Greengrocers is celebrating 50 years in business thanks to community support

By Maurice Garvey

ONE of the first shops to begin trading in Ballyfermot and the only original still standing – K Doyle Greengrocers celebrated 50 years in business this week.

The Doyles are part of the fabric in Dublin 10, well known for their quality and friendly service at the Golden Mile.

K Doyle Greengrocers

Established by Kevin Doyle (69) in 1966 when he was just 19-years-old, the business has outlasted several recessions, changing food trends, and threats from rival competitors – which Kevin attributes to strong community support.

Kevin said: “Our success is down to quality number one, but we have had loyal customers who have stuck with us through thick and thin. At one stage, we had opposition next door when a Get Fresh opened in 1998, but they only lasted about 18 months.

“Customers remained loyal. Even people that didn’t usually come in, started to shop here. That’s how good the support is – it’s all thanks to the people of Ballyfermot.”

Drimnagh native Kevin runs the greengrocers with his son Kevin (junior) – who is also a well-known and accomplished Elvis impersonator.

The family business expanded 26 years ago when they opened Premier Pet Shops next door – operated by Kevin’s oldest son Alan Doyle.

Kevin has witnessed vast changes in the local landscape and within the fruit and veg industry over the last 50 years.

“I was the first one to sell Granny Smith apples and the first to sell fresh fish,” said Kevin, who still remembers his first two customers – Mrs Kavanagh and Mrs Young.

He continued: “There used to be a queue of people around the corner on a Friday and Saturday for the fish. The format for food has changed, in that a lot of it is packaged now. People like convenience but fresh veg is very important.”

Another major difference between 1966 and 2016 is that cabbage is not as popular today with more diversity available.

Kevin continued: “When I first opened, I went to the market and the cabbage would be brought in on a horse and cart, and you would get it by the load. I never sold a pepper back then, there was no stir frys. People have more choice now. You can come in here and still get one carrot and a bit of thyme and onion for a stew.”

Potatoes and eggs remain a popular choice for punters in 2016 - the old reliables, just like K Doyles.

 

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