On one of the best main streets, in the quaintest tourist town in all of upstate New York, you’ll find Celtic Treasures - O’Donnell’s Irish Imports.
Across the country, local Irish and Celtic shops represent the heartbeat of Irish culture in their communities, a place for Irish Americans to connect with their roots and for those in the larger community to learn more about everything Ireland has to offer. During this unprecedented time, IrishCentral is shining a light on local Irish stores and the dedicated shop owners who pour their hearts and souls into providing the best possible experiences for their customers.
For the past 28 years, in Saratoga Springs, Celtic Treasures has proudly waved the Irish flag. Owned by Paul and Antionette O’Donnell, Celtic Treasures was a dream come true. Working as a traveling salesman back in the early 90s, Paul truly wanted to work for himself and not be on the road anymore. After visiting a few Irish shops throughout the Northeast, he decided to take the plunge.
The Irish links run deep for Paul. His mother, Annie, hails from Co. Cavan, and his family was lucky enough to spend summer holidays there with their grandparents on their farm. They instilled in him a love of all things Irish. Today, Paul gets back to Ireland every two to three years and is still very close with all his aunts, uncles, and cousins there.
“We do have a vibrant Irish American community here for sure,” Paul says of Saratoga Springs. “We’ve had a weekly Irish trad session at our local pub, The Parting Glass, since the late 90s. Our AOH is quite active and we have at least three Irish dance schools.”
According to Paul, Celtic Treasures’ customers include everyone from “students at Skidmore College to young moms, horse trainers, homesick immigrants, fourth-generation Irish Americans, and everyone’s Granny!”
The store’s most popular items include jewelry, clothing, and food. “Basically anything with a Claddagh on it!” Paul quips. As for the O’Donnell’s personal favorites? “Barry’s Tea! Also anything with our beloved Guinness logo on it.”
The busiest times of year for Celtic Treasures are the holidays and Saratoga’s famous August Race meet, which is in question right now due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But the O’Donnells remain determined and committed. “I still come into the shop each day and have been adding inventory to our webstore at a feverish pace!” Paul told IrishCentral. “I am running out to cars for the curbside delivery and make daily trips to the Post Office to ship out the internet orders. I was lucky enough to keep our manager, Barb, on but still meet once a week for a socially distant lunch with my furloughed staff.”
Now more than ever is the time to shop local. “It’s the little Mom and Pop shops like us that need to hang on and weather this maddening Covid storm,” Paul shared. “We are an integral part in the downtown culture that cannot be replicated by big-box giants or Amazon gobshites.
“We are essentially ambassadors for the Emerald Isle that remind people of their heritage and the travels they have had to Ireland. Remember to support your local shops..they need you now more than ever.”
Celtic Treasures is located at 456 Broadway in Saratoga Springs, NY, 12866.
You can visit Celtic Treasures online at http://www.celtictreasures.com. They ship out Monday through Friday via USPS Priority Mail and also offer curbside pickup Monday- Friday. You can reach them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone at 1-800-583-9452, or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.