Founder, Junior’s Pantry, on awful jobs, Maggie Smith and making her stage debut at the hotel cabaret
What was your first-ever job? A Saturday job cleaning boats on the Norfolk Broads it was as awful as it sounds.
What’s been your worst job interview? I can’t think of a bad interview but I’ve done plenty of awful jobs: making 2,000 sandwiches by hand, cooking for prisoners in a police station, frying scampi and chips in the GLC building where I got lost every time I left the kitchen… the list goes on.
What was the first music single you bought? Something from the movie Grease.
How do you describe your job to your mates? I create yummy dishes for busy mums and children. Plus I do the photocopying, orders, admin, social media and so on.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job? Feedback from customers telling me they and their children love our dishes.
What’s the least rewarding part? Admin.
What’s your motto in life? If it was easy, everyone would do it.
What’s your nickname? My old colleagues in the City called me Finchy.
If you were allowed one dream perk what would it be? An osteopath on tap: a desk and stress play havoc with my back.
What’s your favourite film? Gosford Park, for Maggie Smith and the dream of having staff!
What has been the most embarrassing moment in your life? Well, I wasn’t embarrassed but my parents certainly were. Aged five I decided to go on stage at a hotel cabaret to demonstrate my piano-playing skills - unfortunately I made an awful noise with the band attempting to play along.
Do you have any phobias? I’m not a fan of things that flap: birds, moths and butterflies.
If you could pick a celebrity to join your staff who would it be and why? Is Jools Oliver a celebrity? She totally understands life as a busy mother so would empathise with our customers.
If you could change one thing in grocery what would it be? I’d shorten the time from innovation to market.
What luxury would you have on your desert island? A really comfy bed with lovely goose down pillows and a supply of Twirl Bites.
What animal best reflects your personality and why? A chameleon, though not in looks I might add, I’ve had to be very adaptable throughout my working life.