There is a little cafe near the city end of the Ballinlough Road called Joup. Its modest entrance hides a hive of activity, an Irish family business “big on passion when it comes to handmade food, our environment, and well being”. It is run by two entrepreneurial sisters: Richael is a full time mum with 3 kids and Odharnait has her own massage therapy business as well as the cafe.
Craig Guiney is one of the enthusiastic chefs here and we met him for a coffee in the tiny restaurant. They also have a little outdoor area which, hopefully, will be getting plenty of use as the good weather comes.
Richael: “The Joup menu is unique as it embraces our Irish food heritage. We believe you need to go no further than to our shore line to find the most nourishing super food - seaweed. We use seaweed throughout our salads and soups to provide natural nourishment and great taste.”
|Sweet Stuff, above and below|
Lifestyle dictates people’s food options nowadays and “we look after foodies and vegetarians”, he told me. “We do a great gluten free Lasagne where the there is no pasta, instead we substitute sweet potato”.
Joup has gone from an award winning university developed business to farmers’ markets to the English market to their own premises and now an online shop. In 10 years they have gone through tough economical times and come through the other side, which is testament to their hard work, loyal customers and good wholesome food.
And the farmers markets, especially Mahon and Midleton, still play a big role here as the chefs are regular visitors, buying good local produce for Joup. “Everything is local. If we can't get it locally, we don't use it, no messing.” And, as a result, everything is seasonal too.
Richael again: “Our handmade soups and stews are naturally gluten free. we bake our own in-house sourdough focaccia. And we are embracing local Irish food through our Irish style hummus, chowders, stews and colcannon”.
The website, joup.ie, is not only an online shop where you can purchase catering, a takeaway meal or lunch box delivery but also a resource, where Richael blogs about: all things delicious, healthy and handmade; her own recipes; life as a working mum; and how to keep kids eating healthy.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating of course and we left with two really big sandwiches from that day’s list. One was the Ploughman’s Sandwich: Irish Mature Cheddar Cheese, House Relish and Piccalilli, all packed in Ciabatta. This was a superb combination, great bread, great contents including that lively relish and piccalilli.
The other was their Rainbow Salad Flatbread with Irish Style Hummus, Beetroot creme fraiche and piccalilli. That Flatbread was not hard, not soft either, just a lovely easy crunch and that hummus is ideal for sandwiches. Both sandwiches were easy to eat and prove that healthy sandwiches don’t have to be dull. And I'm quite certain that would have been the case with any of the others on the board that morning.
So, if you're in the neighbourhood pop by and enjoy their sandwiches, homemade meals, salads, bakery and confectionary selection. Or give them a call for catering information and they can deliver. If that office meeting overruns, if your group can't quit a rehearsal, if you have a communion or confirmation group at home, or any occasion where good food is needed, then Joup, local and very good, is the place to contact.
(021) 432 2626