The development of St. Patrick’s Day has a share of memorable highpoints.

Note: If you’re interested in anything Irish, make sure you check out SSCS’s lavishly illustrated five-part (!) travel journal, starting with this blog post from 2018.

They say St. Patrick’s Day started in the ninth or tenth centuries, about 500 years after Patrick lived. That was a time of mostly isolated existence, at least on Ireland’s west coast, where people tended to be poor, unable to grow anything in the peat-heavy ground except potatoes. If you visit now, it’s like time hasn’t changed. The sense of isolation is intense. You might even see a few ghosts materializing in the damp heavy mist lurking in the distance.

Those early Irish people, in between being preoccupied with Viking invasions, practiced gratitude to St. Patrick for chasing all the snakes off of their island. A legendary feat, but it wasn’t like St. Patrick was an overnight sensation. And even in 1631, when the church finally recognized his holiday, it was considered a minor one—to this day he hasn’t even been canonized a saint!

But he is famous, and he is buried in Northern Ireland, in the Down Cathedral at Downpatrick. This ancient gravestone (allegedly) marks his interment:

Needless to say, we’ve come a long way since then, and St. Patrick’s Day has transformed, over the centuries, into a day of all-out celebration. Sure we’re honoring the Irish part of our country’s heritage, but everybody gets to join in the fun, too. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in New York City in 1762, organized by Irish soldiers serving in the British army. However, its visibility and practice expanded rapidly as many poor Irish fled the island from 1845–1852 because of the Potato Famine.

The parties and parades have continued ever since, and everybody knows the color green and the shamrock are intimately associated with the holiday. However, in the past fifty or so years, these traditions have been joined by another, most American one: special seasonal food and drink.

These are of some interest to convenience stores because, as we all know, nobody can promote special seasonal products like a c-store (with the right technology, of course). It goes much further than hanging green streamers and shamrock displays or selling admittedly high-profile green beer

[1] or the eminently more collectable leprechaun Pez dispenser.

You can offer discounts on well-known products, say 17 percent on selected items. Perhaps you can offer a similar an incentive for online ordering, or when a customer mixes and matches your special green donuts, Irish Crème coffee, and Irish Sweepstakes scratchers. Call it a “Pot o’gold Value,” if you like. You might even mix in a box of Lucky Charms cereal—Limited Edition! It turns milk green! Bright green, at that. What a great way to get March 17 started!

If you want to craft a celebration at home, we ran across a few holiday-themed, do-it-yourself ideas that might capture your interest:

  • Lucky Charms Milkshakes. How versatile this cereal is! Just combine Lucky Charms with vanilla ice cream and milk to create a whimsical and colorful milkshake.
  • Green Mac and Cheese. Dye your mac and cheese green with food coloring to create a unique and eye-catching dish.
  • Shamrock-shaped Pizza. Make personal-sized pizzas in the shape of shamrocks using green pesto or spinach-infused dough, topped with festive green vegetables.
  • Guinness Ice Cream. Create a rich and creamy ice cream flavor using Guinness beer to give it a unique St. Patrick’s Day twist.
  • St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes. These decadent cupcakes are inspired by the popular drink and typically feature chocolate Guinness cake, whiskey ganache filling, and Bailey’s buttercream frosting. A little goes a long way.
  • Corned Beef and Cabbage Egg Rolls. Put a creative spin on a traditional St. Patrick’s Day dish by wrapping corned beef, cabbage, and carrots in a crispy egg roll wrapper.

Now don’t forget most of the items you can use to make these unusual concoctions can be found at your local, neighborhood c-store. They might even have those mouth-watering egg-rolls waiting for you on their hot table!

And if you are a convenience retailer that happens to have SSCS’s Computerized Daily Book running your business, you should know the sky is the limit regarding what you’re equipped to offer in terms of special promotions and seasonal products. In fact, we helped lead the way in helping operators handle the complications of food service, mix-and-match, and off-beat seasonal items; our technology has been doing it for decades and we’re improving every day. We can improve your profitability, too!

So, let us show you how. We’ve learned a lot over the decades, and we’d love to share the knowledge. Call us at (800) 927-7277 and we can talk about it.

Until then, happy St. Patrick’s Day!


[1] You can also make it at home!