What skills can you bring as a mentor?
I’ve been lucky enough to work in the food business for the last 20 years. Falling in love first with the product and the customers and then the discipline of buying. I’ve worked for Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Selfridges and bought every category going. This work often led me to advice and support new to market brands, I really enjoyed this part of my work.
In addition I’ve judged at Great Taste including on the supreme champions panel and more recently as an arbitrator. I appear on industry panels such as ‘feed the dragons’ at Fine Food Show North and Bread and Jam Fest.
I also advise government bodies such as Business Sweden and Welsh Government on how their brands should approach the UK/London market.
What do you think makes the difference between a good business and a brilliant business?
Passion and energy for sure, but also adaptability, a good business will have a plan, a brilliant business will be flexible enough to adapt as opportunities develop.
A brilliant business will listen and look from the learnings they can take away from any experience, good or bad. Be honest, truthful especially about your skillsets, don’t avoid things that you are not confident doing, either learn the skills or find the resource to add to your team.
If you had your time again in business, what would you do differently?
Wow, this is a tricky one! All of my jobs have had moments of stress and frustration but I’ve always tried to learn from the experiences I have had. I wouldn’t do anything differently because I honestly believe the journey is as important as the destination.
Founder, Scott Winston Fine Food Consulting