Following the success of their pandemic project Gourmet Bros, the Cassidy Hospitality Group are expanding their portfolio to open a new retail store in Enniskillen town centre in the coming months.

Branded The Gourmet Grocer, and to be based in the former Eason building, the new store will not only build on the offerings of oven ready, locally sourced gourmet meals which Gourmet Bros is known for, but will provide the everyday essentials such as bread and milk, filling the current gap of a convenience store on the high street.

SEE ALSO: Fermanagh business owners to open new store in Enniskillen

Post Office not in plans

The store, which will initially take over the ground level of the premises, will also include an off-licence, delicatessen and coffee dock. However, despite rumours, it has been confirmed to this newspaper that the new retail store will not include a Post Office service.

Speaking to The Impartial Reporter on Wednesday (June 22) about the plans for The Gourmet Grocer, Shane Browne, group sales and marketing manager for the Cassidy Hospitality Group said: “The Gourmet Bros range will expand quite considerably, and on top of that, as we are moving into the avenue of more of a retail space than just a ‘grab and go eatery’, we are going to have a coffee dock, a delicatessen and an off-licence,” said Shane, going on to note that the new store will also provide essential groceries.

‘Gap in the market’

“We found that there was a gap in the market, especially on the high street, whereby there wasn’t any retail units where people could buy the essentials.

“Currently, if you’re out for a drink on a Saturday night, and you’re looking to purchase things from a shop, there’s nothing available to you on the high street, and we’re going to change that.

“We’re going to fill that gap and we’re going to be able to provide people with lottery tickets cigarettes, but it’ll also be the essentials, milk, bread, butter,” said Shane, going on to explain that the store’s operating hours are still under consideration: “We will be hoping to operate throughout the day and potentially into the evening time as well, but that’s very much all up for discussion.”

When asked if there are plans to include a Post Office in the new store, Shane responded: “No, we’re not really going to go down that road to be honest. There’s nothing really on the table with regards to that.”

The new store will build on the success of Gourmet Bros, which opened its doors in November 2020 during the pandemic to provide restaurant-standard, cook-at-home meals when the Cassidy Hospitality Group’s hospitality businesses of The Westville, The Firehouse and The Crowes Nest were closed.

“We had a level of expertise whereby we could provide high quality foods, but we had no avenue in order to give that to people given the fact that our hospitality venues were closed.

Shane Browne, Group Sales and Marketing Manager for Cassidy Hospitality Group..

Shane Browne, Group Sales and Marketing Manager for Cassidy Hospitality Group..

“So we established a company and business called Gourmet Bros and the idea and the methodology behind this was that we were to bring restaurant standard high quality foods, pre-packaged ready to go and to heat in the comfort of your own homes,” said Shane, adding: “It was always only ever meant to exist during the time when it was needed, during the pandemic.

“When all the other venues opened up, people were naturally going to go to them but what we found is that the people from Fermanagh continued to support that product. The business went from strength to strength.

“That’s where we are now, it has allowed us to develop that brand, to develop that product and to expand the business.

“Thanks to the support that we received from people from Fermanagh, it has put us in a position whereby we could create The Gourmet Grocer and purchase the Eason unit.”

Potential jobs

Currently there is no official opening date for The Gourmet Grocer but Shane acknowledged that when the store does open its doors, there will be recruitment opportunities. He said: “As a group we employ currently in the range of about 170 people from across the region. As we’re now adding to that, we would anticipate that there will be employment opportunities available to people with regards to this new development.”

As the group will be prioritising the opening of The Gourmet Grocer, the current Gourmet Bros pop-up store at 16 Townhall Street will close on Sunday, June 26 at 6pm.