Synonymous with good cheese in Ireland, Sheridans' most famous shop is perhaps on South Anne Street in Dublin, but the business originated in Galway, where the current premises incorporates a wine bar as well as the shop selling their incomparable cheeses and other speciality foods. Stocks reflect the seasons and are mainly Irish, but other equally carefully sourced European foods are also stocked.
Just as the pioneering West Cork cheesemakers revived artisan cheesemaking in Ireland, the Sheridan brothers transformed attitudes to maturing it, buying it and caring for it. Sheridans Cheesemongers (www.sheridanscheesemongers.com) is one of the true greats in the quality Irish foods sector and its development over several decades has been fundamental to the growth of Irish farmhouse cheese. Their passion for artisan cheeses (notably maturing them and then selling them at their peak of perfection) has been a crucial factor in the success story that is Irish Farmhouse Cheese.
Sheridans are not just famous for their wonderful shops, but most of all for the close relationships forged with cheesemakers (later extended to other small food producers) and their passionate care of their cheeses, which are kept in a temperature controlled environment and minded like babies as they mature. Whether it be a single portion sold to a customer or a delivery to a hotel or restaurant, their cheeses are only released at the peak of their perfection.
Brothers Seamus and Kevin Sheridan started the business that is now a household name by selling cheese at Galway farmers’ market many moons ago and their partner, Fiona Corbett, joined them in 1997. As well as the shops in Galway, Dublin and Waterford (at Ardkeen), their headquarters since 2007 has been in a converted 19th century railway station in Carnaross, north Co Meath.
They received the Ellison award from An Taisce for restoration and conservation of the building, where there is also a wonderful shop selling all manner of artisan good things – and it is the venue for their annual Irish Food Festivals, held in late May, an event which brings together many of the country’s greatest artisan food producers..
The Sheridans team have been singled out for many honours down the years, including Irish Food Writers’ Guild Good Food Awards - most recently in 2013, a joint award with the Co Cork artisan bakers, Cookies of Character, for their range of excellent Crackers For Cheese, which is marketed under the Sheridans brand.