Meet our food champions...

Ruth Healy

A food experience is more than just sitting down and eating food. A food shopping experience needs to be more than just a transaction over a loaf of bread, we need to bring it alive with stories.

Ruth Healy

Contact details

Twitter: @urrubandon

Ruth Healy

Portrait of Ruth HealyShopkeeper, sandwich seller, storyteller | Bandon, West Cork

Ruth Healy brings people together – shopkeepers, sellers, producers, restaurateurs, eaters – and she champions the food of West Cork by providing the link. A pivotal member of Slowfood West Cork, a founder of Bandon Farmers Market and Bandon Food Trail, the centre of all her activity is her ‘Culinary Store’ URRU.

URRU opened in 2003, in the small West Cork town of Bandon, and is a platform for the food producers of Cork and across Ireland. It brings people a step closer to them. It's also a meeting place, an everyday shopping area and food tourism destination. Soon it will play host to Ruth’s latest project – a visual series on Cork Food Stories, both contemporary and historical.

Ruth is a shopkeeper at heart, a role she believes is vastly underestimated. Ruth is a teller of food stories and she has a different one for every type of customer who walks through the door; old stories and new, for the seasoned food traveller, the local farmer and the young hipster wanderer.

And her most influential tool, the universal currency that makes food accessible to all? The sandwich.

What can be achieved with a sandwich is huge, says Ruth, “Our sandwiches look like sandwiches, but they taste; they nourish people, they tell our food story to everyone in an affordable way. If you do soup and sandwiches, you can do the best soup and sandwiches”.