St Tola Goats Cheese in Co Clare have been making fine artisan goats cheese in Co Clare since the 1970s. Until March of this year, their main market was supplying cheese to the wholesale food service industry. The onset of the COVID 19 lock-down, saw owner Siobhán Ní Gháirbhith lose 85% of her sales and customers overnight. Despite this, she and her team of 7, have battled hard to turn the business round to re-focus on the retail market and also opened an on-line shop.
“This experience has been a huge learning curve for us. We are fortunate to be well established in the multiples so the growth of supermarket sales has been a saviour for us. There has also been a surge in virtual markets like Neighbour Food and Hussey Farms where customers can pick up or get delivered farmers markets produce once a week in a contact less setting. Our biggest challenge was to set up an on-line ordering facility fast to try and move our fresh cheeses quickly so that we weren’t left with huge quantities of stock. The key to surviving this crisis is adaptability and a willingness to learn new things at short notice. We haven’t got everything right first time and we are still learning but a great team that is willing to give it their all is a great asset. We are also indebted to the support of Irish people to come out and champion their own in such challenging times. We don’t know what the future will bring, but we can only keep going and keep adapting to the changing market”
St Tola Goat Cheese www.st-tola.ie 065 683 66 33