CHRISTMAS GIFT BASKETS IN IRELAND
Delivery of Gift Baskets in Ireland differs slightly from the service that is on offer in the United States. The Main differences are:
1) There is absolutely no Saturday or Sunday delivery service available. Local florists will probably deliver on Saturdays, but there is absolutely no chance of having anything delivered on a Sunday in Ireland. For special occasions such as Mother's Day and Father's Day, certain companies will deliver on this day at a surcharge. The exception to this rule is Northern Ireland. Saturday delivery can be executed in the 6 counties of Down, Antrim, Derry, Armagh, Tyrone and Fermanagh. but it will cost an extra £15.
The reason for this is that the Irish couriers don't find it economically viable to open on Saturdays and their workers don't want to work on a Saturday.
2) There are no zip or post-codes in Ireland. As you can imagine, this makes things more awkward and more prone to human error. It is not uncommon to have addresses which are more like descriptions of where the house is located rather than a proper address.
We are frequently asked by American customers in particular why we can't deliver on Christmas or over the holidays. This is because the couriers don't operate over this time. Basically Ireland closes down at 5.30pm on Christmas Eve and most businesses don't reopen until the 3/4 January.
Last year many customers again mostly from the States would try to order 2 days before Christmas. Irish Gourmet would explain that delivery even in the UK could not be before Christmas, so would send after Christmas. However, many of the address that we were sending to were closed for the Christmas period, which meant that the recipients were not receiving their Christmas Basket until the first week in January.
Therefore this year we would strongly recommend that for deliveries to Ireland, customers order as early as possible. This year Irish Gourmet expects to sell out in Early to Mid - December at the very latest and has already been taking advance orders for past 2 months.
Finally, certain areas of Ireland especially the west coast are so inaccessible that it can take 2-3 days to enable delivery. What we are very keen to ensure is that all orders are delivered prior to Christmas Day, so will use our own common sense to do our best on your behalf.
All Irish Gourmet deliveries within Ireland require a signature. One option available to customers is to send Irish Gourmet an e-mail giving permission for the delivery driver to leave without a signature. Although this may sound hard to believe, in remote areas it usually works as the delivery driver will leave in a garage or nearby post-office or with somebody in the village.
Whilst Irish Gourmet cannot accept any liability for any losses or damages for customers who avail of this service, our experiences to date have been very positive.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Qualifications for Irish Gourmet Entry
It can be difficult finding products in Northern Ireland and even to an extent in the Irish Republic, which are suitable for entry to the Irish Gourmet site. There is no problem securing fresh tasty products, but packaging is a different matter altogether.
Due to the island mentality, many food producers tended to have looked towards their domestic customers and skimped on the question of packaging.
The producers themselves will testify to this themselves, that they would rather spend their budget on the product itself rather than an improved quality of packaging. However, things are changing; ever decreasing transportation and distribution costs are enabling producers to innovate and introduce higher quality packaging yet maintain the quality of the food produced.
Irish Gourmet can play an important part in the development of the Northern Irish Fine Food and Artisan Industry by revealing customer preferences and tastes. With an absolutely huge array of products, the Irish Gourmet can identify customer taste preferences and then make suggestions to their counterparts in the Basketsgalore Gift Basket and Hamper Division of the company. For instance the prevalence of Irish Porter Cake within the Basketsgalore range of hampers is a reflection of its popularity on an individual basis in Irish Gourmet.
Indeed what's more is that this Christmas Irish Gourmet is working with a leading baker from Newry in Co. Down, Northern Ireland to produce a Mourne Mountain Valley Artisan Porter Cake. The baker in question won a Gold Medal in the UK Great Taste Awards for this cake in 2006 and a Silver Medal recently in 2006.
When Basketsgalore first started at the turn of the century, it was difficult to procure Gourmet food products, now only the finest can qualify and sometimes its a question of getting on the road and travelling to find them. We'll bring you our experiences as we travel.
The Irish Gourmet