Peter and Deirdre Dorrity's charming specialist food shop and café is in the centre of Skerries (Ireland's Tidiest Town 2016), with a wide pavement at the front that allows space for an outside seating area - making a very pleasant place to enjoy a bite to eat while people-watching in fine weather. And at the back there's an enclosed garden area, where outdoor tables have the protection of a stained glass pergola and rugs are provided to snuggle under if it gets chilly.
The shop has always sold a carefully selected range of artisan produce from Ireland and abroad, but in late 2013 the couple introduced a big change with a handsome extension into the building next door which became an impressive modern deli. Doubling the size of the premises allowed for more seating in the café too - but, despite the extra space and the smart refurb, it kept its charm. Longtime favourites include their own home-made range of hummus, along with basil pesto, olive tapenade and sweet Harissa pepper oil, also a range of unusual salads that is freshly prepared for the deli and may include lentil & roasted vegetables, lemon & mint couscous and mixed bean salad amongst many others.
Due credit is given to valued suppliers, and it's all about the ingredients in their speciality sandwiches too - Gubbeen chorizo, aged manchego cheese and Arbutus sourdough bread, for example, and BLTs made with bacon from McCarthys of Kanturk, 'create the best sandwiches possible'.
Lunchtime is busy in the deli, with regulars calling in for the daily hot roll (made with joints from Aidan O'Brien Butchers, slow cooked at night in their thermodyne oven), and imaginative homemade soups such as Gubbeen chorizo, chickpea and spinach Spanish broth. The smoothies are popular too, of course - made with kale grown nearby in Rush, perhaps, or wheatgrass from Donegal.
But most all, Olive is known for their coffee. They retail coffee by Cloud Picker, Badger & Dodo and Two Spots, and stock Chemex and Aeropress coffee makers - and, with about a thousand cups of Palombini coffee made every day, the house brew is seriously popular. Just the thing in fact to enjoy with one of the four types of scones that are baked in house all day, or one of the famous cinnamon buns. They also make carrot cake and lemon drizzle loaf cakes to go, and have teamed up with Bakealicious in Co Meath, who supply other temptations including cupcakes, salted caramel brownies and coffee cake.
In the deli they stock a wide range of Sheridans cheeses, homemade dips and tapenades, home baked breads,Tartine and Arbutus sourdough, high quality pasta, loose teas by Wall and Keogh and confectionery from Pandora Bell, Chez Emily and Skelligs. Some of these end up in beautiful Olive hampers that you can order online and - a novel idea - they have Picnic Baskets for rent in the summer; with the lovely beaches and Ardgillan Castle on the doorstep, there are lots of lovely places to picnic, with a basket full of goodies from the deli.
Gorgeous homemade cakes are available to order at any time too, just give 24 hours notice...
All this, and keen, knowledgeable staff (all 30 of them!), as well - magic.