Cork couple open a dream cafe during pandemic

Having worked together in city restaurants, then being left out of work due to Covid, a Cork couple decided to go into business together and have opened a cafe in a County Cork town, writes CHRIS DUNNE
Cork couple open a dream cafe during pandemic

Katy Walsh and her partner Keely Buckley at their cafe, Pickled, in The Square Macroom, County Cork.

WE all need a bit of colour in our lives, and we all need coffee and cake in our lives too, don’t we?

You’ll be tickled pink by the new hot pink cafe named ‘Pickled’ in The Square, Macroom.

The new business venture was recently opened by Katy Walsh and her partner Keely Buckley.

Did the new hot premises on the buzzing square win the approval of Keely’s grandmother, Peg, aged 89, who was the previous tenant when her husband had an electrical business there for over 40 years?

“The girls are doing really well since they opened up Pickled,” says Peg.

She got the royal tour and the royal treatment!

“I got the tour on the Friday before the serving hatch was opened for coffee, tea and cakes, all baked by my granddaughter, Keely.”

Granny Peg is the ideal PR person to promote Pickled.

“Their cakes and scones are top-class and the coffee is really good too,” says Peg.

“I pop in most days for a cuppa! It is lovely to see the building being used again as it was left vacant for a few years.”

Picked brought new life into the vacant building.

“And it is nice that there are people living there again too,” says Peg. “The building has been brought back to life.”

It is no wonder that the goodies from Pickled are so good. Katie and Keely, who moved from the city, both cut their catering teeth in The Farmgate in the English Market and in the Crawford Gallery Cáfe.

“I worked front of house,” says Katy, from Glanmire.

“Keely cheffed in the Farmgate and the Crawford. ”

Katy Walsh and her partner Keely Buckley at Pickled cafe in Macroom.
Katy Walsh and her partner Keely Buckley at Pickled cafe in Macroom.

The winning combination was the perfect recipe to go into business together.

“During Covid, we were both out of work and we had time on our hands,” says Katy.

“When we decided to go into business together we looked for a suitable premises and we found it in Macroom.”

Were the girls tickled pink?

“Yes, we were!” says Katy laughing.

“The amount of support we got from local people and from local businesses is phenomenal,” adds Katy.

“Everyone wished us well and we have been really busy. We are up the walls every day!”

Keely’s granny supports the couple, who are delighted with their new venture.

“She’s really chuffed and very happy for us,” says Katy.

“Peg always encouraged Keely in her career and she is very proud of her and of what she has done,” she added.

“We got so many cards, and flowers arrived as well!” said Keely.

Did Katy and Keely lap up all the good wishes?

“We sure did,” says Katy, smiling.

What can we sample and savour from Pickled?

“Cakes, scones, coffee, tea, and fresh sandwiches, soups and salads, are all on the menu at the minute.

“All the cakes and scones are baked fresh every day by Keely,” said Katie,

We can savour the delights from Pickled in a nice spot.

“There is really nice new outdoor covered seating around The Square in Macroom where people can sit and enjoy their coffee or their lunch,” says Katy, who has the perfect view from her vantage point, being front-of-house at Pickled.

“We are expecting to have a really busy autumn season.”

Granny is chuffed at the new hot spot’s success on the square, and the girls are too.

“It is a passion project for us and a sign of a new life,” says Katy, who is enjoying country living as opposed to city living.

Does she like living in the former electrical shop, where a couple of businesses were based for a few years after Buckleys closed?

“Yes, Macroom is great and it is great that local people support local and shop local.”

What is the secret recipe for success when opening a business in these testing times?

“Having the passion to just go for it is a good attitude,” says Katy, who met Keely when they both worked in the Farmgate in the English Market.

“We had been talking about opening our own business for years.”

It took a global pandemic to make it happen.

“It did!” says Katy.

“When the pandemic closed down the hospitality trade, I decided to move down to Macroom with Keely and make our dream come true.”

Their dream brought a dash of colour to Macroom.

“We were going to go with a more muted colour scheme, but we decided we might as well stand out!”

Pickled certainly makes its presence felt.

“We’re delighted with it,” says Katy.

Who did the spectacular decor?

“The paint was done by Tony Lyons and the sign by Cormac Shields.”

Keely and Katie support local.

“Both men have businesses Macroom. We think they did a great job.”

Pickled is preserved in pink on the Square.

“The shop premises is small and the space is given over to an in-house bakery and kitchen.

“Everything is locally sourced and prepared for sale the same day.”

Katy and Keely are full of the joys of the success of their new business.

“Call in when you are in Macroom and have a coffee and cake,” says Katy, who is the perfect host.

“I’m sure you’ll enjoy a treat.”

I’m sure I won’t miss the new pink hot spot on the block and I’m sure I’ll be tickled pink!

Pickled is located at Main Street, The Square, Macroom.

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