Still a cut above the rest!
There are many businesses which claim to be family run and carry the tradition from generation to generation. But there are few which can compete with Cosgraves Butchers which can trace its roots back to its first victuallers established in 1892 by Ellen Cosgrave.
Yes, 1892 – with 21 children, Ellen decided to set up a butchers shop at Eden Quay. After her husband’s death at the turn of the century, the resilient widow opened another shop in Ranelagh circa 1901, and the family then opened a third at South Richmond street circa 1930.
The Cosgrave sons and grandsons continued the family tradition with animals bred at Barns Elm, and killed onsite at some of the butchers’ shops.
During the onset of WW2, the business was thriving and a major supplier of live beef to Great Britain. But alas, in an era where insurance was an unknown entity, the Lady Meath, carrying 700 of Cosgrave’s cattle sank.
A mine exploded underneath the ship, and despite no human fatalities, all of the livestock were drowned as the ship went down.
No insurance, no financial reimbursement and Cosgrave butchers’ flagship shop in Ranelagh was closed. However, it didn’t take long for Cosgraves to get back up and running again opening another shop Ranelagh.
In more recent times Declans father Phil Cosgrave continued work on the farm at Barn Elms and also ran a dairy enterprise with the family also running a successful milk round.
The butcher trade was now a family tradition within the expanding Cosgrave family, and over the coming decades, several generations opened butcher shops at various locations throughout Dublin: Rathfarnam, Rathmines, Dundrum, Crumlin Cross, Lambs Cross, Windy Arbour, Deansgrange, Tallaght, Dun Loaghaire, Santry, Clarehall and Ballybrack.
Roll on to 1983 when Ellen’s great, great grandson Declan opened a shop at Northside Shopping Centre. Along with his son Jeff, who joined the family business, Jeff is the fifth generation in the family trade and Cosgraves now boast four outlets, at the Omni Shopping Centre (SC), Santry; Clarehall SC at Malahide Road; Ashleaf SC in Crumlin and at Ballybrack SC in Killiney.
Declan’s mother, Doreen aged in her early 90s, still lives at the family home in Barn Elms.
Declan and Jeff are proud of the standards and reputation of all four outlets of Cosgraves Butchers.
At any of the four branches, coddle remains a firm favourite with customers who come in weekly for bacon pieces and sausages, but also have meats for popular Irish and European dishes such as Piri Piri Butter Chicken, Scotch Fillet Steaks, Lamb and seasonal specials.
“We are currently undergoing a complete rebranding from Cosgrave’s – The Butcher Shop back to Cosgraves Butchers,” said Jeff.
“This will involve a complete refit of all of our shops to a much slicker, new and fresh look. What we want our customers to be assured of, is the quality and traditional methods in butchering we pride ourselves on, and apply them in a modern way to provide high quality convenient cuts and meals.
Open 7 days at all four locations. Cosgrave’s really are a cut above the rest!
Article Credit: Rose Barrett O’Donoghue