Geoff TaylorNew Product Development Project Manager
My job is to serve shoppers best by differentiating us from competitors through creating and managing to reality, concepts that are loved by shoppers, work technically and operationally and are commercially viable.
Having a concept that lives up to one or two of the points above is easily achievable but the real trick is in bringing all three together.
Tyholland, Co. Monaghan, Ireland
When did you start with Monaghan Mushrooms?
I graduated from Dublin Institute of Technology in 2006 with a degree in Environmental Health. After working as an Environmental Health Officer in London and then the Scottish Highlands for several years I attended an interview for a job at Monaghan Mushrooms.
During the interview I could see that Monaghan Mushrooms were developing rapidly and that the people here hold a great enthusiasm and passion for what they do. Most of the interview time was spent talking about my ideas and I realised quickly that a great opportunity lay ahead. I started in Monaghan Mushrooms in October 2010.
What other jobs have you done with Monaghan Mushrooms?
When I first joined Monaghan Mushrooms I worked in the Research and Development department, firstly as a technician helping out on various Food Science, Packaging and Microbiology projects and later leading nutritional development work on mushrooms. An interest in realising the commercial benefit of ideas and a wish to understand shopper needs better, led me to a promotion into my current role.
What do you like best about working at Monaghan Mushrooms?
It’s the satisfaction of seeing an idea through from concept to reality, and the diversity and variation of the work.
The last week for example has taken me through presenting in the boardroom of a major UK retailer, working in a team forming strategy around the expansion of our brand in Canada and the USA, and working on optimising merchandising solutions for a German retailer.
Any relevant and constructive idea can be realised and there is a shared hunger for innovation and new ideas. In Monaghan Mushrooms, people progress and I can walk onto any site and immediately meet someone who I know well. The camaraderie here is second to none.
Monaghan Mushrooms have invested in me and developed my ability, I’m most privileged that the company owners and Directors take the time to guide me. Many of the things we create are tangible and I get great job satisfaction from knowing they are in fridges in homes across the world.
What’s been your best experience at Monaghan Mushrooms?
It’s hard to choose a single experience, bizarrely, something about experiencing the face freezing -25C winter temperatures on our farm in Ontario, Canada was good. Our big trucks had to be kept running 24/7 to stop them from freezing solid.
I remember successfully presenting to a prospective customer. The audience were the three owners of the company we were pitching to, our CEO, our COO and our General Manager for Continental Europe – an amazing opportunity for having my ideas heard and representing Monaghan Mushrooms.
Another high ranking experience was a congratulatory phone call from our CEO after coordinating a large UK product launch successfully.
Carrying out research on the French market was good fun, I remember being in a tiny shop in France trying to communicate with the shop owner. I speak no French and he spoke no English; he found the Irish man in his shop with an unusual interest in mushrooms hysterically funny. We ended up both laughing with tears running down our faces but I got the information I wanted in the end.
Co-ordinating the successful launch of BELLE GROVE® mushrooms (our brand) in Canada was, and continues to be rewarding.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about joining Monaghan Mushrooms?
You need to aim high and foster a ‘give it a go’ attitude while keeping a level head.
It’s hard work here, but hard work is rewarded and you’ll be given responsibility as you earn it. Working with Monaghan Mushrooms is rewarding and you will continue to learn and learn.