Failte Irish Imports first opened their doors on December 12th 2001. Liza Hendley Betz emigrated to Lexington, Kentucky from Dublin, Ireland in 1996. She worked and managed the local Irish bar for a number of years and realized during this time that there was a need for all the “off the boat” Irish to get all the goodies they missed from home. So essentially Failte started with sausages and tea and over the years has come to fill all the needs of all Irish, Scottish and English immigrants.
“We have everything from Aran sweaters, Inis fragrances, Belleek china, hats galore for both men and women, Celtic jewelry, household goods and lots and lots of imported foods,” Lisa says. A few summers ago Lisa added coffee and tea to the shelves and this has brought people in who never would have come through the doors. Now there are coffee mornings filled with the craic and blarney from home.
“We do trips every October to Ireland and sometimes Scotland. We have a lot of repeat customers and have the best time!! Want to come with us? You don’t have to live in Kentucky, we can fly you from anywhere!” enthuses Lisa.
“In 2012 we started sending a Kentucky Rose to the Rose of Tralee and have had a great time connecting the bridge with Kentucky and Ireland. It really is a celebration of our heritage to be able to come to America make a life for ourselves here and then be able to bring our kids home to represent our new home. It’s quite magical.”