December 2, 2023

In the picturesque village of Castlecomer, you might notice new life breathed into the iconic building, The Commercial Establishment. The traditional shop premises has been restored and transformed by owner Joy Thorpe, who sells a carefully curated collection of antique furniture, vintage objects and unique pieces for the home.  

“I discovered the shop during the first lockdown whilst out walking with my dog,” explains Joy.  

“What started out as an idea quickly turned into reality to move my store back home to Kilkenny.”

Joy Thorpe has been an antiques trader, supplier, dealer and curator for over ten years, with a store previously located at the Old Yard in Castledermot. Having studied textile design at NCAD, Joy worked as a visual merchandiser and interior designer,  experience which gave her invaluable insight into and appreciation of well designed, beautifully crafted antiques and homewares. 

“Castlecomer has an established reputation for supplying and making homeware pieces. It’s home to renowned potters, ceramicists, jewellery makers and more: it’s a hive of creativity and I am so glad that I can be a part of it.

“I’m so excited to be included yet again in this year’s line up of Best Shops. It’s great to see Kilkenny mentioned alongside other international antique shops in London, Paris, New York and Australia.”

Joy Thorpe – Decorative Antiques and Interiors is housed in a historic building with a pretty green shop front. Within its walls unique antiques and vintage homewares are mixed with a one-of-a- kind and gift pieces.

Joy says, “Everything in the store is unique, pieces that I have sourced specifically for the store. I source all my pieces from antique auctions, flea markets or trips abroad. My favourite place for finding special treasures is Morocco. I love to hunt every shop in the Medina to find something special for the shop.

“The store was created as a space to house my collection. The store allows me to display and style my pieces so that the customer gets a sense of how the pieces would work in their own home. With the rise in popularity of Instagram, the imagery and photographs of my store and the pieces I have in stock allow me to reach a wider audience. All my stock is just as likely to sell via Instagram as from the shop, so the stock moves very quickly and I get to still have that interaction with customers. This is my third year in a row to be featured.”

To date the shop has featured amongst The Shopkeepers selection of: 

Top 10 Best New Shops 2020
Top 10 Best Vintage and Antique Shops 2021
Top 10 Best Vintage and Antique Shops 2022

This award is compiled by The Shopkeepers which was founded by Irish woman Paula Flynn and features shops all around the world.

Paula says: “I believe that independent shops are an integral part of our lives, whether local or faraway, they add vibrancy and community. The Shopkeepers is an ever-growing collection of our favorites, an opportunity for shopkeepers to share their stories and insights, and for you to explore and discover.”

Congratulations to Joy for her amazing success. See more at



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *