Joanne reveals recipe for work
President, Elizabeth Smith welcomed speaker Joanne Hird and 24 members to the March meeting.
Joanne told about her life, starting with an HNC in Business Management which got her a job at the Ministry of Agriculture.
However, she then decided she wanted to do something more caring; so she trained to become a nurse.
Whilst working at Goldielea, she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis which meant the heavier aspects of nursing would be dangerous for her.
So she managed to get a job with the Keep Well Team at the Crichton, caring for carers, and then to one with the Care Inspectorate.
However, this felt more like policing than caring. She had already started developing a skill for soup making, selling at the farmers’ markets at Kirkcudbright and Dumfries; so her husband suggested she turn it into a business and that is exactly what she has done.
When she realised that she could no longer go on making soup in her kitchen for health and safety reasons, they converted an old granary into a dedicated soup kitchen.
Then they decided to have shop premises.
Given that she has always tried to use local products in her soup and had got to know many of the producers she has part of her shop as a farmers’ market stocking their goods and a tea room seemed an obvious addition.
The really tiring work has turned out to be the enormous amount of red tape in the food industry – everything from packaging and labelling to shelf life testing, and Trading Standards inspections to new procedures such as ph testing.
All the time she has been a wife, and mother of two children, dealing with a serious medical condition.
She let members taste two of her delicious soups.
Maybelle Coltart gave the vote of thanks for a truly inspiring talk by someone with apparently boundless energy and infectious enthusiasm.
After a lovely supper, there was the business meeting.
Competitions: five cheese straws: 1 Elizabeth Davidson; 2 Susan Smith; 3 Andrea Irving.
Child’s beanie hat: 1 Elizabeth Davidson; 2 Helen Bullock; 3 Andrea Irving.
Flower of the month: 1 Linda Taylor; 2 Elizabeth Smith; 3 Jean Dowden.