In our beloved town, Roscommon, a transformation is taking place.  New businesses are blossoming, infusing us all with optimism. From aromatic coffee shops to manufacturers, all these enterprises ripple through our community fostering belonging and connections. They signify progress, calling on us all to follow suit and keep progressing our own businesses or to create new ones.

We can all celebrate these new businesses, often shaped from a leap of faith and inspiring us all to pursue dreams and contribute to Roscommon’s evolving community.  Amongst others, we have the tale of two businesses we would like to highlight and share with you – two new businesses that we heartily welcome to Roscommon and may inspire you.  These are Anam Gallery and Margaret’s Kitchen.

We were very happy to hear about the opening of Margaret’s Kitchen, which is a bespoke cookery school. Margaret established the cookery school in the heart of the family’s farmlands in Roscommon.  Margaret began to run children’s cooking and baking classes and very soon their mums were also keen to try their hand at her famous bakes. The dream of building Margaret’s own kitchen classroom was born.

Margaret offers a selection of classes and workshops and is passionate about protecting and preserving the art of home baking and cooking.  Margaret draws upon the many traditional skills that have their roots steeped in Irish culture. The Kitchen focuses very much on sustainability.  Ingredients are sourced locally and used seasonally. Margaret is supported by her husband, Kevin, who is a keen gardener and who grows their own fruit and vegetables.  Margaret caters for private groups and often runs events such as “Demo and dine”.

Anam Gallery is aiming to be “the creative soul of the Midlands.”  It is the endeavour of the artist Rita Oates and was officially opened in July this year.  Located in the former coach house on the town’s Main Street, it features works by artists Joe Caslin and Una Burke, together with Rita’s own collection.

Rita’s images are combined with messages of hope and encouragement that are positive, meaningful and thought provoking.  We have a large selection of Rita’s original artworks which can be seen in various rooms throughout Gleesons.  When we pondered these two businesses coming into being with stories of triumphs, trials and transformations, what was thought provoking for us is the message we have on an image called, “The Meadow – learning how to bend…”  Rita describes this image as, “…a meadow swaying in the breeze… a dance of earth and air… flexibility of movement.”  Rita says: “When I watch the meadow, I am reminded that there are forces… winds and tides over which I have no control and I must learn to dance and to bend… to go with the flow of life.” When we wrote this blog, we pondered on whether Rita had taken that advice of learning to “dance and bend” when she was pursuing her dream of opening Anam Gallery, perhaps through her own triumphs, trials and transformations.

We hope that other entrepreneurs will also take a leap of faith to make their dreams and businesses come to life in Roscommon, learning to, as Rita says, “dance and bend… with the flow of life” to make this happen and thus continuing to build Roscommon into an even more wonderful town than it is today.