Looking back on 2016 we thought that we would share ten highlights of a year at the Store!
Back in late May, Callum and myself joined some friends on a trek led by Iain Miller of Unique Ascent from the deserted fishing village of Port to the magnificent Glenlough Bay. This gem in the far south west corner of Donegal has to be seen to be believed.
The Apprentices have really come into their own this year. Back in May, Niamh dodged studying for her exams to help cut and spread the turf. I gave her an A* for her efforts. In July, Darragh and Ava helped bag the turf and get it home from the bog. From August onwards, Callum has overseen the packing operation. All this extra help at busy times is very welcome and makes me realise just how lucky I am to have such a good Clan. The boys even made sure they got a Christmas night out, how could I possibly refuse?
Our marketing efforts have expanded from Facebook and Twitter, which continue to serve us well, to now include our very own YouTube channel. Check it out and keep an eye on it in 2017.
Whenever we tell folk from outwith Ireland about the turf bog they get intrigued. This was no different in August when our good friends from France, Anthony and Celine, took a trip to see for themselves the wonders of the turf bog. Expect to hear more about our Turf Bog Tours in 2017!
2016 has been our busiest year to date in terms of sales. One thing that we pride ourselves on is repeat business and many of our loyal customers are now friends. We like to think we capture the community spirit of the turf bog. A big thank you to all our customers, friends and followers.
In early May we made a visit to South West Donegal and discovered the wonder that is Malinbeg and Silver Strand Beach. A place that will take your breath away for sure.
In June I fulfilled a long held aim to go visit the Gleniff Horseshoe, County Sligo, on the bike. A round trip of 40 plus miles in lovely sunshine coupled with stunning landscapes made for a great day out plus some welcome exercise.
Our brand image continued to develop in 2016 when we further enhanced our brand with the printing of our Breesy Mountain inspired postcards and our very own advertising banners. I even have a branded fleece, so I am now essentially a mobile billboard.
Mid life has struck me and it has brought out construction-esque tendencies which I never knew I had. First up was a dry stone wall at the front of the house/Store which went quite well. Then came a pallet shed which was to be an office but is more suited as another turf store. Who knows what projects beckon in 2017?
2016 was our second attempt at cutting turf the traditional way with the the spade. Compared to 2015 we were a lot more savvy in the bog and luckily the fine early summer weather worked in our favour and helped dry the turf. Despite the odd interaction with the dreaded midgies it is a fulfilling way of spending a few hours in the great outdoors.