Women Of The Irish Food Industry – Karli Massie, Junior Manager.
Karli Massie is the junior manager at Lotts & Co in Dublin 4.
When I started to think about writing this query, I tweeted about it in the hope I might reach a few more women and get some interesting suggestions. Karli Massie was one of the women who contacted me to participate and I’m so pleased she did. Her interview follows last week’s chat with Aoife Ryan.
Karli Massie hails from California and still has her soft west coast accent now mingled with a glorious irish twang. She is determined and ambitious and as passionate about Irish food as I am so we were always going to get on.
Finally, not only did she not give up when she didn’t get the first job she went for but in fact, Karli Massie managed to find her food home. She fits in fantastically well at Lotts & Co and has been promoted in a short amount of time. This speask greatly of her resilience and adaptation skills.
If you want to follow Karli Massie’s adventures, you will find her over here on Instagram.
I’m talking to women in the food industry, what brought you into this category and what do you do?
My love affair with food began very early in life, but it wasn’t until a couple years ago that I started seriously considering building a career in the food industry. I studied literature all through college and always thought that I would become a writer of some sort, so I started consuming every food article and publication I could get my hands on, thinking that I would become a food writer. I listen to the Bon Appetit foodcast religiously, and there was an episode devoted to people in food (how they got to where they are as writers, chefs, influencers etc.). I was struck by how differently each person’s career had developed, and that got me thinking about the many ways I could start a career in food. A few months later I walked into Lotts & Co in Beggars Bush and fell in love. A few months after that, they advertised on Instagram that they were hiring, and I got in touch immediately. It’s been one year since I started working at Lotts & Co, and I am thrilled to say that I am now the Junior Manager.
What do you hope to achieve in the next 5 years?
I think the aspect of this industry I appreciate the most is how it is constantly evolving. There is so much room for growth and innovation and I’m just thrilled to have been a part of it for the last year. My only hope is that with a lot of hard work and dedication my career will continue to grow with the industry.
What do you think can be done to help raise the profile and visibility of women in the food industry in Ireland?
I think women are at the forefront of the Irish food scene in Ireland. Everywhere I look I see inspiring women doing what they love and that alone helps inspire women like me who are just starting their careers. From bloggers to food writers to chefs, confident women are everywhere, and I think we are our most valuable allies.
Tell us of one woman in the Irish food industry who consistently inspires you.
~ That’s a tough one! There are so many interesting women in the Irish food scene right now, but I think Clodagh Mckenna’s work is particularly inspring. She has this confidence about her that is so contagious, and she is such a champion of Irish food. Her food is inherently soulful, and the kind of food that you just crave in the colder months, which, as a California native, I am still trying to get used to!
What have been your down moments in your career and how did you deal with them?
Actually the lowest point in my career was just trying to figure out how to break into the food industry. I was desperate to be a food writer so I interviewed for an online food magazine here in Ireland, and I ended up not getting the job because of lack of practical experience in the food world. That was a bit of a wake up call. I did a lot of soul searching after that interview, and I decided to widen my scope a bit.
What do you like best about your job and why?
That’s an easy one. I love walking into work knowing that I get to be around people who love food just as much as I do. Having conversations with customers about what they might cook that evening, or finding new ways to use ingredients in dishes is what I live for.
What are the top skills required for your job?
~ Being in a managerial role is something I had never dreamed I would be doing, but I’m actually enjoying the role immensely. Patience and understanding are definitely at the top of the list. My general manager has taught me a lot about both of those skills, and I credit him for much of my growth in that area. Communication is also immensely important. There are a lot of moving parts in a small shop like ours, and having open, honest communication about how and when various tasks will be carried out is integral to keeping the shop running smoothly.
You’ve had the day from hell and you need comfort food. What’s your go to dish?
Pasta is and will always be my first love. A good family friend who spent some time in Rome once made me Pasta Amatriciana and it was absolutely life changing. It’s amazing what Italians can do with a few ingredients and a hot pan.
What do you eat for breakfast?
Coffee is always on the menu, but since I started living in Ireland I’ve become addicted to toasted brown soda bread with Kerrygold butter and whatever jam I can get my hands on. If I’m back home in California where corn tortillas are abundant, I have a mini quesadilla with guacamole. I know it sounds intense for an AM meal but trust me, it’s absolutely delicious.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee, coffee, coffee.