It’s hard to believe that the Alternative Bread Company stall in the English market in Cork city, County Cork has been established for 12 years. Packed with modern day breads to beat the brand, it could almost be one of the newest additions to the array of epicurean delights this cult food market now offers Cork city shoppers. But no, this place is part of the culinary furniture of the market, and no wonder. Customers will find everything from a tradition Irish buttermilk soda bread to Polish Chleb, which is proving very popular with the city’s growing Eastern European population.
Sheila Fitzpatrick has been in the food business for thirty years, many of those spent working in London as the personal assistant of British Celebrity Chef Brian Turner. When she came to Ireland, she wanted to remain very much in the high-end food business, and started Alternative Bread Company with business partner and expert baker Paul Walsh. The company gradually grew from a two-man band to an outfit employing 130 people, baking and supplying hand made breads to the retail and wholesale trade. But three years ago, Sheila took the active decision to downsize, and concentrate on artisan breads solely for the stall at the English Market. She has absolutely no regrets, saying it has made it possible to source unique breads from individual master bakers, to ensure her customers get the very best quality and variety, which was always the ethos here from the start. Good Food Ireland Member.