Look for Local Campaign - D & M Garden Centre

Look for Local – Shop a variety of Irish plants or try a delicious, locally-sourced lunch at D&M Garden Centre!

By I Love Limerick correspondent Rachel Petticrew

D and M Garden Centre

Tom Giltenane, Garden Centre Manager, parents Mary and Dermot Giltenane and Ursula Giltenane, Restaurant Manager at D&M Garden Centre, a second-generation family business in Croagh, County Limerick. Picture: Krzysztof Luszczki/ilovelimerick.

A new campaign run by I Love Limerick in conjunction with LEO Limerick and Daniel Butler, Mayor of Limerick City and County, asks Limerick consumers to look for local when shopping for products, services and experiences.

D&M Garden Centre is a second-generation family business in Croagh, County Limerick. The centre stocks a wide variety of plants and home-grown bedding, from perennials to ready-made pots. The D&M Garden Centre team are always on hand to offer advice in-store or in the comfort of your own home or garden.

After taking in all the garden centre has to offer, visitors can enjoy a cup of coffee or delicious lunch in the recently refurbished D&M Food Hall, which stocks a range of local Limerick produce.

This thriving business had humble beginnings, with husband and wife Dermot and Mary Giltinane initially selling fresh produce door to door in the 1980s.

“Dad started off selling fruit and veg from a van,” son and garden centre manager, Tom Giltinane, tells I Love Limerick. 

“He then moved into growing plants and eventually opened the garden centre here in Croagh 35 years ago. Mam opened the adjoining restaurant 20 years ago, and we have been developing ever since.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic, D&M Garden Centre grew from strength to strength, offering a home delivery service, setting up a website and even establishing an outdoor food and craft market. 

“I think people automatically wanted to shop local during the pandemic because they could see the struggle small businesses were enduring, especially in rural areas,” says daughter and restaurant manager, Ursula Giltinane. 

“All our plants were home-delivered for nearly five months because we were closed, so we started to revamp the website and move the business online. We found that a lot of people like to go online and see what we have in stock before they make the journey into Croagh.”

D&M Food Hall is part of the West Limerick Food Series, a network of chefs, restaurants and producers collaborating to promote West Limerick food. Interacting with a variety of Limerick producers has greatly benefited both sides of the business. 

“Before the pandemic, most people in Limerick City didn’t even know our business existed. Since we started our outdoor market in July, which features several Limerick Milk Market producers, we have a lot of regulars coming out from the city,” explains Ursula. 

“It’s brilliant because we have linked ourselves to Limerick City now as well as the county. Our market is also a great way to bring city businesses out to Croagh locals, who wouldn’t usually be going into town.”

All-rounder Linda Madigan has worked at D&M Garden Centre for 18 years. She cites a friendly environment and great location as the key to her long career there. 

“I do a bit of everything here, which is good because every day is different. I am usually in the restaurant or the kitchen,” says Linda.

“The best thing about working at D&M is the atmosphere; the business is family orientated and they are a pleasure to work with. I am from a neighbouring parish, so I know most people from here in Croagh as the area is a close-knit community.”

Speaking at D&M Garden Centre, Mayor of Limerick City and County Daniel Butler says, “This is a local family business stocking local produce. Stories like these are why it is so important to support local businesses because doing so benefits entire communities. 

“Get out to D&M Garden Centre in Croagh for a bite to eat or a bit of shopping and support your local community.”

Watch interview with D & M Garden Centre here!