Belfast Telegraph

From Punchestown races to selling tables for Mencap at Down Royal, with timeout for a traybake

Every week we ask a businessperson how the past seven days have been. Today, we speak to Tracy Hamilton, director of Mash Direct. In 2004, Tracy and her husband, Martin, diversified from their wholesale farming business into producing award-winning vegetable accompaniments

This week business has been...

A fantastic week for food in Northern Ireland. I have been exhibiting at the Balmoral Show and the feedback from visitors about our new BBQ-ready range has been phenomenal. Everybody is getting ready for 2016 Year of Food and it is a great opportunity to showcase Northern Irish food to the world.

I was also a mentor at the prestigious Women in Business Conference, on the theme "leading global ambition", and a panellist at a round-table event discussing delivering growth in the agri-business sector.

This week I've been eating...

Mash Direct. I had a family meal with my husband, Martin, and our two sons, Lance and Jack. We sat down and enjoyed our new vegetable burgers.

I have also been eating a range of local produce, including Cavanagh Free Range Eggs from Enniskillen in Co Fermanagh. .

This week I was socialising...

At the Punchestown Races. I managed to call into the races on my way to Cork for the Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Drink.

I was also delighted to be invited to attend Shortcross Gin's first anniversary celebration.

I have also been planning and selling tables for the Mencap Annual Race Day, to be held at Down Royal Racecourse on the evening of June 19. All proceeds go to Mencap's Big Step Forward Appeal.

This week I was reading...

Lots of interesting literature I collected from stands at the Balmoral Show, as I have a keen interest in gardening and environmental sustainability.

I also read a fascinating publication on Castlewellan Arboretum and Annesley Garden, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, highlighting the international importance of the garden and the work that is being done to save and restore this horticultural and arboricultural gem.

This week I was watching...

When I have found the time, I have been catching up with the Chelsea Flower Show on iPlayer as well as well as Food Unwrapped.

This week I was listening to...

Podcasts. I really enjoy listening to Wendy Austin's programme Inside Business and also Gardener's Corner, as well as the Food Programme on Radio 4

Kim Lenaghan has launched a new series called The Foodie to promote local food, which we were featured in this week.

My guilty pleasure of the week was...

Heatherlea Bakery White Chocolate tray bakes, which was one of the wonderful products available in the very impressive Food NI Pavilion at Balmoral.

In next week's My Week, we hear from David Richards of software company WANdisco

Belfast Telegraph