In the past I’ve talked about where to find the best food and American foods in Germany and where to find bacon in Ireland. Today I want to talk about finding professional baking items for the home baker. In addition to my online work, I started baking cakes, cheesecakes, pies, pastries, etc. and selling them to local (Irish) restaurants, cafés, news agents and private individuals. The busier I got, the more difficult it became to find the supplies I was used to working with in the U.S. So today I thought I would pass along the locations I’ve found items and what I found. If you’ve been trying to shop for baking items in Ireland, you’re probably aware of the fact that you’ll have to visit multiple locations to get what you want.
It probably would have been easier for me to find these things when I lived in Dublin, but I wasn’t do this then. My kitchen and oven were too small in the last house and I had absolutely no storage. I moved to Co. Leitrim nearly a year ago and suddenly had the space to do what I wanted.
Here is my list of “always searching for” supplies:
- Gel food dyes
- Wilton cake pans
- Buttercream frosting decorating tips and bags (quality)
- Wilton Meringue Powder
- Flower nails
Of course there are many other things needed when baking, but those were the things I found it most difficult to find. For starters, keep an eye on your local area Lidl and Aldi. They don’t always have baking stuff, but when they do, it’s generally decent quality for a good price. I purchased two of my favorite and most useful spring foam pans there a couple months ago and have been kicking myself for not purchasing more before they sold out ever since.
There are many shops throughout Ireland that claim to be baking supply shops. There is a shop in Cliffoney, Co. Sligo (about an hour and a half from where we live) that claims to be the largest baking supply shop in all of Ireland. They do have a good assortment of things, but not everything. I did find my flower nails and an assortment of gel food color. Unfortunately, their Wilton products (food coloring) were very limited, so I had to go with a brand I was unfamiliar with (which also works just as fine).
There are a couple of shops in Dublin too, but lately I’ve been finding the best shops seem to be shops that carry other products and don’t label themselves as baking or cake supply shops. I do a lot of shopping at Whispy’s and Quidsworth (Q2) in Carrick-on-Shannon. Be sure to check both locations for each (each has a downtown location, as well as a larger location in a different part of town). You’ll find a lot of cheaper baking pans, fondant tools, cookie cutters and so forth.
Heaton’s in Carrick-on-Shannon is another place that has a modest, but helpful, cake decorating aisle. There you can buy a cake decorating turn table, decorating nozzles and bags, frosting spatulas and so forth. You can also check your local Tesco.
Also in Carrick-on-Shannon, you’ll find a good amount of baking supplies (pans, etc.) at Woody’s DIY.
I was shocked to find a good deal of baking and cake decorating supplies at Providers in Longford (Co. Longford). Not only do they have some Wilton products, but they also carry a line of Cake Boss products. You’ll find gel food colors here too.
In Dublin, I was impressed with a shop in Blanchardstown called Inspiring Ideas (http://www.inspiringideas.com). This is essentially a large craft shop with a café in the back. They not only have a baking section, but they carry a good amount of Wilton products. They had quite a selection of specialty fondant tools and rolling pins, gel food colors, cake decorating turn tables, pans and so forth.
I’ve also been told that there is (or was) a baking supply house in Athlone and that I should go to Enniskillen in Northern Ireland (about 40 minutes from me), but I haven’t made it to either of those yet. You’ll find some moderate supplies in little shops in downtown Sligo too.
So if you’re in Ireland and you’re looking for a place to buy baking supplies, check out these places. If you know of a place I haven’t mentioned, feel free to leave it in the comments below.