What was your first ever job? Working on an assembly line in my school holidays when I was 14. My mother was the export manager for a lighting company and brought me into work. The hours were long and it was extremely boring. It taught me to work hard at school.
What’s been your worst job interview? For a bar job at a fairly rough club I loved when I was a student at Edinburgh University. When they heard my English accent they all fell about laughing. They said I’d get eaten alive.
What was the first music single you bought? I Love Rock & Roll by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.
How do you describe your job to your mates? Endlessly. They are bored to death with me going on about my adventures.
What is the most rewarding part of your job? Sourcing teas from small, independent farmers across the world - I get to go from the mountains of China, India and Nepal to Malawi and South Africa. It’s an endless adventure. And then there are the chefs and restaurants I work with - from Noma in Copenhagen to Momofuku in New York.
What is the least rewarding part? Paperwork - VAT returns, chasing bills.
What is your motto in life? It’s always tea time.
If you were allowed one dream perk, what would it be? First-class travel.
If you could change one thing in grocery, what would it be? More emphasis on provenance, sustainability and ethical trading. I deal direct with my farmers to ensure they get a fair deal. And I only work with farmers who use sustainable practices to benefit the land and the people that live and work on it.
What luxury would you have on a desert island? Tea, really. I couldn’t live without it.
What’s your favourite film and why? Wild at Heart. I adore the books by Barry Gifford that it’s based on, I love David Lynch and the soundtrack is brilliant.
What has been the most embarrassing moment in your life? There have been many moments - I’m impulsive and reasonably fearless. But a (tea) lady tries to be discreet.
Which celebrity would you most like to work with and why? I’d love to get George Clooney off the coffee and into a decent cup of tea.