Egg-cellent welcome for Edd’s Eggs enterprise in Offaly

Photo: The honesty box outside Ballycrystal Stud, near Geashill.

Selling free-range eggs from an “honesty box” outside his own home wasn’t something Edward Lacy might ever have considered doing were it not for the Covid-19 lockdown earlier in the year.

The owner of Ballycrystal Stud, just outside the picturesque village of Geashill, Mr Lacy says he was “thinking about” expanding his flock of Rhode Island Red hens for a good while, but the Covid lockdown proved to be the catalyst for getting his fledgling business - Edd's Eggs - off the ground.

“It has been very hard to make a living from our core business at Ballycrystal Stud since Covid hit, so during lockdown, I decided to add to the few hens we had, and now we have over 100 hens and would be getting about 80 to 90 eggs a day.”

With so many eggs to be used up, Edward started bringing his produce around to neighbours and friends until he eventually hit on a very novel means of selling his eggs – from “honesty boxes!”

An honesty box is basically an unmanned stall where members of the public collect goods and pay for them using an honour system. Edward has installed one honesty box outside the home he shares with his wife, Kate, at Violet Cottage in Clonminch, Tullamore, and the second one at the entrance to Ballycrystal Stud in Geashill.

“We usually place about 30 eggs in each honesty box every morning along with a stack of egg cartons, so members of the public can select their own eggs, put them into the carton and pay €2 per half dozen,” explains Edward.

He says it is “a simple way of selling” but since they installed the honesty boxes a mere six weeks ago, he says the system has been “working very well” so far and has been warmly welcomed by the local community.

While the Lacys have no plans, as of yet, to expand their free-range egg business into retail outlets, Edward doesn’t rule it out in the future, and he says he would also be prepared to supply houses with one-off orders or provide a regular supply of eggs if requested.

“All our eggs are 100% free-range, the hens are outside all day in the grass and indoors at night, so customers are getting the very best of free-range produce” says Edward Lacy “and the beauty of the honesty box is that customers can collect their eggs day or night, as there is no opening and closing time,” he says.

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