Mayo’s first Économusée has officially been opened at Kelly’s Butchers, Newport.
The Économusée movement is an international network of artisans which was started in Québec, Canada, and is spreading worldwide. These rural artisan food and craft producers are supported to develop a tourism aspect to their operations providing a learning and interpretive experience for visitors. The Économusées form a tourism-based network, or trail, which helps the businesses expand their sales, to sustain employment and offers an enhanced visitor experience. In Kelly’s case, the visits will be by pre-booking only.
The Économusée at Kelly's was opened by Maireád Lavery, editor, Irish Country Living. It is the third food Économusée in Ireland.
“Kelly’s involvement in the Économusée movement arose because of The Craft Reach project, which is led in Ireland by Teagasc and funded by the EU Northern Periphery and Artic (NPA) Programme 2014-2020," Mairead said. "The term Économusée is copyright protected and it is a recognised badge of quality which carries the tagline ‘Artisans at Work’. A network of 80 Économusées now exists internationally, with 45 based in Canada and 35 in seven European countries including Ireland, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Norway and Sweden. There are five Économusées in Ireland. Three are food producers, two are craft-based, and there are plans for more in 2018.”
Dr Kevin Heanue, who is leading the project for Teagasc, said: “The Économusée concept is an innovative model of rural enterprise support which helps artisan producers diversify their businesses into the cultural tourism market by providing them with a six-step template to help them structure the visitor experience and also links them with an international network of like-minded artisan producers. The network will benefit greatly from a producer with the reputation of Kelly’s becoming a member.”