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Primrose ‘quay’ to riverfront business growth

Melanie Breslin from the Primrose Café in Carlisle Road.

Ciaran and Melanie Breslin Primrose on the Quay

When the Clipper Round The World Race fleet sails up the River Foyle in less than 40 days’ time, there will be one new local business addition happy to share centre stage in a prime location along Derry’s riverfront.

Ciaran and Melanie Breslin, owners of Primrose On The Quay, say that opening their French style bistro in such an idyllic setting during Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink 2016 is a “dream come true”.

Thousands of well-wishers are expected to line the quay for the Clipper Race Homecoming leg which will be a key highlight of the Foyle Maritime Festival hosted by Derry City and Strabane District Council from July 9th-17th 2016.

Louise Breslin, Council’s Business Manager, said she’s delighted with the growth of new business opportunities along the riverfront coinciding with Foyle Maritime Festival and NI Year of Food.

She said: “It is hugely encouraging to see local entrepreneurs having the confidence to invest in new business expansion in one of the city’s most sought after locations on the quay. RoCo’s Brew Bar and Primrose On The Quay bring an exciting new dynamic to dining on the riverfront and we wish them every success with their new ventures which we are confident will benefit from an influx of visitors during the upcoming Foyle Maritime Festival.”

The opening of Primrose On The Quay also sits well with the recent Landscape and Places theme for NI Year of Food and Drink 2016 which is being supported by Derry City and Strabane District Council as an important tourism driver. A celebration of everything delicious about this place, there is no better time for visitors to relish what’s on offer here in one of Ireland’s top foodie destinations.

Mary Blake, Council’s Tourism Development Officer, said she was also delighted with Primrose’s ethos of showcasing local produce and suppliers.

“Ciaran and Melanie really pride themselves on the ‘keeping it local’ and ‘from farm to fork’ ethos across all their suppliers and ingredients. Their magnificent baked products are created by their own team of bakers led by Melanie, while all their meat comes from the Breslins’ family butchers, ensuring the most fantastic produce is supplied to their restaurants all year around.”

Ciaran Breslin said: “The quay is one of the city’s biggest assets in terms of location and after spending a year looking for our second premises we stumbled across a vacant unit which was a former insurance office. Even though it had been lying empty for a year we started panicking in case someone grabbed it from under us. We always envisaged a French style riverfront bistro and already knew that we had found our dream location.

“With such a busy walkway, everyone we spoke to agreed that it should have a lot more food and coffee offerings, so we believe we have added a fantastic asset to our buzzing riverfront.

“With the Clipper Race on its way back to Derry as part of the Foyle Maritime Festival, we are very excited at the thought of being right on the doorstep of all those amazing boats and crews. They will be sure to receive a very warm welcome from us when they arrive in July. All holiday leave at Primrose is on hold throughout that week. Let’s just hope we get the weather!”

The Breslins, who opened their first Primrose Café on Carlisle Road four years ago, say the timing couldn’t be better to celebrate the Seas, Rivers and Loughs theme earmarked by Tourism NI in July for Year of Food when the Foyle Maritime Festival will be in full swing.

A total of 40 local people are employed in both Primrose outlets which the owners believe is a huge vote of confidence in the north west’s food producers. Handmade Breslin’s pork and leek sausages are just one of the specialities to tuck into on the menu alongside other familiar local provenance including award-winning cheeses from Tamnagh Foods named after local landmarks such as Dart Mountain in the Sperrins and ale washed Banagher Bold.

Ciaran Breslin said: “It’s time for independents to show that our fabulous produce, all grown on our doorstep and not flown here is far superior and, it’s what local people and visitors to the city want on their plates.”

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