Tell us a bit about your story so far...
Oh where to begin – I started off a primary school teacher with great interest in all aspects of Irish culture. I really came new and very ignorant to the evolving Irish food scene in my early twenties while working for Shannon Develepoment in promoting local food products. I took over the making of St.Tola cheese from our neighbours, Meg and Derrick Gordon, in 1999 when they were retiring. As I wanted to do something with our own family farm which was being leased out to a neighbour by our parents as they were both full-time teachers. We had grown up knowing Meg and Derrick as our parents had purchased frozen goats milk from them for our younger sisters, who had asthma as babies. I, with my partner John Harrington, and our small team have grown the business and the St.Tola range over the last 20 plus years with lots of fun creating 2 legged & 4 legged kids and lots of cheese along the way . More info on our website www.st-tola.ie ( which we are giving a face lift to in the next few weeks so keep an eye on it )
If you had to describe yourselves in one line what would you say?
Uniquely from North West Clare, with a passion for our Irish culture and heritage and having a just society.
How do you measure success for yourselves, beyond the financials?
Being healthy in body and mind, not just for ourselves, but for our family and our team. And being held in respect by others as we hopefully do to them.
What are the positives about being an independent local business?
Having control over what to do with ones business. Being able to decide what to do or what not to do with one’s own business. Working with other like minded local independent businesses. And creating something that is unique to ones own locality and that cannot be truly replicated elsewhere.
Inspire us. What's your favourite meal?
A very simple meal of local in season cheese ,fish .meat and vegetables with family and true friends in the open air Summer sunshine .We have had some very memorable meals in the goat shed to mark special occasions and simply with our small team in the kitchen for special life events.