Healthy Eating At Harry’s Place In Ballynahinch

Harry's Place, a quiet haven for a cuppa and a bite to eat in Ballynahinch.

Harry’s Place, a quiet haven for a cuppa and a bite to eat in Ballynahinch.

Gareth Little and David are partners in Harry’s Place CIC which aims to support people with disabilities and learning difficulties in the work place at their bakery and cafe in Ballynahinch.

Gareth Little and David English, the founders of Harry’s Place in Ballynahinch.

Located in a prime spot at the Square in Ballynahinch, Harry’s Place is proving to be a popular venue to enjoy a coffee or tea, a wee bun, or a light meal. And Harry’s Place is also dog friendly so you can bring your pooch with you if you are out for a walk or shopping in the town.

A full house at Harry’s Place in Ballynahinch.

Gareth said: “We run a bakery and a cafe through the Community Interest Company. We named the business after my uncle Harry. He passed away some time ago. He had lifetime learning difficulties. So it is a fitting tribute to name the business after him. We hope eventually to be able to expand our day services and reach out to those people less able and who would benefit from the work experience.

“The volunteers that we are working with have a range of disabilities from mental health issues, autism, and some are blind or deaf.

The menu at Harry’s Place which changes periodically.
The Sunday lunch menu.

“Essentially we are trying to be sustainable and sell what we can to keep the business going. We really appreciate the support we get from the people in Ballynahinch and the surrounding area.

“We also run a delivery service going as far as Downpatrick and across much of County Down, to Ballymena and up to Tyrone.

“We cover these three areas three times a month. We take orders through Facebook on one of our three Facebook pages.

“We do our best to make ends meet and we also are very grateful for donations from the public. People can donate on the Harry’s Place GoFundMe portal.

Gareth explained that Harry’s Place already had 30 enthusiastic volunteer members with two paid staff. “It is our goal to be able to take on more of the volunteers into paid employment, but we are in difficult times at the moment due to the Covid pandemic and will just have to work our way through this.

Volunteer baker Ruairi with a basket of tasty scones in the bakery.

“We haven’t received any financial support from any of the local agencies yet but it would be great to have all our volunteers currently working in the business employed and fully supported included with supported training packages.

“Our next stage is to develop an eco-Facebook page which will be another social portal for our members and wider community to engage with each other.

Cllr Patrick Brown has also welcomed the opening of Harry’s Place. He said: “I was thrilled to visit Harry’s Place CIC (Community Interest Company) at 24 High Street in Ballynahinch, which is supporting adults with learning/physical disabilities, autism, and mental health challenges.

“It was wonderful to get the chance to try out Harry’s Place for lunch with Alliance activists. We were blown away by the delicious vegan, plant-based food and drinks and the brilliant, friendly staff. I would like to offer my congratulations to owners Gareth and David who have not only successfully created a great addition to the eatery options in Ballynahinch but are championing and empowering adults with learning disabilities.

“Harry’s Place was established off of the back of the social club started by owner Gareth Little in 2018 called Harry’s Mates (named after Gareth’s uncle Harry Dunn). It was driven by Gareth’s realisation that there is a lack of provision and services for adults with learning disabilities.

Cllr Patrick Brown, third left, pays a visit to Harry’s Place.

“Gareth wanted to create a forum for adults to come together, socialise, and try different activities. He has continued expanding this vision with the creation of Harry’s Place, creating a space for these adults to become more independent, experience new challenges and become an integral part of the local workforce.”

Cllr Brown added: “I am also so pleased to see that the business operates in a sustainable, economically, and environmentally friendly manner. It’s a hugely welcomed addition to the local community and I would highly recommend calling in as soon as you can!”

“We have already tried out a clothes swap scheme and it went very well. It should provide us with an extra stream of income which would be very welcome.”

Cllr Kathryn Owen visited the cafe and left a supportive comment of their Facebook page saying: “I was delighted to call into Harry’s Place, the fantastic new community initiative based in Ballynahinch.

“Their ethos is to empower those with learning difficulties. Their food is incredible and I strongly recommend the chocolate cake!”

Betty Shaw with Miniature Schnauzer Miss Marples enjoying a break at Harry’s Place.

Harry’s Place has a varied healthy menu with a bistro flavour which changes periodically and is located at the lights at 25 High Street in the centre of Ballynahinch at the junction beside the Market House. So if you fancy a tasty scone or a pumpkin spice stuffed cookie, give Harry’s Place and call!

Opening Hours:

Monday and Tuesday CLOSED. Wednesday to Saturday 8.30-4pm. Sunday 12-5pm.

You can read more or reach Harry’s Place at:

Phone: 028 07 478281.

Facebook: Harry’s Place CIC

Facebook: Harry’s Mates social group.

Facebook: Little Bearded Baker.