Traditional sweetshop Hope & Greenwood has appointed Richard Ruddy as its new MD.

Ruddy has spent the past 11 years at Ocado as head of supply partner liaison, responsible for handling the often-complex relationship between Ocado and Waitrose.He will oversee the overall business at Hope & Greenwood, which is rapidly expanding. As well as two shops in London, it has just signed a licensing deal with Japanese conglo-merate Plazastyle to open 25 shops in Japan, the first of which recently opened in Tokyo.

“My role will be to extend the reach of the Hope & Greenwood brand both online and in-store and to oversee our ambitious growth and development plans, both within the UK and beyond,” said Ruddy.”There will be a big focus on developing the relationships with our key suppliers and customers. This is an extremely exciting time in the life of the business - the brand has a very strong identity and following, so we need to put it within people’s reach,” he added.

“We are tickled pink to welcome Mr Ruddy to Sugar HQ as our new headmaster,” said director Kitty Hope. “At last, a member of staff with hair.”

Hope & Greenwood also supplies its range of premium confectionery to UK and overseas stores, including Harrods and Selfridges, and is rolling out a UK licensing programme, the first phase of which involves ‘Life is Sweet’ homewares launching in John Lewis stores in spring 2012.