My Life in the Grocery Trade Timothy Graham, sales and marketing manager at Grahams Bakery BRIEFLY OUTLINE YOUR EMPLOYMENT HISTORY TO DATE Well, as you can imagine when I was younger, my summer job was always some sort of role in the bakery, but straight after four years at Queen’s University, I moved to the Institute of Cancer Research in London. That was four years, and then I had one year working as a post-doc researcher in that field, before rejoining the bakery over two years ago.
packaging, and then there’s always an ever increasing amount of paperwork, promotional scheduling or marketing jobs to organise. WHAT HAS BEEN THE PROUDEST MOMENT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE? Tough to answer, obviously four years of research for the PhD brought its own sense of satisfaction, but it’s always a proud moment when you get feedback from customers that have loved our cakes and bakes. It’s just a proud thing to bake things that people really love and enjoy.
WHAT DOES YOUR ROLE INVOLVE? Given we’re a smaller business, my role spans a few areas. Overall, I’m trying to develop new business, which then means I’m involved in the research and development of new products, then the commercials, packaging and design and of course targeting and approaching customers, and then managing some of those accounts with another account manager.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING INVOLVED WITH THE LOCAL RETAIL INDUSTRY? Relationships. We love being able to build mutually beneficial relationships with a whole network of people. From our staff who have been able to build careers will us, to suppliers whose business we can stimulate and help grow, to retail partners and customers who we can work with to provide a unique, appealing offer to inject life into their retail shelves, and ultimately satisfy the end consumer. Each of our relationships are highly valued.
WHEN DID YOU TAKE UP THIS POST? Between two and three years ago. WHAT ARE THE BEST/WORST PARTS OF YOUR JOB? Best: it’s about creating stuff. Developing cakes, designing packaging, building our brand, always trying to add value; it’s just great to be in a job where we get to create stuff. Worst: there’s a lot of things that can go wrong in that chain, and the worst part of my job is when they seem to all go wrong at the same time and obviously it’s never a good time!
BRIEFLY OUTLINE A TYPICAL DAY Thankfully there never is a typical day. Firstly though, it’s always important to get a freshly ground coffee in before everyone else in the house is up. About half of the time I’m on the road meeting customers, going to trade shows. The other 50% of the time I’ve a 200-yard commute to the office, and the day will be very varied. I’ve normally some management meeting such as NPD, or senior management etc... or perhaps a supplier coming in for a meeting, or to work on new
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO TO UNWIND AWAY FROM WORK? I’ve a four month old so there is no unwinding. My wife and I both enjoy hosting friends when we can, and occasionally I love squeezing in some golf, five-a-side or basketball. TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF THAT NOT MANY PEOPLE MAY KNOW. Before I re-joined the bakery I was over two stone lighter! Honestly!