Kathy Caton, managing director, Brighton Gin, on brutal hours, neat gin and Some Like It Hot
What was your first-ever job? Buttering sandwiches for my mother’s catering company. The first job I applied for was seasonal gift-wrapper for John Lewis.
What’s been your worst job interview? When I was travelling in Australia I was interviewed for a job as an assistant butcher. The butcher spent the interview grilling me about England’s cricket lineup, about which I knew nothing. He gave me the job.
What was the first music single you bought? Echo Beach by Martha and the Muffins - a great start.
How do you describe your job to your mates? A lot of them have heard me banging on about gin for many years, so they’re totally unsurprised it’s become my job.
What is the most rewarding part of your job? At tastings, I love it when you’ve persuaded someone who’s reluctant to try neat gin to do so - they are braced to wince, then they experience how smooth our gin is and are happy and surprised.
What is the least rewarding part? The hours are brutal on an ageing body!
What is your motto in life? Brave and strong, and one foot in front of the other.
If you were allowed one dream perk, what would it be? A 1950s-style fierce PA who forced me not to do stuff!
Do you have any phobias? Spiders and being trapped in small spaces.
If you could change one thing in grocery, what would it be? As much as possible, I’d love people by default to think local and shop local.
What luxury would you have on a desert island? Radio 4 and a gin still.
What animal most reflects your personality? In a straw poll of friends, a Jack Russell seems to come out top.
What’s your favourite film and why? Some Like It Hot - a perfect comedy, fabulously transgressive, a cracking soundtrack and Jack Lemmon.
Which celebrity would you most like to work with? I’d love to go out on the tear with Nigella Lawson - I really admire the wit, intelligence and raw passion with which she writes and talks about food and drink, and I think she’d be a hoot on the gins!
What would your death row meal be? Brighton Gin gravadlax, scallops in garlic butter, one of mum’s roasts, and homemade gooseberry fool with a summer pudding.