Once upon a time in 1985, Irish born couple - John and Nora Cronin - drove down Keyser Ave., their two young kids in the backseat, in their newly adopted hometown of Scranton, PA and saw a little house for sale.
"Look there. That looks like an Irish cottage." Nora said to her husband as she glanced at the quaint house.
John looked over at the little building and in his typical business minded fashion declared, "THAT'S IT! AN IRISH IMPORT STORE!!"
It was then that "Cronin's Irish Cottage" was born.
To sit here and write about everything that transpired over 32 years would leave us reading for hours. I will sum it up. My parents, John and Nora, brought Ireland to the little city of Scranton whose natives at the time did not have the resources or ability to find their way back to the land of their heritage. . .Ireland.
They stood with their friends and customers as they celebrated birthdays, weddings, baptisms. . and they mourned with them when they lost loved ones. The Cronins' always had just the right piece of the Irish heritage to offer to a friend in just the time they needed it. John and Nora were born from Irish soil, spirit and heart, and if you had the pleasure of knowing them, you saw it in their sense of humor and twinkle in their eyes. They were magic.
We lost John on April 26, 2008.
We lost Nora on April 19, 2017.
Though it was considered - we simply could not close the little Irish shop that John and Nora had poured their heart and soul into for so many years. So I, Breeda, one of the kids who sat in the backseat of the car in 1985 when my mom declared that she saw something that looked like an Irish Cottage, have taken a leap of faith in trying to carry on the magic that my parents created out of their love for their homeland. Johnny, the other one in the backseat, relocated to Ireland 18 years ago and runs the very successful school "Johnny Cronin School of Irish Dancing".
I believe that going into an Irish shop should not be just about buying a product. You should relish in the experience and feel the presence of Ireland in its adopted environment. That is a motto inspired by the parents I was blessed to call my own. My family and I hope to bring that to you for the next 32 years. So send us a note, find us on Facebook, or better yet - visit us at our retail location at The Marketplace in Steamtown. We'd love to chat with you about The Auld Sod.
Breeda Cronin Holmes