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It's a family affair

The Irish House Kilkee

Brian, Miriam and John Saunders


As a boy growing up in a house where there is always something baking in the oven and delicious to eat you don’t even think about the fact your Mum has a talent, however luckily for all of us my Dad did!

The Irish house bakery and takeaway in Kilkee is a family affair, with parents John and Miriam behind the scenes and son Brian front of house, looking after the customers and effortlessly creating the coffees.

After leaving school Brian had worked for several years in retail and gained his experience working with the public and as an employee. His father was about to retire after a career in the bank advising start-ups and local businesses, and he was now prepared to practice what he had preached for many years!

The idea to set up a family business and run a café set them off on the hunt for suitable premises. After a few false starts their present location on O’Connell Street Kilkee came onto the market. As a child Brian had regularly visited Kilkee and this was the newsagents where he had bought his comics and premier league stickers, never imagining that twenty years later it would become his own business premises.

They had the location, someone with the experience to mind the business admin and the front of house, all that was missing was the baker. Recognising their secret weapon and the talent lay with Miriam’s baking skills, they had to wait for a while as she finished her previous job as a doctors receptionist. In the interim they employed a Baker for the first summer before Mum was ready to step in full time.

The deal on the property completed exactly one month before the Covid restrictions began, which was their first major challenge. Fortunately, they were able to operate on a takeaway basis throughout Covid which also proved to be an effective business model when the pandemic was over.

Brian explains:

“People think we are the Von Trap family because they assume that all of the five girls, we employ are my sisters! We are just like one big family although I am not related to the girls, who have become great friends and been with us for several years.

All of our staff are superstars, and we have a great relationship with our customers who are the nicest people and loyal despite long queue’s in the Summer Months.

Not only are we all still talking to each other as a family, but we have employed someone throughout the winter months for the first time so are very happy with the progress!

Mum is so creative in the Kitchen she is always coming up with something new for our customers to try, she works so hard out there in the kitchen, making new things every week.

We have gradually added some details and personality to the café along with the outdoor seating area and are excited to have a new soft ice cream machine arriving in time for the summer Season.

I never expected to be working in Kilkee with my family, but we are hoping the Irish House will continue to provide our bakes and coffees for a long time to come.”

The Irish house is open from 10a.m. to 4.00p.m. Wednesday to Sunday.


Call in for delicious home baked cakes, salads, coffees, and snacks next time you are in Kilkee.


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