Loughmore Cottage is on the move: new campaign 'tip the teapot’ launched
When the idea for a community focused tearoom and shop was first dreamt up by Mary Fogarty and Meave O’Hair in 2012, little did they know their ambitious plans would take them on a journey across Ireland helping other struggling villages to reinvigorate their local communities once more.
Now seven years on, and with a slew of awards under their belts, Loughmore Cottage is on the move to a new, bigger premises - albeit only a mere stones throw from its original home.
“The new tearoom will be located in one of the oldest properties in the village so it will still have the same charm and character as our current building but most importantly we will be better able to cater to the needs of our customers,” says Loughmore Cottage co-founder Mary Fogarty.
While the move is generously supported by North Tipperary Leader and Tipperary County Council, the cottage must also secure a portion of the associated costs itself through fundraising.
To hit the €30,000 target, Loughmore Cottage have created a new campaign, aptly named ‘tip the teapot’, asking patrons to make a €10 donation, or as much as they can afford, to their online GoFundMe page.
“The cottage has exceeded all our expectations and has become the hub of our village, catering for locals and many visitors from all over Ireland and across the world,” adds Mary, explaining that to keep up with demand, a bigger seating and dining area was vital.
“It will be just like the old tearooms and we'll be retaining the half door as visitors always get a great kick out of posing in front of the cottage for a photo. All the best bits of the cottage will still be there,” she says.
As part of the project, plans are also in place for a modest kitchen extension and new commercial kitchen facilities to allow the cottage cater to larger visitor numbers and groups.
The new location will also provide for the development of disabled toilets, improved wheelchair accessibility and off street car parking, including spaces for coaches.
In addition, the project will also include a small sun room, outdoor covered smokers area and new staff toilets.
As part of the cottage's latest chapter, a leather bound book will record the names of all those who donate towards the project and will be stored in a display case at the new premises.
PICTURE: The new cottage will be located a stones throw from the former premises on the banks of the River Suir, beside the Old Mill, duck sanctuary, picnic area and Loughmore Castle
Loughmore Cottage opened its doors in August 2012 as a means to combat lost services in the village including the local shop and postal points services.
Since then the cottage has grown from strength to strength providing support and revenue to over 50 local food and craft suppliers, acting as a meeting place for several clubs, associations and crafting groups as well as providing a lifeline and welcoming place for many of those that live alone in rural areas.
Since opening, the cottage has been named the 'Best Cafe/ tea shop in Ireland' by the Irish Times, Get Involved winner 2015, McKenna's Guide Award winner in 2017 and Tourism and Hospitality winners at the Tipperary Business awards in 2018.
Cementing their status as one of the top eatery's in the county, Loughmore Cottage has also been named as one of the champions of the Tipperary Breakfast, the new joint tourism initiative from Tipperary Food Producers Network and the Department of Agriculture.
The 'tip the teapot' campaign was officially launched in Loughmore Community Centre on Monday night, and as with all cottage related projects, the support was there from the onset.
“We had such a wonderful turn out and there was an immediate feeling that everyone was behind you. The support was certainly there,” says Mary.
Among the guest speakers for the campaigns launch were Dr Senan Cooke, who previously heralded the tearoom as one of the most important community led projects to emerge from Ireland in the last 10 years, chair of North Tipperary LEADER Partnership Jim Finn and Pat Killeen, North Tipperary LEADER.
“Please know that your support, however small, will be so much appreciated and will go a long way to helping us realise this goal.”
“Thank you for your valued support to date, we wouldn’t be here without you, our community. We are looking forward to ensuring the continued success of The Cottage and working together into the future,” says Mary.
To donate to Loughmore Cottage’s ‘tip the teapot’ campaign visit GoFundMe.ie and search for 'The Cottage Loughmore.'
Donations can also be made directly to staff at the cottage. To donate to the campaign click here.