A wee bit Irish in Schenectady

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By Sarah Rosenblum

From the moment I walked through the door of Lennon’s Irish Shop, I no longer felt as if I was in Schenectady.

The store is a cultural gem on Jay Street, and is filled with an assortment of authentic Irish goods.  They truly live by their motto, “Experience all that is Ireland”, as they offer an impressive and diverse assortment of Celtic wares and gifts.

The store carries everything from Guinness memorabilia and barware, to beautiful jewelry made in Dublin.  They carry Galway Irish crystal, Belleek China, Irish foods and tea, perfumes, home décor, and clothing.  Everything here is 100% Irish.

Lennon’s Irish Shop opened five years ago and it is owned by an Irish couple, Mary Ann and Dale May.  I had the chance to chat with Marry Ann, who pointed out some of their most popular items.

“People love the Carraig Donn hand knitted sweaters and the Solvar and Boru jewelry”.  Both jewelers are located in Dublin, and Carraig Donn is a well-known Irish knitwear realtor.  While these products are imported, they are still reasonably priced and are truly unique finds in the States.

Lennon’s also carries a wide range of specialty food products.  Marry Ann explained,” We sell a lot of traditional Irish breakfast foods, including rashers and bangers which are similar to sausage and bacon.  We also have meat pies and a variety of Irish candy.’

Lennon’s has a diverse clientele and their Jay Street location is especially prime during lunch hour. The shop also thrives off the large Irish population in the surrounding area, as there is an Ancient Order of Hibernian (AOH) division in Schenectady.

There isn’t an Irish store of this kind in Albany so they also have many loyal clients from the neighboring communities.  Lennon’s additionally participates in Celtic fairs, and they have led organized group trips to Ireland.

Lennon’s is not just a store for Irish people, and the store welcomes students and faculty from Union to check out all they have to offer. This is a great place for students who are nostalgic from their recent term abroad to Ireland, or for anyone who is searching for a gift or taste of Irish culture.

To find out more check out Lennon’s Irish Shop online at www.lennonsirishshop.com or visit the shop at 164 Jay Street.

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