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Real food, real people. It’s the SuperValu slogan. When you shop in a SuperValu store (and our grateful thanks to you for doing so) you can’t miss it. It indicates a focus on service and quality. In the past week, however, there’s been a slightly different SuperValu message alongside that one: not only real food served by real people but real jobs for real people.

Take the opening of Hannon’s SuperValu in Enfield. That opened its doors not only with the promise of 24 new in-store jobs, but also having given a major opportunity to local construction businesses, some 50 of whose workers were involved in converting and expanding the former Centra store.

And there’s a lot of job creation about. Quish’s SuperValu in Ballincollig, Co. Cork already employs over 115 local people. A massive €600,000 store refurbishment project should boost that number, not least thanks to the new butcher and deli counters, cheese and olive bar, fish counter, health and wellness department and mother and baby section.

But boosting Irish jobs isn’t just about expansion. Our retail partners at SuperValu are also encouraging their fellow countrymen to do even more of what they do so well: make and sell food and drink. This time we’re not talking about the output of the many juice, meat and dairy producers SuperValu has supported in the past. In this case SuperValu has signed deals worth €1.2 million with Coole Swan, Darling Cocktails and West Cork Distillers to supply whiskeys, cocktails and cream liqueurs. Those of you who occasionally indulge in any of those spirits can feel comfortable in the knowledge that Irish suppliers and Irish jobs (25 or so, in fact) are getting a boost through these contracts. You might also note that this is a good example of Irish suppliers responding to changing consumer tastes in alcoholic drinks and being supported for doing so.

You could even take note of the fact that Darling Cocktails and Coole Swan have built up their business in part thanks to working with SuperValu on a small scale that then grew and grew. Or you could just join us in toasting (with SuperValu juice or milk if you don’t do alcohol) a business that is generating real jobs for real people.

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