The benefits of buying local

The grocery sector has been undergoing significant change in recent years. Apart from the challenging economic environment that has no doubt put considerable pressure on consumer spending and food retail, there has also been a significant change in the structure of the grocery sector in terms of participants. While the German chains gained a significant foothold, community based owner-operated local grocery, convenience shops, and supermarkets are correctly regarded as the economic and social mainstay of rural towns and villages and as such play an important role in larger urban areas. Locally owned grocery and convenience shops are a key part of the social fabric of Irish communities, and make a strong social and economic contribution to communities and economies, much more so than foreign owned multiples.

Locally owned shops are a key part of the social fabric of Irish communities. They bring many benefits to local economies and provide more employment including full time, part time, and first jobs. They support local businesses and are the economic base of their area. They sell local produce and most of all, they are owned by people who are rooted and invested in the community.

There is compelling national and international evidence that a much larger share of the money spent at a locally owned shop stays in the area, supporting a variety of other businesses and jobs. This effect results from employment, the purchase of local produce and services, local advertising, local investment, and local sponsorship.

Support of local suppliers and the local community distinguishes Joyces of Knocknacarra, with an ever increasing amount of its stock sourced from Irish suppliers. This is one of a small family owned chain of supermarkets committed to providing good service and locally sourced food since 1951 when it was established in Headford, on the site of the present Headford store, by Patrick Joyce. It is now run by his grandson, Pat Joyce. The business has lost none of its special qualities and is well known for taking an active role in the community.

Support of locally produced goods distinguishes Joyces and has done for many years, with many products sourced from Irish suppliers. The company has 100 per cent Irish meats supplied by Gilligan Meats and Loughnanes. Fish comes from a range of respected suppliers including Burren Smokehouse, Galway Bay Seafoods, Kinvara Smoked Salmon, and numerous other suppliers, many of them small producers.

Following the success of the Headford store, Joyces opened in Knocknacarra in 1999, and further branches were later added in Athenry, Tuam and, more recently, a new store opened in Inverin in 2014.

The efforts of the Joyces family and staff have been rewarded with frequent accolades, and their strategy in the months and years ahead is to continue to deliver products that place the customer at the heart of service delivery while deepening their relationship with retailers, especially from the local community.

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