Downtown Milford will be seeing another business open on Walnut Street this fall. Located in the building previously housed by Milford Gifts, Eugenia Sparks will be opening Irish Rose, an Irish-Celtic inspired boutique. Currently under construction, Sparks is aiming for an open date of November 1 of this year.
A native Delawarean, Eugenia was born in Wilmington and loved to travel the Mid-Atlantic states with her husband Tom, selling Irish gifts at several different festivals and fairs. A vendor at Milford’s Bug and Bud Festival last April, Eugenia was approached by the President of Downtown Milford Inc. (DMI), Irv Ambrose, as he asked if she had considered opening a shop to sell her Irish gifts. Working with the organization, she decided that Walnut Street would be the perfect fit for Irish Rose to begin.
“We had been doing so well at local festivals that we started getting involved in Irish Festivals in Connecticut, Rhode Island and all around the Mi-Atlantic Region,” commented Sparks. “Tom and I began to look at opening a store somewhere in Delaware and Milford had what we were looking for.”
The boutique will feature handcrafted gifts made in the United States and also imported from Ireland including mugs, Saint Brigid’s Crosses, Celtic jewelry, wool capes and items made from Connemara marble. Eugenia also plans to celebrate Irish heritage and culture through out the year by hosting Irish dancers and musicians.
“The Irish are very proud of their heritage and I have always said because of this, Irish mothers do a great job raising their children,” commented Sparks. “I want to display that pride and share the Irish heritage with others.”
Sadly, as the couple searched for a store to open their business, Eugenia’s husband Tom was diagnosed with adrenal cancer and passed away shortly after. During their 50 years of marriage Tom would bring Eugenia a single rose for special occasions as a symbol of his love for her. This display of affection was the genesis for the name of the boutique, Irish Rose, as Eugenia has decided to open the store in Tom’s memory.
“I am fulfilling my dream as well as his,” commented Ms. Sparks, “If he were alive he would be right here beside me opening it. Before he passed I asked him to send me some signs and he told me that he would be looking over me. I know he is watching over me as everything seems to be falling into place as we get ready to open.”
The Irish Rose will be located at 42 N. Walnut Street, the previous location of Milford Gifts. Eugenia plans to be open Wednesdays through Fridays 10am to 5pm and Saturdays 9am to 5pm starting this November.