Following all the activities at Derg Isle, the Quest team had worked up quite an appetite. Our next stop thankfully was East Clare Community Co-Op, where we had a fabulous meal in the Garden Cafe, a fully vegetarian cafe. Their very capable manager Ger English, showed us around the beautiful Community Garden, the Sustenance Food Training & Enterprise Centre and the second-hand shop. They also host a wide variety of activities and training courses so make sure to Follow them on Facebook to keep up to date!
From here, we continued to Tuamgraney for a guided tour of McKernan's Woollen Mills. Anke and her husband Eugene, have been running a weaving business for over 30 years and have more recently branched in to knitting.
One of the most fascinating things about this businesses is their use of weaving looms that we use were invented in the 1860's by George Hattersley, in a town called Keighley in West Yorkshire and they also still use a vertical handwarping mill "because it gives us more possibilities in design". From ancient machines, to modern techniques they also now work with computerised knitting machines - all they have to do is load the programme and off it goes! Anke and Eugene almost liken the success of these machines to the story of the Shoemaker and the Elves, when they get up in the morning and it has knitted 20 scarves while they were sleeping!!!!
A tour of McKernan's is not compete without a browse through their fabulous shop, with shows the ranges that they now ship all over the globe.
Next stop was one that some were patiently waiting for - Wilde Irish Chocolates.
When owner Trish Farrell opened her door to us, we were met with the most mouth-watering smell of CHOCOLATE, which isn't surprising considering they hand make over 80 different chocolate products here.
Trish explained the process of chocolate making to us in great detail and let us sample as much as we wanted, which was a real treat!
With an open plan production area, you can actually see the chocolate being made. Visitors are welcome at this fab little artisan chocolate factory, so give them a call - 061 922080.
If you aren’t able to get to the factory, don't worry, they have a shop in Doolin and Limerick or you can buy from the online shop. You won't be disappointed!!!!!
Tune in tomorrow so hear about the rest of the adventure in East Clare!!!!!