Heath Stores Ireland is putting Irish health food retailers firmly on the map – and a good, old-fashioned foldable paper one at that – in a bold new initiative that lands just in time for summer.
The new map functions as a store finder and traditional touring guide in one, and highlights the interconnectivity of Ireland’s health food store network.
Each store owner has made a recommendation of something alternative to see and do within their own location and the map features a wide range of places of interest, some well-known attractions, and some hidden gems. The maps are available free of charge from independent health food stores from mid-April onwards.
The idea of a touring map was born out of a succession of summers where retailers found from their conversations with their customers that there was a trend toward holidaying close to home. Mary Wedel, of An Tobarín, Bandon, said: “We get great joy in recommending one of our fellow independent retailers to our staycationing customers and we look forward to their feedback when they return, often with well wishes from our friends on another part of the island. Acknowledging the changing trends in holiday habits and channelling this into a useful document was our challenge.”
Health Stores Ireland teamed up with eco design and print company The Factory, based near Birr, and modelled its project on traditional touring maps from the past. Erica Murray, project sub-committee, said: “Using the concept of the traditional – and sometimes frustratingly difficult to fold – touring map might seem a questionable decision, but we loved the association with throwback family outings of the past.”
The new map is part funded by partners who are acknowledged on the finished document and is part of a ring-fenced sectoral marketing fund divested by the group each year to promote the independent retail sector.
- The touring map will be press launched at a gathering at The Grand Hotel, Malahide on 13 May in association with trade partners ISME and Skillnet, with keynote speakers and special guests.