Jonathan Stowe, Nisa-Today’s distribution director, on The New Seekers, Morgan Freeman and his fear of feathers

What was your first-ever job? Living in a small village, I set up a paper round buying papers at wholesale and selling at retail price plus a delivery charge. I was about 12 at the time and had never anticipated how hard it was to cycle around the village with a basketful of papers.

What was your worst job interview? In my early career I had an interview following a day at an air display. Unfortunately looking at the sky all day wearing shades left me looking like a panda.

What was the first music single you bought? It was meant to be Merry Christmas by Slade, but somehow on the way to the shop my dad convinced me that I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing by The New Seekers was a better bet. I learnt the power of influencing skills.

How do you describe your job to your mates? I tell them it's very technical and demanding... they seem to assume I am joking.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? It's a combination of delivering the best service at the lowest cost and motivating teams to find a better way of working.

What is the least rewarding part? There isn't one really. Meeting the aspirations of independent retailers presents numerous and varied challenges.

What is your motto in life? Oh no, here we go again!

What's your nickname? Tubs. Can't think why.

If you were allowed one dream perk what would it be? Un-invent the BlackBerry.

What's your favourite movie and why? Like a lot of people it's The Shawshank Redemption. Morgan Freeman is awesome and it's the most incredible journey in human behaviour.

What was the most embarrassing moment in your life? Many years ago, ringing my girlfriend who worked in a shop to have an intimate conversation only to realise after a couple of minutes that I was actually talking to the shop owner.

Do you have any phobias? Yes, chickens. In fact anything with feathers! I can barely look at a duvet without coming out in a sweat.

If you could pick a celebrity to join your staff who would it be and why? Peter Kay because he would say what I think most of the time.

If you could change one thing in the grocery industry what would it be? Increased co-operation between suppliers and retailers to reduce the amount of food miles travelled.

What luxury would you have on your desert island? The Grocer magazine delivered of course!