whiskey tasting bar.
In 2012 the third generation of McCambridge’s spearheaded the redevelopment of the upstairs family home and parlour room to the award winning “upstairs restaurant” which has become part of Galway’s food revolution. George’s son Pat McCambridge and his wife Ursula, both now retired, brought the shop through many developments including the transition to supermarket with the pub also becoming the first off licence while also developing a wholesale business.
They also steered the business through the challenge of Shop Street’s pedestrianisation. They visit the shop daily where the third generation continue to innovate the award winning food and beverage business. Eoin McCambridge is MD and his sister, Natalie works across a number of areas and for many is the face of McCambridge’s. Patricia, alongside 300 artisan producers, supplies the shop and restaurant with vegetables, herbs and her famous “Furbo Strawberries” from the family farm in the Gaeltacht village of Furbo on the Wild Atlantic Way. A fourth generation is also beginning to learn the trade on the farm and in the shop.
From humble beginnings with eight staff in 1925, Mc Cambridge’s today employs 70 in its award winning deli, food shop, off licence, restaurant, and luxury food hampers division. “We continue to be a family business where relationships and loyalty are central to the soul of McCambridge’s alongside good products, service and most important of all our loyal customers”, says Natalie McCambridge, “It’s inherent in us, as we continue to work with many suppliers from my grandfather’s time including Bouchard Pere & Fills, our wine suppliers in Bordeaux. We’re their oldest customer outside France. We continue to stock leading Irish brands Odlums, Flahavans, Jacobs too alongside our extensive group of artisan producers. We always like to give the customer something different”.
McCambridge’s family and staff’s dedication to consistency in providing customers with the best and most unique food and beverage products is reflected in the myriad of accolades they hold including, Mc Kenna’s To 100 Restaurants in Ireland 2015, NOFFLA Food Retailer off Licence of the year 2015, Galway Advertiser Best of Galway Awards Best Retailer 2015, Irish Times Best Shops 2014 – highly commended and Trip Advisor 2014 Certificate of Excellence.
General Manager Luke Anthony works alongside the family, in bringing the business to national status as a leading supplier of artisan food, unique wines and rare whiskey’s which complement the “Upstairs restaurant” and the shop. “We work hard daily to be better and deliver a unique experience and taste to our customers”, says Luke Anthony, “Not just in the shop and restaurant but also in the gourmet hampers divisions which continues to grow nationally with the support of unique product offerings from the amazing artisan producers we work with”.
McCambridge’s embrace the Blas na hÉireann awards, Bord Bia and the Local Enterprise office’s innovative artisan start-ups, and are so often first to see the potential in a new product. For the producer and supplier, the McCambridge family business is often their first retail platforms to kick start their business through its shop shelves, gourmet hampers and renowned annual Christmas food fair.
From the era of the roaring 20s, McCambridge’s of Galway continues to revolutionise the food and beverage sector in the West of Ireland. It’s unique, friendly and customer focused service and experience continue to bring flavours, aromas and tasty experiences to the Galway, Irish and International consumers as they work closer to their centenary.