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The Roundwood Stores restaurant review: ‘The surprisingly extensive range of baked goods is reason enough to pay a visit’

Our food critic samples the back-to-basics cuisine at this charming Wicklow café

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The Roundwood Stores in Co Wicklow. Picture: Owen Breslin

The Roundwood Stores in Co Wicklow. Picture: Owen Breslin

The Roundwood Stores in Co Wicklow. Picture: Owen Breslin

Avoca in its early, family-run days was very different to the current version owned and operated by controversial multinational Aramark. (The corporation holds the catering contracts for several Direct Provision centres, and photos of some of the meals served to residents don’t look too appetising.) There’s a lot at risk when a food business scales. How do you grow and still maintain the quality and ethos you had at the outset while serving ever-greater numbers of customers? When it comes to food, small is almost always more beautiful.

Certainly, there are many who are nostalgic for the pre-Aramark Avoca of old; for the generous abundance of the plates piled high with salads and the scones as big as your head; for the slightly wonky, home-made feel — and taste — of it all. And others who won’t put money in Aramark’s coffers on principle.


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