In an effort to promote Irish pub culture and tourism, a new website seeks to improve wardrobes everywhere by offering it’s viewers authentic Irish pub shirts from destination pubs scattered across Ireland. The website, Spirit Grocery Tee Shoppe, has gathered a growing list of Irish pubs, each with a story to tell and a shirt to sell.
Every pub has a web page dedicated to their unique story and offers the viewer the chance to purchase a pub tee shirt that helps celebrate that tradition. Pub owners share in the profit from the shirt sales.
The site is the brainchild of an Irish-American mother-daughter team and was inspired by a college semester spent studying in Dublin.
The company name, Spirit Grocery Tee Shoppe, is in honor of the hardworking Irish publicans of the past whose pubs were known as Spirit Groceries because they sold “spirits” and groceries or other services.
Co-founder, Eve Anderson, graduated from Purdue in 2008 with a degree in Supply Chain Management. During her time at Purdue, she did a study abroad program in Dublin at the Dublin Institute of Technology. Weekdays were spent studying (or so she says!) but weekends were devoted to traveling the countryside, meeting people and discovering her Irish roots.
She fell in love with the special connection that the Irish pub offered it’s patrons and the stories publicans had to tell. Sharing their stories, she also learned that times were not easy for publicans due to increasingly strict drinking and driving laws and a ban on smoking inside the pubs.
Putting together her business knowledge and her pub experiences Eve came home with an idea to share what she had seen with the American public. She wanted to start a website that would tell the rich stories of the Irish Pubs and also offer the online viewer the option of purchasing a little piece of Irish pub life in the form of a personalized shirt from the pub.
After returning to the states she contacted pubs all across Ireland and set up interviews with them to discuss her business idea. Eve and her mom returned the following summer and, with the help of a classmate from Dublin Institute of Technology, toured the countryside discussing the idea with publicans. All were glad to share their stories. A year later the website was born.
The result is a virtual pub-crawl through Ireland that hopes to give the viewer a glimpse into the world of the Irish pub. For those that plan a trip to Ireland it is a friendly suggestion of a wonderful evening out. For those that may never have the chance to go to Ireland, it is a wonderful souvenir. The pubs share in the profits from the shirt sales.
“We fancy ourselves to be a virtual Sprit Grocery offering traditional Irish pub fare and a shirt to spare. We wish all our online visitors could experience an Irish pub first hand, but if not, we think maybe our website offers a fun alternative,” says Mom.”