Archive for Staff

Meet our Staff – Raymond Slaney

Focus on Williamson staff

This staff member profile will hopefully give our customers more of an insight into our business and help improve the relationship we have with you. Let us know what you think!

Raymond Slaney, Drystore Supervisor

Keen gardener, Chinese food fan and Richard O’Brian lookalike.

Raymond manages a team of 10 in our drystore who put together customer orders on a wide range of ingredients from spices, baking products and kitchen basics like flour and milk to our extensive range of soft drinks, craft beers and other beverages like coffee and tea. He makes sure drystore orders are efficiently transferred to our main warehouse where they are married up with fruit and vegetable ones so they all get delivered together.

Q. How did you first learn about Williamson Food Service?
A. I’d been out of work for a while when a friend said that Williamson’s was looking for warehouse staff – that was five years ago.

Q. What are three words that best describe Williamson Foodservice?
A. Reliable | Efficient | Fun

Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. Every day is different and the staff here are pretty good craic! There’s always a bit of fun to be had in between the work.

Q. What’s the most challenging part of your job?
A. We aim to get orders 100% right and delivered in the best condition possible so trying to minimise damaged or incorrectly delivered goods is something we strive for on a daily basis.

Q. What does a typical day look like for you?
A. Preparation is key, especially during the summer and into autumn when we are at our busiest. We have delivery vehicles arriving with new stock throughout the day so this needs unloaded and stacked in the warehouse without delay. Making sure our staff know what is required and when, enables orders to be processed efficiently and I speak to our buyers throughout the day to ensure there is always a plentiful supply of stock.

Q. What are your hopes or ambitions for the food and drink industry?
A. Hopefully that it continues to grow and we find new and interesting products for Williamson’s customers to be excited by.

Q. What might someone be surprised to know about you?
A. I’m a keen gardener so as well as being a busy time of the year at Williamson’s, it’s also been all go in the garden with plants and flowers coming through.

Q. What’s your earliest food memory?
A. Bread and butter and sugared ‘pieces’!

Q. What food can’t you resist?
A. I absolutely love Chinese – Chicken Chow Mein is my favourite.

Q. What’s your passions in life or what do you like to do in your spare time?
A. Apart from the garden, I like a flutter on the horses on a Saturday!

Q. What three things would you take if you were stranded on an island?
A. A nice bottle of malt whisky, a beer or two and a fishing rod to pass the time would do just nicely.

Q. Is there a celebrity you most look like?
A. Apparently my fruit and vegetable colleagues think I look like Richard O’Brien of Crystal Maze fame.

Q. What book did you read last?
A. Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl.

Q. When are you happiest?
A. I love to get a winner on the horses but my colleague Gavin finishing his shift comes a pretty close second (only kidding Gav! -R)

Posted in: Staff

Leave a Comment (0) →

Meet our Staff – Gosia Sowinska

 

Focus on Williamson staff

In order to develop even more effective partnerships with customers, we now feature a member of staff in these brochures. This will hopefully give you more of an insight into our business and help improve the relationship we have with you. Let us know what you think!

Gosia Sowinska, Buyer

Gosia works as part of a three strong team buying dry goods for the business. These can include premium soft drinks, craft beers, fine wines and dairy as well as selected spices, pulses, oats and other ingredients. She maintains contact with suppliers of these products who are based all over the UK and ensures adequate stocks are held to satisfy customer orders the minute they are phoned in by customers.

Q. How did you get the job with Williamson’s?
A. Initially, I came from Poland for two weeks in 2006 and worked picking customer orders in the run up to Christmas. Since 2009, I have been a member of the very busy purchasing team.

Q. What are three words that best describe Williamson Food Service?
A. Professional | Trustworthy | Friendly

Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. I get to spend money on a wide range of high quality produce which, as most women will agree, is very satisfying! However, that comes with a high level of responsibility too!

Q. What’s the most challenging part of your job?
A. Understanding the interdependent relationships between suppliers, ourselves and customers is a challenge. However, it is definitely one big team effort here – everyone has a role to play. As we approach the busiest time of the year, buying the right level of stock to satisfy customer orders requires careful management too.

Q. What does a typical day look like for you?
A. I monitor stock levels continuously and re-order items to make sure we can meet demand for customer orders. I therefore need to speak to suppliers regularly to negotiate costs, explore availability and get them delivered on time. I also need to consider new or alternative products that come out and discuss their suitability with other Williamson’s staff.

Q. What products can customers expect to be hearing more about in 2017?
A. Local produce is always in demand so fresh salads, soft fruits etc but artisan bakery and dairy products are also very strong too.

Q. What are your hopes or ambitions for the food and drink industry?
A. I just hope that the tourism, hospitality and general food and drink sector continues to steadily grow.

Q. What food can’t you resist?
A. Dark chocolate, eggs and Scottish Black Pudding!

Q. If you are eating out, which style of food do you prefer?
A. Indian and Italian.

Q. Favourite quote or line from a movie?
A. ‘Live each day as if it’s your last.’

Q. What’s your passions in life or what do you do in your spare time?
A. Cycling, gym and going on holidays to different destinations.

Q. If you could swap jobs with anyone else, whose would you want?
A. I’d love to be out on the road visiting different parts of the beautiful Highlands meeting customers face-to-face like our Field Sales Representatives Louise and Andy.

Q. Do you have a favourite holiday destination and what’s so special about it?
A. It would have to be sunny Cuba or Hawaii with their vibrant cultures, people and sandy beaches. Alternatively the Italian Dolomites – for its mountains, snow and food!

Q. What’s top of your bucket list?
A. To go to the Maldives and do a parachute jump!

Q. Which food do you wish had no calories?
A. Dark chocolate and nuts.

Q. When are you happiest?
A. When travelling to challenging holiday destinations with my husband.

 

Posted in: Staff

Leave a Comment (0) →

Meet our Staff – JoJo Kucharczyk

Meet our Staff – JoJo Kucharczyk

Focus on Williamson staff

In order to develop even more effective partnerships with customers, we now feature a member of staff in these brochures. This will hopefully give you more of an insight into our business and helps improve the relationship we have with you. Let us know what you think!

Joanna (Jojo) Kucharczyk

Accounts assistant, ‘To-do’ list specialist, cook and occasional skier

Jojo is part of a six strong accounts team at Williamson Foodservice. She works on the purchasing side of the business, so checks that supplier invoices are correct, sorts out any errors and makes sure they are paid on time. Checking statements and haulage invoices, setting up supplier accounts and answering calls are all in a day’s work for Jojo.

She also likes to cook and enjoys nothing more than a nice dish of ‘knedle’ with plums. Never heard of it? Then read on to find out!

Q. How did you get the job with Williamson’s?
A.  I started as a part-time cleaner in 2005. Soon after, I took a job in the store picking and packing fruit and vegetables and since 2009 I have been working in the accounts office.

Q. What three words best describe Williamson Food Service?
A. Variety | Versatility | Growth

Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. I deal with a wide range of people in my job from our customers and suppliers to our great staff. Helping them solve any queries they might have is especially satisfying.

Q. What does a typical day look like for you?
A. I work alongside suppliers who can be anything from a multi-national drinks company to a fruit and vegetable importer or a local cheese maker. I make sure invoices are correct and call them up if there are any discrepancies. I’m also responsible for charging customers correctly for haulage and check statements for payment.

Q. What might someone be surprised to know about you?
A. I’m a pretty good cook and a ‘To-do’ list specialist – I like to be organised and get things done on time!

Q. What’s your food heaven and food hell?
A. My food heaven is my fiancé’s roast chicken with homemade Yorkshire puddings! Watermelon is my favourite fruit and food hell is shellfish.

Q. If you are eating out, which style of food do you prefer?
A. I love most food but Indian and Thai cuisine are my favourites.

Q. Favourite quote?
A. “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Q. What’s your passions in life or what do you like to do in your spare time?
A. I enjoy keeping fit and regularly attend body balance classes. I also enjoy wee adventures with my family, dancing and skiing.

Q. If you had one meal to choose what would it be?
A. Knedle with plums – or plum dumplings. It is an Austro-Hungarian dish of boiled potato/dough dumplings filled with plums. The taste always reminds me of Poland, where I come from.

Q. What three things would you take if you were stranded on an island?
A. Speed boat, petrol so I could get to the shore as soon as possible, and Elderflower Gin because it’s tasty!

Q. What book did you read last?
A. Duncan Bannatyne “Riding the Storm” – a great read of personal and business survival.

Q. What’s top of your bucket list?
A. I’d love to go to Japan and the Maldives. I’d also like to learn Spanish.

Q. Which food do you wish had no calories?
A. Ice-cream.

Q. When are you happiest?
A. When spending time with my family and watching my kids having fun.

 

Posted in: Staff

Leave a Comment (1) →

Meet the Staff – Andy Mitchell

Meet the Staff – Andy Mitchell

Focus on Williamson Staff
To develop more effective partnerships with customers, Williamson Foodservice regularly highlights what different members of staff do within our business. This gives more of an insight into our company and hopefully improves the relationship we have with customers.

Andy Mitchell

Warehouse supervisor, micro herb enthusiast, St. Johnstone fan and soap star lookalike

Andy and his team of pickers and packers make sure the right fruit, vegetables and other fresh produce are selected and married up with items that come from the rest of the business including Williamson’s chilled produce, soft drinks, craft beers and dry goods. He then ensures these orders are loaded onto our fleet of delivery vehicles and dispatched at the right time.

Q. How did you get the job with Williamson’s?
A. I started out as a part-time cleaner with Williamson’s 17 years ago and then got a job driving delivery vehicles which allowed me to meet customers.

Q. What does a typical day look like for you?
A. I make sure orders and deliveries are made up and sequenced correctly and then loaded onto the correct vehicle for dispatch. We have around 25 vans and trucks heading all over the north of Scotland on a daily basis so I need to plan who goes where the day before to ensure customers get their orders when they expect them. Receiving goods and keeping an eye on stock levels is also a big part of what I do.

Q. What are three words that best describe Williamson Foodservice?
A. Loyal | Ambitious | Expanding

Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. I like the day-to-day buzz of getting all our products delivered to our customers on time. There’s often a lot to juggle but I strive to get any issues resolved as quickly as possible.

Q. What’s the most challenging part of your job?
A. I thrive on challenge and endeavour to make sure the day runs smoothly. Staff rotas and stock levels need to be carefully planned and monitored. While orders are being made up, I’m always keeping an eye on these other important aspects too.

Q. What products can customers expect to be hearing more about in 2017?
A. I’m responsible for re-ordering our growing range of micro herbs which I’m quite enthusiastic about. Our recent Walkabout trade exhibition showcased these and there’s been an upsurge in demand as a result.

Q. What’s the most interesting thing you have learned about Williamson’s in the past 12 months?
A. We are busier than ever before. Our 2017 summer delivery schedule has already been introduced a month early!

Q. What might someone be surprised to know about you?
A. I once had a trial for St Johnstone Football Club!

Q. What food can’t you resist and which style of food do you prefer?
A. I love Italian food so pizza comes high up on my list but I also enjoy chicken, steak or duck chow mein.

Q. What’s your passions in life or what do you like to do in your spare time?
A. I love spending time with my family, following St Johnstone, playing golf and watching horse racing.

Q. Is there a celebrity you most look like?
A. I’m told Max Branning from Eastenders is my double!

Q. What book did you last read?
A. Paul Merson’s autobiography.

Q. Do you have a favourite holiday destination and what’s so special about it?
A. I love Portugal as it allows me to play golf while my wife can enjoy the sun.

Q. Do you have any hidden talents?
A. I’m pretty handy at the washing and ironing believe it or not!

Q. When are you happiest?
A. When I have my family and friends around me.

Posted in: Staff

Leave a Comment (0) →

Meet the Staff – Lynn Deeney

Meet the Staff – Lynn Deeney

Focus on Williamson Staff
To develop more effective partnerships with customers, Williamson Foodservice regularly highlights what different members of staff do within our business. This gives more of an insight into our company and hopefully improves the relationship we have with customers.

Lynn Deeney

Tele-sales operator, aspiring Managing Director, Italian food fan and proud mum

Whether you are the owner of a village shop, a restaurant manager or chef who regularly phones through orders, Lynn Deaney is one of the Williamson’s team that may pick up your call. She takes orders for the entire Williamson’s range from our tasty fruit and vegetables to artisan cheese and dairy or premium soft drinks amongst others.

Q. How did you get the job with Williamson’s?
A. I worked for a competitor and was made redundant but called Williamson’s and am happy to say I was offered the job the same day.

Q. What does a typical day look like for you?
A. As well as picking up calls and processing orders whenever they come in, I also have a schedule of my own calls to get through during the day. This may include calling customers up for their orders at predefined times that suit them or helping identify the right product or explaining more about items that are in season.

Q. What are three words that best describe Williamson Foodservice?
A. Competitive | Reliable | Thriving

Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. I’ve always been a very people focused person, so speaking to my lovely customers and establishing a good rapport with them is the part I enjoy most.

Q. What’s the most challenging part of your job?
A. I try and embrace everything that comes my way and enjoy what I do so I don’t find anything too challenging. Speaking to so many different people and businesses from all over the north of Scotland is really refreshing and enlightening too.

Q. What products can customers expect to be hearing more about in 2017?
A. Customers are asking increasingly about local produce and we strive to deliver to their needs as much as possible.

Q. What are your hopes or ambitions for the food and drink industry?
A. It would be nice to see the industry going back to its roots of fresh simple cooking with local produce.

Q. What might someone be surprised to know about you?
A. I have just had my first three driving lessons and have not crashed or knocked anyone down so far!

Q. What food can’t you resist and which style of food do you prefer?
A. I love prawns or carbonara and can’t resist Italian food.

Q. If you could swap jobs with anyone else, whose would you want?
A. I’d love a crack at our MD Gary Williamson’s job for a wee while! Being responsible for growing the business must be very satisfying.

Q. What three things would you take if you were stranded on an island?
A. Fishing rod, frying pan and a penknife!

Q. Tell us a fact that most people don’t know.
A. I cry each time I watch ‘The Lion King’ even though I’ve seen it a hundred times before.

Q. Are there any words or phrases that you either overuse or people know you for?
A. I’m known for “Will someone answer that phone!” or on a more serious note “Does anyone want cake?”

Q. What’s top of your bucket list?
A. I’d love to visit Australia.

Q. Do you have any hidden talents?
A. I could sell jam to Baxter’s!

Q. When are you happiest?
A. When watching my children achieve their goals.

Posted in: Staff

Leave a Comment (0) →

Meet the Staff – Leigh McMurtrie

Meet the Staff – Leigh McMurtrie

Focus on Williamson Staff
To develop more effective partnerships with customers, Williamson Foodservice regularly highlights what different members of staff do within our business. This gives more of an insight into our company and hopefully improves the relationship we have with customers.

Leigh McMurtrie

Warehouse Supremo, ex-silversmith, border terrier lover and top table tennis player
One of the voices behind the phones at Williamson Foodservice is Leigh McMurtrie. She has been with the company for one year. As well as telesales, Leigh picks products for customer orders in our main warehouse, keeps an eye on stock levels and ensures invoices are correctly taken care of.

Q. How did you get into the food and drink industry?
A. I’ve worked in the bar trade since I was 18 and having run my own bar, I think I now have a good understanding of both sides of the business.

Q. How did you first learn about Williamson Food Service?
A. I was working for a competitor of Williamson’s, so I knew who they were. I also saw their vans from time to time. It’s great to be working for a growing and successful company like Williamson’s.

Q. How would you best describe Williamson Food Service?
A. Close-knit | Hard working | Variety

Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. No day is ever the same. There’s plenty variation in my job. You could say I’m the Don of multi-tasking!

Q. What does a typical day look like for you?
A. I start late morning around 10am (always a bonus) and pick products for customer orders from our extensive range. By 1pm I’m stocktaking and this information is sent over to buyers to ensure we maintain the right stock levels. In true multi-task fashion, at about 4.30pm, I spend the final part of the day as a telesales assistant and confirming orders for invoices.

Q. What’s the most interesting thing you have learned in the past 12 months?
A. The scale of Williamson’s is something that I’m amazed by. We have around 100 people working across the business now!

Q. What are your hopes or ambitions for the food and drink industry?
A. I hope the British food industry continues to grow and people from the trade and consumers alike buy more British and local produce.

Q. What might someone be surprised to know about you?
A. I’m a qualified silversmith!

Q. What food can’t you resist?
A. I’m an extremely fussy eater so plain, honest, homemade food is best. Steak and bacon is always a winner for me!

Q. What’s your passions in life or what do you like to do in your spare time?
A. At weekends I love to go hillwalking with my wee companion ‘Mr Pippz’ – my border terrier. I enjoy taking photos of beautiful places like Torridon; trout fishing (yet to get my first bite!); and socialising with friends.

Q. Do you have a favourite holiday destination and what’s so special about it?
A. I went to Egypt for my 30th birthday with my family so that was very special. Whilst there, I saw one of the seven ‘Wonders of the World’ and having decided that I wanted to experience them all, I now only have three more to see!

Q. What three things would you take if you were stranded on an island?
A. Factor 50, a machete and Bear Grylls!

Q. When are you happiest?
A. I love being at my family’s house when the sun is out playing table tennis with ‘Mr Pippz’ acting as ball boy. Or, at the top of a very steep hill with friends, my camera and a beer in hand! Oh, and when I’m at work for Williamson’s of course!

Posted in: Staff

Leave a Comment (0) →

Meet the Staff – Eldon Bell

Meet the Staff – Eldon Bell

Focus on Williamson Staff
To develop more effective partnerships with customers, Williamson Foodservice regularly highlights what different members of staff do within our business. This gives more of an insight into our company and hopefully improves the relationship we have with customers.

Eldon Bell

Delivery driver, angler, Chinese food fan and professional goalkeeper wannabe
Customers around the Beauly Firth and Easter Ross areas will be familiar with Eldon who has worked with Williamson Food Service as a delivery driver for nearly 20 years. Due to his round being close to our Inverness headquarters, he is one of the few drivers who returns late morning to load back up again and make several deliveries in the afternoons too!

Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. I love being out on the road because I get to enjoy some fantastic scenery – it can get pretty wild in the winter but there’s something interesting to see all year round. I’m lucky that my round takes me into places like Glen Affric – destinations that are right up there for visitors to see. I also enjoy meeting so many people who are always friendly and appreciative.

Q. Have you had any other job at Williamson’s?
A. I started off life at Williamson’s with three years as a packer from 1995. This involved working on the fruit and veg side of the business and led me into the driving/delivery job I’ve been doing since 1998.

Q. What are three words that best describe Williamson’s?
A. Excellence | Quality | Reliability

Q. What does your typical day look like?
A. Due to my delivery round, I get to start later than most drivers who are usually out by 4am. I start at 6am and after checking my load I’m on my way by 7am. I’ll then travel round the Beauly Firth delivering orders with over 20 stop-offs. I’m back late morning, load up and usually off again early afternoon to places like Beauly, Dingwall, Strathpeffer and Cannich.

Q. What’s the most challenging part of your job?
A. During the summer season when hotels, restaurants and others in the tourism sector are needing lots of supplies I need to load my van quickly but carefully. This ensures everything comes off in the right order and customers get their orders on time.

Q. What’s the most interesting thing you have learned in the past 12 months?
A. I’m amazed at how big Williamson’s is getting! Every year, since I started over 20 years ago has seen new products added. Back then it was mainly fruit and veg but now we stock virtually everything a food and drink business in the north needs. I’m sure 2017 won’t be any different!

Q. What do you like to do in your spare time?
A. I enjoy playing football and darts but I also like to go fishing when the weather improves.

Q. If you could swap jobs with anyone else, whose would you want?
A. As I have been a bit of a goalkeeper in my time, my choice would be Craig Gordon, one of Celtic Football Club’s goalies.

Q. If you had one meal to choose what would it be?
A. I really like Chinese food and I make deliveries to some of the best Chinese restaurants in the north.

Q. What did you want to be when you grew up?
A. I always wanted to be a long distance lorry driver – so maybe making deliveries like I do for Williamson’s isn’t too far off the mark!

Posted in: Staff

Leave a Comment (0) →

Meet the Staff – Andy Barbour

Meet the Staff – Andy Barbour

Focus on Williamson Staff
To develop more effective partnerships with customers, Williamson Foodservice regularly highlights what different members of staff do within our business. This gives more of an insight into our company and hopefully improves the relationship we have with customers.

Andy Barbour

Field Sales Representative, Spanish Rioja drinker and mountain biker
Andy Barbour is the face and voice that many of our customers are most familiar with. He has been at Williamson Food Service for two years. When he’s not following up customer orders or queries at our Walker Road headquarters, he’s out on the road meeting clients face-to-face.

He covers Caithness and Sutherland as well as Lochaber but can deal with hospitality, catering and retail establishments from across the whole of the north of Scotland – an area the size of Belgium!

Q. How did you get into the food and drink industry?
A. I worked on van sales with one of Williamson’s biggest suppliers of chilled food products.

Q. How did you first learn about Williamson Food Service?
A. Having spent 17 years selling food in the north of Scotland with different companies, I found Williamson’s has always been a well-respected brand with the catering trade.

Q. What are three words that best describe Williamson Food Service?
A. Service | Local | Produce

Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. I love being out on the road meeting such a diverse range of customers from hotels and restaurants to hospitals and delicatessens. There’s also a great team atmosphere here.

Q. What’s the most challenging part of your job?
A. Competitors will often work on very low margins to get a foothold so we need to work hard to differentiate our overall product offering. We do this by focusing on product quality, attention to detail and developing effective long-term customer partnerships.

Q. What products can customers expect to be hearing more about in 2017?
A. We’re really looking forward to further progression on wet sales like craft beers and the exciting growth the gin market is currently experiencing.

Q. What are your hopes for the food and drink industry?
A. As product provenance becomes increasingly important to customers, I hope the use of locally sourced, fresh goods continues to grow.

Q. What’s your passions in life or what do you like to do in your spare time?
A. I love the outdoors so cycling or walking.

Q. What three things would you take if you were stranded on an island?
A. Case of Spanish Rioja, my mountain bike and err, my wife of course!

Q. What’s the most interesting thing you have learned in the past 12 months?
A. How fast gin can be made and then sold – it’s incredible.

Posted in: Staff

Leave a Comment (0) →