A Mushrooming Business

14th November 2016

Posted In: The Interview
Marita Collier

When it comes to starting a business, there are a number of obvious considerations to be made; is my product viable, is there a market and do I have the resources to grow the business? Imagine if you were able to make these crucial decisions with your partner?

Words: Claire Scott

That is the situation for a growing number of business owners in Ireland. One of these couples is Marita and Peter Collier, founders of Drummond House, a high-end garlic producer. Marita and Peter founded their business in 2006 after Marita had taken seven years off to raise their two young children. Her husband Peter is a qualified architect and has worked at Dublin Airport for 27 years as a Project Manager, and continues to do so. Peter’s family has had Drummond House, a 100-acre farm, for several generations, and it was passed down from his uncle to him.

Historically plots of the farm were rented out to farmers to grow produce, but the farm had become dilapidated in recent years. Shortly after getting married and starting a family, Marita and Peter, as one would expect, started thinking about the future and how they would manage and maintain the farm with what seemed to be ever increasing overheads.

Marita says that having children spurs you on to think about the future. “There’s no real pressure without children, and you don’t have to think about college fees, piano lessons, school trips etc. Beyond that, we’ve seen families torn apart because of disagreements over land and we didn’t want the farm to cause any turmoil for our family.”

Marita, whose background is in sales and marketing, also discussed her concerns of re-entering the workforce after seven years out. “In the time I took out to have the children, technology had transformed dramatically, I was totally intimidated by it – and this bothered me. Sales had always been my gig, and I know that is what I can do. But now I was going back to a workforce in the midst of a technology revolution where I was going to want summers off, two weeks at Easter, mid-term holidays and the flexibility to cope with the odd tummy bug…it didn’t seem like a viable option”.

This article was originally published in the 2016 Annual WMB Magazine and can be read in full here (pdf) >>