It was a misty old morning in Knocknagoshel – just like almost everywhere else in the country today.
However, this was no ordinary day in the life of the hilltop village as there was a keen awareness that the ‘new shop’ was about to open its doors at 8-30am.
Local community activist and businessman, Kieran McAuliffe was about to realise a long held dream of standing behind the counter of his own shop in his native village. This was his morning.
A Man with a Wheel-barrow
As the appointed time approached, a man with a wheel-barrow full of flower tubs appeared out of the mist from the top of the village and placed them on the side entrance to the new store.
Closer again to the time, the lights came on in the shop and the doors were unlocked. Things didn’t rest there for too long.
Within seconds of the opening of the shop, a car came to an abrupt halt outside and an excited schoolboy and his mom jumped out and rushed in and caused a village sized traffic jam.
An Eye on History
Michelle Keane-d’Arcy and her son Luke had an eye on history and he had been up and ready for road earlier this morning because of the new development in the village.
Luke made his purchases and clinched his place in village history as the first customer and mom and himself posed with Kieran on his opening minute behind the counter of his new shop.
Excitement was building over the weekend in anticipation of the new development opening this morning.
Kieran had traded from a rented premises for the last two years but after purchasing a house in the village he realised there was space to convert his shed into a new, modern premises. He has also served a decade long apprenticeship in some of the leading supermarkets in Tralee and Listowel and he knows his business from the ground up.
From Shed to Shop
“The conversion from a shed to shop in eight weeks was an intense process with Lee Roche Construction and his team working hard to meet the deadline and I’m absolutely delighted with the final result” said Kieran.
“The village was buzzing with talk of the new shop which will trade as part of the XL franchise which is operated by the BWG group. They also own the Spar, Mace and Londis franchises.
“Choosing to be part of a franchise will give me access to more special offers and help me continue to offer the best prices to the people of Knocknagoshel. I have plans to introduce many new products and services over the next few weeks and months ahead of the official opening in July so call in and see for yourselves,” Kieran urged.
Bucking the Trend
With many rural businesses closing their doors Kieran and Knocknagoshel are bucking the trend.
While thanking the people of the village and the locality for their encouragement and support over the past couple of years, Kieran now wishes to invite them to continue to support local initiative.
A great deal of the goods he stocks are all provided by local suppliers and he cites the examples of: bread, milk and vegetables. You can pick up your daily and Sunday newspapers, sit down and have coffee or tea or take it and go. Kieran’s dream XL Store will open daily from 8-30am to 9pm.
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