There is something about books and coffee that go very well together. Relaxing in a book shop browsing some interesting titles and sipping an aromatic coffee is one of the secret pleasures in life. On 15th December 2020, Books at One Letterfrack opened its doors and the 170-year old workshop commenced a new chapter as a bookshop which also serves good coffee. ‘Our dream is to create a space that is vibrant, stimulating, welcoming and will become a hub for an authentic cultural experience which the local community and visitors can enjoy.’ explains Mary Ruddy, co-manager of Books at One Letterfrack.

Books at One Letterfrack is owned by Mary Ruddy and Vincent Murphy. The couple have operated an independent publishing business, Artisan House, since 2013. They specialise in beautifully illustrated high-quality books for which they have won many awards including Gourmand Best in the World Cookbook 2016, IPA Photographic Award 2019, and shortlisted in the Irish Book of the Year 2017.

Books at one Connemara Coastal Cottages
Books at One Connemara Coastal cottages

‘We are accustomed to taking an idea, developing it with authors, producing a beautiful product and sending it out into the world.  Having a bookshop now offers us the opportunity to witness our books and those of other publishers in the hands of appreciative readers –we see the opening of a bookshop as a natural evolution’ said Vincent Murphy, Creative Director of Artisan House and now co-manager of Books at One with his wife, Mary Ruddy.

Books at One Letterfrack is located in a former Quaker workshop in the village of Letterfrack on the edge of Connemara National Park. The workshop, built in the immediate aftermath of the famine, c.1850, by a Quaker couple, James & Mary Ellis, wealthy textile merchants from Bradford, was originally used as a forge. 

Books at one Connemara Coastal Cottages

It was still in use as a forge when the Christian Brothers operated the Letterfrack Industrial School in those buildings until 1973. The former Industrial School is now owned by community-owned company, Connemara West Plc, who have been instrumental in transforming the heretofore discredited industrial school into a vibrant community space which houses the highly-regarded GMIT National Centre for Excellence in Furniture Design and Technology, Forum a community partnership company, Connemara Community Radio, Conservation Letterfrack, Youthreach, a, crèche, – and now a bookshop.

Drop in and browse in this delightful bookshop or visit the website  and see some unusual and interesting books.
You can also keep updated on Instagram.

As their byline says – we stock books, coffee and other essentials – those include gorgeous wine, delicious cakes, candles, creams, jigsaws and games. How can you resist a visit?