Passing through Ballycastle, a charming seaside town on the Causeway Coast in Ireland’s northeast corner, one wouldn’t necessarily expect to find a world-class bakery serving sourdough breads and creative, beautiful pastries. But after spending time learning and traveling abroad, this is exactly what Ciara O’hArtlaighle and her husband, Dara, created when they opened Ursa Minor. Not only does Ursa Minor have fantastic breads and pastries, but it’s also a cafe, serving a really important role as a gathering space around food in a small town without many options. Inspired by sourdough and their travels around the world—New Zealand in particular—they returned home, started baking, and haven’t stopped since.
We spoke to Ciara about bringing sourdough to Ballycastle; the importance of community cafés; the difference between the food culture in the north versus the south; sourcing Irish flour and grains; and what it’s like to be a mother and small business owner.
Dyed Green is a project of Bog & Thunder, whose mission is to highlight the best of Irish food and culture, through food tours, events, and media. Find out more at www.bogandthunder.com.
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