Ballymoney retailers showcase benefits of locally sourced fresh food to schools and shoppers
Among those sampling and demonstrating their tasty fayre in-store were Mash Direct from Comber, Dromona from Antrim, Gilfresh Produce from Armagh, Milgro Onions from Limavady, Ballyrashane from Coleraine and Ireland's largest fruit and vegetable distributor, Keelings.
All producers gave shoppers the opportunity to sample their products and speak directly to them about the journey of their food from field to fork, while enjoying exclusive promotions on the products instore until November 4.
As part of the showcase, year 5s from Leaney Primary School and Ballymoney Model Integrated Primary School visited the store for a presentation on the health benefits of fruit and vegetables, how food is harvested and information on local suppliers. Each pupil also received a supply of local produce to take home and extend the healthy eating message from the classroom to home.
David and Margaret Smyth first opened Smyth’s EUROSPAR Ballymoney in June 1978. The store is now operated by David and Margaret’s son and daughter, Samuel and Debbie, who celebrated 45 years of the store this year.
Samuel commented: “Being part of the community, it’s important to have an impact on our shoppers but also on the younger children in our local schools, encouraging them to think about healthy eating and where their food is coming from. The support from our suppliers has been amazing and I want to thank them for such an engaging and informative showcase.”
Over the years, the family have made major investments of over £3 million into four significant refurbishments of the store, extending and developing the store to bring top quality products and services to their shoppers.
The family’s investment doesn’t stop at the store itself, as over the years they have channelled their time and efforts into many local community groups, charities, churches, and schools, as well as the community fridge initiative where every Friday food products are donated to the church of Ireland in Ballymoney.
Smyth’s EUROSPAR Ballymoney also has an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) installed outside the store which is available 24/7, providing potentially lifesaving equipment to the local community, even when the store is not open.