Toby Simmonds and his Real Olive Company team not only sell the quality imports (olives, cheese etc) that are familiar at the English Market in Cork and farmers’ markets all around Ireland, but also make cheeses - which you can buy in their shop and taste in their café too.
The range includes raw milk mozzarella cheese, which is currently made using imported Italian buffalomilk and raw cows' milk from West Cork farms, but Toby has plans to introduce his own herd of water buffalo in order to produce authentic Toons Bridge buffalo milk mozzarella. Toons Bridge Dairy also produces fresh ricotta, a feta cheese and a hard cheese, and they are working on a blue cheese.
Shop & Café
Beside the Toons Bridge Dairy Toby’s wife Jenny-Rose Clarke operates a little shop and a lovely conservatory café. They sell their dairy produce here along with the Real Olive Company’s Mediterranean foods (olives, oils, Iberico meats etc), while also providing an outlet for other local artisan producers including De Roiste fresh blood puddings and Coolea cheese.
At the café overlooking the pretty creamery garden, they serve deliciously simple food using the ingredients they sell, as well as good coffee, organic wine and sherry and homemade desserts. For example, the Real Olive Co. contributes tapas boards, warm crispy pane carasau (Sardinian flatbread) with various toppings, salads and toasted sandwiches - and their own produce stars in delicious mozzarella salad, ricotta cake, ice cream and the Toons Bridge cheese board.
The cafe is currently open only on Saturdays but, having acquired an impressive new outdoor pizza oven in 2014, there may also be simple meals of pizza and salad available over longer hours at weekends. Ring for details.