Archive for Staff

Meet our staff – Simon Stewart

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!

Simon Stewart, Marketing Manager

Mountain biker, goats cheese fanatic and ‘belt and braces’ man.

Simon handles a wide range of marketing activity from the production of our regular promotional brochure and other printed or display material to social media, public relations, writing blogs, sponsorships, advertising and organising events like trade shows. He works closely with suppliers on joint promotional activity and ensures branding and visual content is accurate.

Q. How did you get the job with Williamson’s?
A
I was self-employed offering public relations and copywriting services but fancied a change just over a year ago. My marketing experience and a general interest in food and drink as well as a pretty close affinity with the Highlands sealed it for me

Q. What are three words that best describe Williamson Foodservice?
A. 
Committed | Loyal  |  Friendly

Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. 
I enjoy creating messages that let customers know how wide our product range is. When I started, I was amazed at the sheer volume and variety.

Q. What’s the most challenging part of your job?
A. 
Probably keeping on top of a continually changing digital and social media landscape.

Q. What does a typical day look like for you?
A. 
First thing I look at Twitter and respond or share anything that is relevant like our daily produce stock sheet and market information. For the rest of the day I can be working up a new promo brochure, organising a trade show, scheduling social media posts or writing a blog for our website.

Q. What gives you the most satisfaction in your role?
A. 
Learning about new and existing products and effectively communicating this to our customers to help them achieve their food and drink goals.

Q. What products can customers expect to be hearing more about?
A. 
Local and Scottish products are what consumers are most interested in and what we as a company are always looking out for. Watch this space!

Q. What are your hopes or ambitions for the food and drink industry?
A. 
I hope essential investment in infrastructure like roads and basic visitor amenities in many areas is progressed as soon as possible so that the North of Scotland’s tourism/food and drink industry can continue to grow sustainably whilst realising its full potential.

Q. Name something that would surprise people about your role?
A. 
I’m often found snooping about the produce warehouse looking for interesting fruit and veg pics to tweet about!

Q. What’s your earliest food memory?
A. 
Churning milk into butter in primary school!

Q. What’s your passions in life or what do you like to do in your spare time?
A. 
Mountain biking, off road triathlons, trail running, reading sports autobiographies and whisky.

Q. If you could swap jobs with anyone else, whose would you want?
A. 
Mountain biking or snowsports journalism would be pretty nice!

Q. Do you have a favourite holiday destination and what’s so special about it?
A. 
Banff in Canada is my all-time number 1 for great outdoor sports, great food and great people.

Q. If you had one meal to choose what would it be?
A. 
Anything with goats cheese!

Q. Are there any words or phrases that you either overuse or people know you for?
A. 
I’m a bit of a ‘belt and braces’ man!

Q. What’s top of your bucket list?
A. 
Get back to Banff, Canada asap!

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Meet our staff – Louise Beattie

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!

Louise Beattie, Field Sales Representative

Chatterbox, wannabe food inspector and world traveller.

Louise is one of two field sales reps at Williamson’s. For many of our customers, she is the face they see the most and is out on Highland roads all year round covering everywhere from Inverness City to the Isle of Skye. She helps customers including chefs, owners and other staff to understand how our product range can help meet their needs in a cost effective and profitable way.

Q. How did you get the job with Williamson’s?
A. I was made redundant by a competitor and got a job in telesales at Williamson’s. This post was a great way to get to know the product range and my 17 years of food industry knowledge also helped when Williamson’s was expanding – especially their ‘dry’ goods range.

Q. What are three words that best describe Williamson Foodservice?
A. Loyal | Local | Potential

Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. I work with a great bunch of people, customers are so friendly and the scenery isn’t bad either!

Q. What’s the most challenging part of your job?
A. I’ve always been rubbish at getting up in the morning!

Q. What does a typical day look like for you?
A. Visiting customers and helping them find products that meet their needs as well as doing dry goods comparisons for them are the big ones but meeting suppliers regularly to improve product knowledge is another.

Q. What gives you the most satisfaction in your role?
A. Promoting or discussing new product lines with chefs and business owners helps generate new menu ideas that hopefully excite customers.

Q. What products can customers expect to be hearing more about?
A. During 2017, new coffee ranges aimed at different parts of the market have been launched as well as great tasting wines and local products including Aberdeenshire yogurt, Spey Valley craft beers and different artisan cheeses.

Q. What are your hopes or ambitions for the food and drink industry?
A. I hope the growing hospitality sector manages to attract new and talented staff to help meet demand. We are currently sponsoring a local Schools Masterchef competition to help promote hospitality with young people.

Q. Name something that would surprise people about your role?
A. I’m not big on fruit and there are certain cheeses I’m fussy about too! Apart from that, I eat practically anything!

Q. What’s your earliest food memory?
A. ‘Happy Faces’ biscuits and salad cream sandwiches!

Q. What’s your passions in life or what do you like to do in your spare time?
A. Badminton, eating out, gigs (especially 80s and 90s), travelling and a wee flutter on the football or horses.

Q. If you could swap jobs with anyone else, whose would you want?
A. I’d love to be a food guide inspector.

Q. Do you have a favourite holiday destination and what’s so special about it?
A. Croatia is absolutely stunning from its fabulous beaches and food to amazing islands, and terrific nightlife.

Q. If you had one meal to choose what would it be?
A. One of our customers makes incredible lamb croquettes with pea puree. Delicious!

Q. Are there any words or phrases that you either overuse or people know you for?
A. My colleagues say I use too many words in general! I’m always yapping!

Q. What’s top of your bucket list?
A. I’d love to take time out to travel by train through Europe.

 

 

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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)

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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.

 

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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.

 

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