1 June 2022
By Elaine Murphy
The owners of two of Cork’s most iconic businesses, Shandon Sweet Factory and Angela’s Shop & Coffee Dock in Fountainstown, are being honoured with a joint Cork Person of the Month award for the month of May to acknowledge their continued contribution to Cork as two traditional establishments known to generations of its citizens.
Shandon Sweets is Ireland’s last remaining traditional sweet factory, and is run by father-son duo, Tony and Dan Linehan. The shop was founded in 1928, and recently pivoted its business to include an online shop as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Located in Cork’s famous Shandon Quarter, Shandon Sweets is a factory and shop, and is a well-known tourist attraction. The company’s sweets are handmade using traditional methods and the factory’s original machinery is still used. Amongst their most popular products are bulls eyes, clove rock, pear drops and butter nuggets to mention just a few of their many lines of sweets.. The duo have overcome many obstacles in recent years, including a major fire, to retain the title of Cork’s favourite sweet shop.
Speaking about the success of the business, Dan Linehan said, “Part of our success is that Shandon Sweets pass the quality test for modern parents. All the colours and flavours that we use are natural, and our sweets are gluten free. We also offer demonstrations of our traditional ways of producing sweets to visitors.”
According to Tony Linehan, the Covid-19 pandemic has uncovered new opportunities for the business. “Because of Covid, we had to close the shop and move online. Since setting up our online shop, we’ve been wondering why we didn’t make the move years ago! Now we supply our sweets to all parts of Ireland”
A shop which stands in similar stead to Shandon Sweets in terms of its legacy and offering is Angela’s Shop & Coffee Dock in Fountainstown. Angela Cantwell has owned her shop for the last thirty three years. The shop has been a staple for visitors and locals alike, being somewhere that people can buy anything they could possibly need such as fishing tackle, buckets and spades, ice cream, coffee and scones etc.
“In the RTE Guide, Derval O’Rourke said this shop was one of her favourite places”, said Angela Cantwell with pride this week at the award ceremony.
“My neighbours tell me that their relatives, visiting Cork from Australia and New Zealand, have called in here and that they were amazed when they could get all their bits and pieces for a day out at the seaside, all at a one-stop shop”, added Angela.
Speaking about the winners, awards organiser, Manus O’Callaghan, said, “Shandon Sweets is Cork’s own Willy Wonka Factory. Operating in a competitive industry, up against confectionary giants, the success of Shandon Sweets is amazing. We’re proud of the Linehan family’s achievements, and Angela’s little shop by the sea brings back many happy memories for Cork families and it’s great to know that this is one Cork tradition that continues on, thanks to Angela Cantwell. Also Fountainstown beach was recently presented with the prestigious Blue Flag, one of the world’s most recognised eco-labels.”
Angela, Tony and Dan’s names now go forward for possible selection as Joint Cork Persons of the Year at a Gala Awards Lunch to be held at the Rochestown Park Hotel on January 27th, 2023.