Jill Gave Up The Rat Race So She Could ‘Just Live A Little’

Jill Crawford

Just a few years ago Jill Crawford was a full-time director of a Belfast city company. Every day she commuted from her home in Portaferry to the city.

Jill, her husband David and their family

Jill, her husband David and their family

However, in recent years, she made the decision to give up the rat race to pursue her own home business. And according to Jill she hasn’t looked back since.

Jill and her husband David own the brand Just Live a Little, a range of granola that is produced from a purpose built bakery barn at their County Down farmhouse.

Along with her husband David, Jill has grown the Portaferry company from a small stand at St George’s Market to an international success story with the product being sold across Northern Ireland, London, Hong Kong and Dubai.

She said: “I have always been passionate about baking and nutrition and David’s family has always been involved in the food business. Becoming a mum made me very conscious about what I was feeding my family and I started to play around with different recipes to develop tasty and wholesome snacks that my kids would enjoy.

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“We started making granola in our kitchen oven and it wasn’t long before we decided to try selling it at St George’s Market. It was hugely popular and this is where things really took off for us with Hastings Hotels approaching us to become one of their local suppliers. Now we supply to supermarkets and businesses all over the world.”

Their business idea was so successful the family made a huge change.

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“Commuting from Portaferry to Belfast with two small children just wasn’t sustainable for me” explained Jill, adding: “I wanted to spend more time with the children, to enjoy the outdoors and really just to live a little bit more. That’s how the name came about – as a family, we like to work hard but we also value our free time, being outdoors, eating good food and we aspire to embrace life’s simple pleasures as much as possible.

“It has been so exciting seeing the business develop and progress and I haven’t looked back once. Of course, there are good days and bad days but the good far outweighs the bad.

“Working from home does hold an element of flexibility, however it also means you can end up working more hours. The best thing about the job is my new commute which is now a walk across the courtyard to the office and the bakery.”


About the Author

Tina Calder
Journalist, commentator, author and content creator specialising in showbiz, entertainment, business, trade, human interest and lifestyle.