Sure, And Peggy’s Cottage Continues

In 2019, Brian Ellard and Meg Kirby opened Peggy’s Cottage.

The shop in Westfair Center quickly became the go-to spot for Irish ex-pats to buy everything they missed: Candy. Tea. Cable sweaters.

A few of the shelves at Peggy’s Cottage.

Meg’s warm smile, lovely personality — and classic brogue — drew customers from all around.

And not just the Irish.

English, Scottish and Welsh folks lost in America found Peggy’s Cottage. They told their friends. All came for something from home. All stayed for the conversation, the stories, the feeling of a home away from home.

Meg’s death last summer devastated her many loyal customers/friends.

Brian Ellard and Meg Kirby, in Peggy’s Cottage.

With Brian working full time elsewhere, it also raised fears for Peggy’s Cottage’s survival.

But Irish eyes were smiling.

Shortly after the shop opened, Emma Melillo was looking for a job.

The Fairfield Ludlowe High School student walked into Peggy’s Cottage. She felt an immediate connection.

Brian and Meg were not looking for help. But the Christmas rush was on.

Emma soon became part of the couple’s — and the store’s — extended family.

She learned the business. She shared afternoon tea. She stayed long after Christmas.

So it was the luck of the Irish that Emma’s parents — Marah and Michael — decided to buy Peggy’s Cottage from Brian. The deal was finalized in September.

Marah Melillo, at Peggy’s Cottage.

Marah — who notes that although her last name is Italian, her own roots are Irish (County Kerry) — is honored to continue the founders’ tradition.

“I’ll never change the name,” she says. “This is such a personal place. It’s nostalgic, and traditional. I love that.

“People come in just to chat. I love that too.”

She’s keeping everything that everyone loves. She’s adding gift items too, like books, brass blessings and handmade pewter.

Books and more, at Peggy’s Cottage.

As customers talk, Marah listens.

“I don’t pretend to know more than people who were born in Ireland,” she says.

Or England, Scotland, Wales — even Australia. “As long as it’s under the Celtic umbrella, it’s okay,” she says.

This is Michael and Marah’s first foray into owning and managing a store.

He’s in finance, which helps.

She spent 20 years in retail and customer service, with New York bridal shops.

There may be no group more stressed out than brides planning weddings.

And no group more relaxed than Irish folks shopping for food they missed, sharing craic, and putting pins in a big map showing where they’re from.

At Peggy’s Cottage, they — and Marah — feel right at home.

Marah invites customers to put a pin in this map, to show where they’re from.

(Peggy’s Cottage is at 1773 Post Road East, across from Stop & Shop. Click here for the website — created by Peggy’s Cottage fan and former Staples High School student Dylan Beck — and more information.)

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6 responses to “Sure, And Peggy’s Cottage Continues

  1. Theresa Castellano

    This is a wonderful shop I stumbled upon and ended up doing quite a bit of my Christmas shopping there. Check out their beautifully illustrated cookbooks and jewelry. This is a gem!

  2. Vijay and I have been fans of Peggy’s ever since you first posted about the shop, Dan. Our hearts were heavy when Peggy became ill, and broke when she passed away. We are so, so glad that Marah and her husband have taken on this special shop, and we look forward to continuing to find our treats and treasures there!

  3. champ43optonlinenet

    This is the best news! Peggy’s Cottage is such a special place.

  4. I too am very grateful for the wide selection of delicious food and array of Irish products at Peggy’s Cottage, just a few doors down from Sandy at Coopers Auto (our tremendous local Car Talk sage who carries everything needed for my cars, as well as Hess truck Christmas gifts).

    Peggy’s Cottage is super convenient to stock up with Irish sausages (3 choices!), brown bread, etc. for Sunday breakfasts and lovely gifts throughout the year.

    Meg and Brian were absolutely wonderful and over the years created a terrific gem in Westport.

    I am very glad to continue supporting this family business- transitioned to Marah, Michael, and Emma- which proudly flies both Old Glory and the Irish tricolor as a landmark.

    Happily they enthusiastically bring a bit of the Kingdom of Kerry’s craic (and products) here to Westport!

    Thank you Dan for being a truly fantastic journalist who daily helps keep everyone closely posted on Westport happenings!

  5. I love Peggy’s Cottage. Thanks Dan.
    Mary Condon, Cork City

  6. Dermot Meuchner

    Where I get me tea and sausage.

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