From Small Beginnings
The experience gained while picking fruit for pocket money cultivated Pat’s keen interest in strawberry growing from a young age. He received some plants as a gift from a neighbour and produced his first crop from 10 drills on the family farm in 1960. The ‘fruitful’ gift yielded choice berries and the seed of today’s complex business was sown. The enterprise grew steadily and the luscious produce was soon claiming top prices in the Dublin Market.
Pat Clarke was the man who introduced the Elsanta variety of strawberries to Ireland in 1983 and the highly sought after berries were first auctioned in the Dublin Market on July 25th of that year, at record prices.
With their excellent flavour, firm texture and lengthy shelf-life, approximately 80% of the strawberries grown in Ireland today are Pat’s Elsanta variety. That is down to the vision of one man.
More than half a century on, the family farm is now a commercial growing facility, employing over 140 people. Pat is ably assisted by his brother James, family members and a highly skilled workforce to produce tons of superior berries. The fruit is freshly picked, packed and dispatched daily from April to November in a fleet of refrigerated trucks and vans.