What was the seed that grew into what is now your food business?
We had rented a farm and had a flock of sheep. I’m not from a farming background but I love working with animals. The original idea of working with goats, developed from a dream!
After the midnight inspiration, we researched and discovered there was a niche for goat meat in Ireland.
I have a very varied work/education background. I studied Applied Biology at GMIT, ended up working in retail and as a secretary. I trained pet dogs as a side career, had my first child returned to retail, this time it was a supermarket and I got to try many departments, but most of all enjoyed the HACCP and cooking in the deli.
Looking back, I now know that all of this prepared me for running my own business. Knowing a little about a lot of things in different areas and sectors helps me with out business.
What has been the biggest hurdle you have overcome or lesson you have learnt as a female food entrepreneur?
Certain aspects of working in the agricultural sector are presumed to be a male dominated environment. I am and have been oblivious to this club and carry on in my own best interests.
I think as a mother it gives me a softer approach to closing deals, I much prefer to form relationships and build networks with my market.
However, my biggest challenge lies in balancing my work life and family life, it all seems to overlap – especially because we work from home. There is no office door to close at 5pm – having a partner, three kids a farm enterprise and a food business feels like it is 24/7 business.
What is your best piece of advise for other aspiring female food entrepreneurs?
- You can do anything, never forget this – even on the bad days.
- Look at your bigger picture and keep painting it!!
If there was training available for you before you set up your business would you use it, or did you do any training.
Of course, any resources and help in the complicated world of creating a business would be and is helpful in my opinion.
I have attended a quite a few LEO short courses and I have done the GMIT springboard Food and entrepreneurship course and I feel these have really impacted me and my business in a very beneficial way.
If you’d like training what areas would you like to it on specifically. Or if you did training did it help grow your business?
It’s hard to say but skill building is important. My training so far has given me more focus for the direction I want my business to go in. It has also opened up a lot of networking doors for me as a woman in business. It’s fantastic having other like minded people to network with and learn from, its an ever developing process.
Website – Goatirleand.ie
Facebook – Goat Ireland
Twitter – @farmimgwoman
Instagram – @farmingwoman