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.

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