The Madden Family outside The Summerhouse c. 1940


The Lismore Food Company brings together three artisans who share a love of fine ingredients and a lifetime of experience in food. Beth-Ann Smith’s family history in food stretches back to Smith’s Stores, a fine food delicatessen and bakery on Cork’s Patrick Street. Having trained at Ballymaloe Cookery School she is now the head chef at Lismore Castle. Brothers Owen and Ken Madden’s family opened a bakery and public house on Lismore’s Main Street in the early 1800’s. Now called ‘The Summerhouse’ and home to The Lismore Food Company, they continue this rich tradition of baking in the same historic location.

In October 2014 the ‘three biscuiteers’ combined their cookery and baking expertise to launch a range of fine sweet biscuits – beautifully packaged in ‘hot’ orange tubes with a golden disc inspired by the work of the late Irish artist Patrick Scott. A year later they launched two outstanding savoury biscuits as an homage to the coastline of Ireland and 2016 saw the introduction of a delicious and exciting new confection – a ‘Dark Chocolate Apple Crisp Thin’ as the perfect accompaniment to a coffee after dinner! The Lismore Food Company’s products are available in stores and fine food location across Ireland and the UK and now in a growing number of countries around the world.



Lismore is one of Ireland’s most beautiful towns. Founded by Saint Carthage in the 7th Century it has an extraordinary history and a dramatic location on the great River Blackwater.  The town is enveloped by rich green pastures and magnificent dairy farms from where our most important ingredient, pure golden butter comes while the surrounding areas are renowned for excellence in the quality and provenance of the food that it produces.


The name Lismore comes from two Irish words – Lios meaning fort and Mór meaning big! The remains of this great ancient Irish fort sit a mile to the east of the town.
The Victorian novelist and Vanity Fair author William Thackeray described Lismore as ‘some of the most beautiful rich country ever seen’.
Lismore Castle, built by King John in 1185 and birthplace of the great scientist Robert Boyle, was once home of the Elizabethan adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh (who reputedly brought the potato to Ireland!)
In 1904 King Edward and Queen Alexandra arrived in Lismore – by train!
The enigmatic dance due and Lismore regulars Fred and Adele Astaire often danced their way along the town’s Main Street.
The great River Blackwater flows through Lismore. Its banks are lined with beautiful large old country houses reflecting a rich historic past.
Twenty three calendared saints are buried beneath Lismore’s St. Carthage’s Cathedral.
In 1821 John Huddy, the postmaster of Lismore, for a wager, travelled some seventeen miles to Fermoy in an oyster tub drawn by a pig, a badger, two cats, a goose and a hedgehog. On his head he wore a large red night cap and held a pig-drivers whip in one hand and a cow’s horn in the other!