“THIS one is for you Mum,” was the proud message from Jolly Sandwich owner, Carina Cutler, after winning the Best Cafe in Fermanagh award.
The Jolly Sandwich, based in Darling Street in Enniskillen, was in contention for the cafe crown at the Irish Restaurant Awards in Cavan.
Carina was beaming with pride after what has been a hard year when her mother, Hazel Johnston – who had run the cafe for many years – passed away last February.
“To have been given this award has been so emotional,” said Carina, “all because Mum wasn’t with me in body but I felt her presence by my side.
“So Mum, this one is for you, your legacy will continue to live on.
“I’m sure my mother would have been pleased were she still with us. It was a huge loss to all of us when she passed away.
“This award was for her as much as the rest of the team. We’ve won this award before but it’s just amazing that we’ve got it again.”
Carina, who took over the running of The Jolly Sandwich following Hazel’s passing, admitted she was surprised when the Best Cafe Award announcement was read out.
She added: “We were not pre-warned about it. We only knew that we had been nominated but to hear we had won was a lovely surprise.
“This was definitely validation for all the hard work the staff had put in over the Covid period.
“Hard work has been the key to this. There’s a lot of it behind the scenes.
“We’re in super-early at half-past-four in the morning and not leaving until five in the evening. Not to mention how busy it is with the customers.
“Plus there’s looking up new recipes and new ideas of what to serve in order to keep the customers coming back.”
Other winners in the Fermanagh categories were: The Taste Experience (Best Local Hero), Tully Mill Restaurant (Best Sustainable Practices), Tullana On The Green (Best Free From Food), Finn Lough Dining (Best Emerging Irish Cuisine), Zara McHugh from 28a At The Hollow (Best Restaurant Manager), Saddlers Bistro (Best Wine Experience), Kamal Mahal (Best World Cuisine), Between The Bridges Restaurant (Best Newcomer), Charlie’s Bar (Pub Of The Year), Dollakis Restaurant (Best Casual Dining), Lough Erne Resort (Best Hotel & Guesthouse Restaurant), Franco’s Restaurant (Best Customer Service), The Taphouse (Best Gastropub), Stephen Holland of Lough Erne Resort (Best Chef) and 28a At The Hollow (Best Restaurant).
All of the winners now compete for the Regional and All Ireland Titles, which will be announced at the Irish Restaurant Awards All Ireland Final on Monday, September 19 at the Convention Centre Dublin
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