Cosgraves butchers a cut above the rest for 129 years

by Kim O Leary
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A Dublin family butchers is set to mark 129 years in business serving their customers with their award-winning meat products.

Cograves Butchers started out from humble beginnings after it was founded in 1892 by Ellen Cosgrave. In 1892, with 21 children, she opened a butcher’s shop at Eden Quay. At the turn of the century, the resilient widow opened another shop in Ranelagh around1901.

The family then opened a third at South Richmond street circa 1930. During the onset of WW2, the business was thriving and a supplier of live beef to Great Britain.

Read more in this weeks Dublin Gazette out in stores now

But the Lady Meath, carrying 700 of Cosgrave’s cattle, sank. A mine exploded underneath the ship, and despite no human fatalities, all livestock were drowned.

In 1983 Ellen’s great-great-grandson, Declan, opened a shop at Northside Shopping Centre. Along with his son Jeff, they are now the fifth generation of Cosgrave butchers and proud to carry on the family tradition.

Speaking to the Dublin Gazette this week, Jeff of Cosgraves Butchers said: “Our farming history predates our butchering history, as Ellen lived on the family farm, Barn Elms, Churchtown, Dublin, in 1892. Barn Elms operated as a farm for generations before we went into butchering.”

In 1964 Jeff’s grandfather Phil converted to a pig farm and this continued until 1974 when it ceased farming activity.

Today, Jeff and Declan are proudly carrying on Ellen’s legacy and have a supportive team of managers who take care of the business’s day-to-day running.

Cosgraves Butchers currently employ 20 staff across their four Dublin-based shops: Ashleaf Shopping Centre, Crumlin, Ballybrack Shopping Centre, South Co. Dublin, Clarehall Shopping Centre, Malahide Road and Omni Park Shopping Centre, Santry.

“We have a staff of around 20 at the four shops in Dublin as well as some part-time staff as well, we’re very lucky to have them,” said Jeff.

While the Covid-19 pandemic over the past year has seen many local businesses forced to close, Cosgraves Butchers has thrived with more people than ever coming to get their quality meat products.

“It’s actually worked out well for us during the Covid-19 pandemic as more people are coming into us to get quality meat instead of going to bigger supermarkets and people are cooking more at home, too.

“We’ve really thrived and we’re after rebranding. More people have come into us to try our products and they seem to have decided to try us out during the pandemic to see the quality in our meat, so we’re hoping that nobody will forget about us when the pandemic is over,” explained Jeff.

They stock a wide range of award-winning high-quality meats and take great pride in their Cosgrave Prime steak range, which has the best striploin, fillet, rib-eye, and T-bone steak that “the Irish market offers”.

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