Leghowney Country Market is unique in its setting as it is one of the true rural markets in Ireland. Situated approximately eight kilometers west of Donegal Town, underneath the Mourne-Dearg Mountains in the heart of rural County Donegal. Working under the auspices of Country Markets Ltd, a nationwide network of co-operative markets, Leghowney has extolled the virtues of co-operativism and has shown to many how a small rural area can benefit from the ideals of shared ownership. The market is now in its sixth year and is held on a Saturday morning every two weeks between 11am and 1pm.
One of the first things that greets the customer walking into Leghowney on a market morning is the buzz of conversation. On hand will be the producers to meet, greet and discuss the local foodstuffs on sale. This is indeed a market with a difference, where “local” takes precedence over everything.
Innovation is key to our success so, therefore, we are forever seeking out and encouraging other innovative small producers to avail of our market as a launchpad and a place to showcase their products. Producers list the finest traditional breads and cakes as well as a variety of crafts and handmade cards that are available at our market.
The market aims are to link producers directly to the consumer and the food they eat by raising awareness of local food culture, food miles and the hazards of over dependence on an already stressed food chain. We do this by hosting various family orientated, food related workshops during the market.
Leghowney Country Market success as a market has been always influenced by the provision of local seasonal food to the consumer. When we added a local butcher to our list of producers it allowed us to serve a traditional Irish breakfast using all locally sourced produce. This breakfast has really highlighted the value and choice that is available locally.
The customer base has now extended far beyond the confines of our local area and throughout the year we meet and greet many visitors that drop off their route to come and see us. In order that we could add value to our visitors excursions to us, we as a market decided to add a leisurely walk up the hills behind Leghowney. This walk has added a new dimension to people’s enjoyment of the area. It offers stunning views of the surrounding area and as far away as Sligo.
The markets hope in the future to add many more Loop walks, each centered on Leghowney Community Center, that will cater for the current trends for active holidays.