Margaret Jeffares has... A taste for success
Margaret Jeffares talks about juggling the demands of a food business with her passion for horses
A passion for good food and even better horses has given Margaret Jeffares an idyllic lifestyle that has brought her to all four corners of the world.
From the Dublin Horse Show, to the Taste of the World Festival at the Breeders' Cup race meeting in California, Margaret is perfectly at home once surrounded by some of her life's true loves.
Born and reared in Quin, Co Clare, Margaret spent much of her childhood with horses and ponies. Her father Tom Frost was a well-known judge and competitor on the show circuit, and so it was hardly surprising that his only daughter followed in his footsteps. Her brothers Gordon and Austin, meanwhile, pursued other interests.
As a teenager she remembers competing against the likes of Frances Cash at the RDS, but it was only after spending a year training in dressage with US Olympic rider Dorothy Morkis that she had a change of heart, and decided to return home to study tourism and marketing. "I loved horses and riding but felt I needed to do something more," she said.
Having come from a farming background Margaret always had a passion for the industry, and one day hoped she could give something back to the farmers of Ireland by way of a business in the food and hospitality sector.
"I had already started a consultancy firm in 2000, but I was chatting to my dad one day and asked him what he thought of me setting up a business to help farmers diversify through food. Instead of telling me I was mad, he said that I would need a recession to bring people back to their roots. He was so right."
That was in 2005, and a short time later, as the recession was about to take hold, Margaret founded Good Food Ireland. In her wisdom she had identified a gap to link the agriculture and food sector with the hospitality sector, a link that has made Good Food Ireland the huge success it is today.
With some 600 food producers, farmers, fishermen, restaurants, hotels and cookery schools on their books, Good Food Ireland is the only all-island collection of places committed to offering a genuinely top Irish food experience.