Under the motto "If you can't come to the Burren, let the Burren come to you", the Burren Smokehouse together with other members of the Burren Food Trail have launched the “Burren Baskets” in direct response to people not being able to go shopping and visit their families as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The initiative is a collaboration featuring some of the area’s best known award-winning artisan food producers, such as the Burren Smokehouse and St. Tola Irish Goat Cheese, with the support of the Burren Ecotourism Network.
“Following the sudden onslaught of travel restrictions, we started receiving several inquiries from regular customers about the availability of our cheese online,” explained Siobhán Ní Ghairbhith from St Tola Irish Goat Cheese. “Then conversations started between the members of our food network, most of whom had to unfortunately close, but had a stock of product to sell. The online Burren Baskets seemed the ideal, and only, solution.”
The Burren Food Trail is comprised of 30 businesses from the Burren Ecotourism Network which boasts almost 65 members. The membership includes food producers, restaurants, cafes, visitor attractions as well as farmers’ markets. Like many businesses in the current climate, the region has been forced to innovate in light of the decline in sales and the non-existent tourism industry.
“Many of the Burren Food Trail members had market-ready product as the season was starting just before the COVID-19 crisis,” highlighted Burren Ecotourism Network CEO, Jarlath O'Dwyer. “With strong demand for products from the locality thanks to long-term loyal customers, we decided to take the business online with the Burren Baskets. Hopefully, when the current situation has passed, our valued supporters will be in a position to visit the area and continue to spread the word about the Burren Food Trail.”
“The Burren region is recognized as a distinguished food destination, synonymous with outstanding produce and engaging hosts offering memorable food and dining experiences,” said Birgitta. “The Burren Food Trail contributes to sustaining a local tourism economy that sees visitors drawn to the area, not only by the appeal of its culture, people and landscapes, but also by the food-based experiences that enhanced the pleasure of their stay. We are confident that the destination will recover after this challenging time, and in the meantime, we will endeavour to promote the Burren brand through initiatives like the Burren Baskets.”
The Burren Smokehouse is an experienced online trader with expert knowledge of the logistics involved in the delivery of perishable goods and has built up an extensive database of Irish and international customers since starting operations over 30 years ago. Owner Birgitta Hedin Curtin has seen a gradual increase in online orders in recent weeks, many of which have been destined as gifts as well as for personal consumption. Especially for a family occasion like Easter, it is important to people to be able to show their love to those they cannot meet over the long weekend.
As well as cheese from St Tola Irish Goat Cheese and Burren Smoked Irish Organic Salmon, the Burren Baskets include gouda from Aillwee Cave, black and white pudding from Market House in Ennistymon as well as a delicious beetroot chutney from Burren Fine Wine & Food in Ballyvaughan. It is delivered directly to the recipient's doorstep in Ireland and to select countries in Europe, providing a contactless transaction which is increasingly important in this period of social-distancing, self-isolation and cocooning.
It is available in two sizes and makes an ideal gift to surprise family members or friends who are lovers of award-winning artisan food, or a well deserved personal treat.