Taste Cavan – Episode 1: Margaret’s Eggs
O’Egg have been rebranded as Margaret’s Eggs. This is the story of my visit to Margaret’s farm in gorgeous county Cavan.
As part of the branding exercise, a PR company contacted me to ask me whether I would be interested in trying Margaret’s eggs. For those of you, who are interested, this is what is called a press drop. This means that a sample of the producted is sent to a list of individuals chosen for (amongst other things) their interest in the field, their support of producers, the size of their readership and the level of interactions with the writers/ content creator’s social media. This is why, at times, you will see a product on several accounts that you follow.
A good PR company will get the name of their client in front of a large crowd, a great PR company will get the name of their client in front of the right crowd. Burrell put Margaret’s Eggs in front of the right crowd. A good product in the hands of people that get on board with the quality and brand message will be fierce ambassadors. I know I can be evangelical when it comes to certain products as they are simply fantastic. This is exactly how I feel about Margaret’s eggs.
When Sarah contacted me to see whether I wanted to avail of drop, I happily accepted as I love good eggs and I am always happy to try a brand I’m not familiar with. The only request I put to her in return was that I would like the opportunity to visit the farm and meet the producers. By now, you will know that I’m mad into food provenance and getting to know the people that make Irish food such a fantastic thing. I was grateful to hear that Margaret was happy to have me at the farm and show me around.
Between the big snow and some other commitments, it took a few weeks for me to drive up. By then I was far too curious to wait for a sample of the eggs and when I came across them in Supervalu I decided to try them out for myself. So by the time, I got to Cavan, I already knew very well that Margaret’s eggs are fresh and have a beautiful colour and flavour.
I have used the eggs simply. I’ve poached them, scrambled and fried them. I’ve made French aoili with them and some deliciously simple vanilla cake. I normally by my eggs in Airfield but when I can’t get there, I run to Supervalu and stock up on Margaret’s eggs. They’ve never let me down.
When I got to the farm in Mullagh, I was welcomed by Margaret, her husband Leo and a friendly mountain of a dog. We hit it off like a house on fire. They love dogs and I’m a mad cat lady but we all love animals and once that was established there was no stopping us. I think we stood there just chatting for nearly an hour. Margaret is wildly enthusiastic about all sorts of subjects like food science, animal welfare, regulation and marketing. She has studied intensively to bring the family business where they are today. Much like Mag Kirwarn of Goatsbridge Trout Farm, she is the clear driving force behind the brand.
I was taken on a visit of the farm and it’s an excellent set up. Some of the eggs come from chickens that are hosted on the grounds of the farms but some of them come from nearby farms which are contracted to provide their eggs to Margaret. The farms are inspected by Margaret’s daughter both on behalf of the business and on behalf of Bord Bia, so the conditions I saw in Mullagh are the same as those of the other farms. This means that the chicken have shelter but also have access to wide greens they can roam freely on. They are genuinely free range and the quality of the eggs doesn’t lie.
I enjoyed seeing the sorting and packing area. It really is quite small when you think of the numbers of boxes of eggs that come out of there every day. Please don’t ask me the number, I knew it on the day but I’ve long forgotten it since!
Apart from all the chat with Margaret and Leo, there were 2 things that I loved. The first one was standing at the end of the eggs conveyor belt. It is strangely satisfying. The second one was standing was a moment of madness on my part which led to an amusing discovery. We were standing chatting in the sheltered hangar where the chickens were feeding and as you can imagine a couple of hundred chicken are rather noisy, so I had to keep asking Margaret and Leo to repeat themselves. Well I got so frustrated from not hearing them that I shushed the chicken. And yes, chicken can be surprised into silence. We had a joyous few minutes shushing them and having the crack with all the cackling hens.
Anyways, I loved my visit to Mullagh. And although I went home with a very generous sample of their various products, more importantly, I’m now a faithful customer in my own right. Live long and prosper, Margaret’s Eggs, you are delicious.