Mulgrews Food Hall marks exciting opening in Carryduff

Mulgrews Food Hall marks exciting opening in Carryduff

The independent retailer network continues to grow across Northern Ireland, marked most recently with the opening of a brand-new food hall at Carryduff, owned by the Mulgrew family.

Mulgrews Food Hall has an impressive footprint of 10,000 sq ft and is situated on the Saintfield Road in Carryduff. With many residents and commuters in the area, the Eurospar store has already gained significant support from the community.

Customers have all been impressed with the bright, fresh, modern store and its host of offerings including deli and hot food counters, butchery, ice cream counter, a ‘Grab & Go’ section including a Barista Bar coffee stand, and a range of pre-packed meats and fresh food for consumer convenience. Self-service checkouts offer shoppers further convenience when they’re pressed for time.


Originally a greenfield site, it was acquired in 2017 with planning permission approved for the new store in late 2019. Unfortunately, with the onset of Covid-19, the construction of the new store was delayed.

With the help of the Henderson Group in particular Nick Markey and Paul Deans work on the site began on 6th June 2022, with the build being completed on 30th January 2023. The interior fit out took a further eight weeks with the store opening to the public on 1st March. Marcus was full of praise for the principal contractor, O’Neill of Clonoe Ltd.

“They did a great job in completing the building project in 34 weeks and the main fit out carried out by Dougan Contracts Ltd went to plan with no hold-ups.

“Martin Nugent the principal architect (McKeown and Shields Associates) and Ashley Lamont (Whittaker and Watt Architects) who designed the interior of the store, ensured the building design, signage and exterior lighting provided for maximum kerbside appeal. We have a large car park with 80 spaces, including 15 oversize parking spaces to accommodate larger commercial vans and lorries.”

While the pandemic may have delayed the construction, the family-owned store is now a welcome addition to the area, employing approximately 50 part-time and full-time staff. Marcus told NR they are delighted with the success of the business in these early days.

‘The support received from the local community from the start has been tremendous’

“We have received excellent support from the Henderson Group from the outset, in relation to all aspects of the business and we are pleased to be working with a large partner with the feel of family. Our own staff have adapted quite quickly to the new store and they have been very helpful and supportive which we really appreciate. Rhonda Montgomery was also instrumental in setting up the Butchery Department,” said Marcus.

Marcus and his team officially opened the store on Saturday 20th May with a family fun day and host of tasting events and entertainment in-store.

“There were different suppliers doing tasting sessions, such as Dale Farm, Mash Direct and White’s Oats. Red Bull were giving out free drinks and had an F1 simulator in store, which proved very popular on the day.

“We also had Ian Orr, celebrity chef, who was voted recently as the Best Chef in Ulster at the Irish Restaurant Awards, doing some cookery demonstrations using produce from the store itself.”


The ribbon cutting ceremony was carried out by local residents, Gordon and Ann McMinn, who have lived in Carryduff for 50 years. Marcus said it was important for everyone at Mulgrews to welcome and thank the local community.

“The support received from the local community from the start has been tremendous and we are very grateful to the people of Carryduff and the surrounding area who have chosen to shop with us,” said Marcus.

“The community element is very important both to us and our partners, the Henderson Group. Therefore, we have sponsored a number of local community sports clubs, as well as donating to our local nursery and neighbours, Little Treasures so they could buy toys for the kids they care for.”

Inevitably, in a brand-new store such as Mulgrews it was essential to introduce the latest technology, a fast-growing element of neighbourhood retailing, as Marcus explained they introduced as much of the available tech as they could from the outset.

“We have relied on Henderson Technology for advice in this area and we have installed Glory Cash Management System, both back of house and customer facing; Electronic Edge of Shelf Labelling and ASR software operated by Relex Solutions.

“All have helped make the store easier to operate and manage on a day-to-day basis. While there are no plans to introduce any further technology at this point, we will obviously look at what becomes available in the future.”

Of course, given the cost-of-living crisis, coupled with a cost of doing business crisis, all retailers are left facing huge spikes in energy bills, especially in a large-format store such as Mulgrews; something Marcus describes as one of the biggest challenges facing the business at present.

“In retailing, as with any other business, the biggest concern at the moment is around energy costs. Although energy prices have fallen since their peak last year, they are still significantly higher than previous years.

“Going forward this is a concern so we, like all households and businesses, have to be keeping a close eye on our energy consumption and remain as efficient as possible.”

Looking to the future, Marcus said they are keen to continue to embed themselves within the local community and return the support they have been given so far.

“While we rely on social media to drive traffic and market our business, in addition to leaflet drops in the local area, word-of-mouth is still vitally important for a new business such as ours, and we have also sponsored a number of local sports clubs.