The Irish Yeast Company opened in 1894 as wholesalers to Dublin’s baking trade, and still exists as a retail supplier of baking supplies and ornaments. The shopfront is original, kept neat in brown paint with gold highlights on the carved wooden capitals at the top of the pilasters. (There’s definitely fruit and flowers in there, and the plainer parts are organic enough in shape to be a wave or stems, but your guess is as good as mine about the reclining babies. No wings, no horns, but very grown-up faces?)

The shopfront gets most of the passer-by focus, but it’s worth looking up at the alarming waves in the brickwork running down the left side. There are traces of signage – ‘IRISH YEAST CO’ and ‘[baking?] SUNDRIES’ – that don’t really count as ghost signs since they might as well still be in use. On the shopfront itself, I love the rounded corners on the glazed panels on the door, the neat nameplate, the bold handlettered sign, and the jumble of handwritten prices and objects in the window hinting at a wonderland inside.

The proprietor, John Moreland, has been working there since he left school in the 1940s, and the business has been in his family since the 1930s. John talks about the shop in the RTE video below, in which you get to see the interior and the merchandise:

In the 1960s, the shop appears in an Irish Times feature on health food (September 27 1968), stocking health foods but not remedies. It’s unclear when the yeast-only trade gave way to broader stock, but the shop has certainly changed over the decades, even if its shopfront remains the same.

View Larger Map