Google searches for “shop local Cork” have increased by 700%.
As more of us than ever seek out ways to support local businesses that have been forced to close during the ‘Level 5’ restrictions, one Cork garden centre is hoping that a creative new gift idea will appeal to customers who are getting an early start on their Christmas shopping.
Inspired by the natural surrounds of their 200-year-old walled gardens, Carewswood Garden Centre and Cafe in Castlemartyr have created a range of luxury Christmas hampers, packed full of seasonal treats from boutique brands and Irish artisan producers.
Their Carewswood Christmas Comforts Hamper (€90) is presented in a vintage wooden crate and includes everything the lucky recipient will need for a cosy Christmas, from award-winning wine to a hand-poured scented candle from La Bougie in Kinsale and lots of artisan sweets, chocolates and Seymours shortbread, made in Bandon.
A second option, designed to appeal to the corporate market and people who won’t be able to visit close loved ones over Christmas, is the Carewswood Festive Hamper, a premium wicker and leather basket is packed full of wines and artisan treats, delivered right to the recipient’s door in time for Christmas. Including VAT, this hamper costs €165.
“We were blown away by the success of our online business during this pandemic.” said owner Juulika Leahy, who has run the garden centre with her partner Daniel for the past seven years.
“Thankfully we were able to pivot the business quickly and successfully. Our customers escaped the constant headlines and got back to nature; everyone had more spare time at home and gardens and homes were transformed. We were delighted to be able to help with our range of plants and trees delivered to our customers’ homes nationwide.
“Our gift range, which we also moved online, was extremely popular and because of this we decided to work with our producers to create a range of very special artisan Christmas Hampers.”
Smaller gift boxes start from around €27 too.
Carewswood Hampers offers a national and international delivery service and they’re now taking orders for Christmas. For more information email [email protected], call (021) 466 7760, or visit the website here.