Andrew Newlands monty bojangles

Name: Andrew Newlands

Job title: Managing director/founder

Company: The Monty Bojangles Co Ltd.

What was your first job? My first job was as a barman at an alternative hip-hop bar in Croydon called the Black Sheep Bar.

I was just 18 and frankly knew utterly nothing. Very much in at the deep end but keeping up with the fast flow of orders and calculating costs and change in my head came easily to me – and I loved the pace! Non-stop movement from 6pm till 2am!

What’s been your worst job interview? I went for a job interview at Ikea when I was very young. It would have been my first job rather than the bar job – resulting in a completely different path through life I expect.

I failed because, in the team exercise, I completely took over the task of building a tower from straws. My team comfortably won. However, it transpires that I failed to demonstrate good teamwork skills in that assessment and hence was unsuccessful. Frankly, I had a great time! Yet since I have only ever had two interviews for jobs, and the other was successful, this will have to be my choice!

What was the first music single you bought? Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) by Marilyn Manson.

“Put 200% into everything you do. If you fail, at least it wasn’t because you didn’t try hard enough”

How do you describe your job to your friends? I rarely need to. In fact, I never need to! I am known as the ‘chocolate guy’ – this is all anyone ever needs to know about what I do for a living. Questions end here – it would seem that sufficient is known about the world of chocolate that all further information is either superfluous or less interesting than the stylised fantasy of it!

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Sharing moments of creativity, success, even toil with the team. I would never want to do this alone.

What is the least rewarding part? Given the time of the month I am writing this, no other answer can be given other than completing my expenses.

Monty Bojangles purrs chocolate

Source: Monty Bojangles

Purrs truffles are the newest launch to the Monty Bojangles range, available in Waitrose since May

What is your motto in life? Put 200% into everything you do. If you fail, at least it wasn’t because you didn’t try hard enough.

If you were allowed one dream perk, what would it be? I would like a fully kitted-out development kitchen and a spacious gym in the office. 

Do you have any phobias? No profound phobias to speak of – yet I am not a fan of surprises. Particularly surprise costs! They bring all manner of discomfort.

If you could change one thing in grocery, what would it be? There is a harmful reluctance to recognise the true value of some food categories, and a fear associated with change therein.

I also believe that diversity is being throttled from the shelves courtesy of the exaggerated number of facings larger brands acquire.

What luxury would you have on a desert island? A freestanding hammock with a mosquito net!

What animal most reflects your personality? I have been told I am a meerkat by someone I trust not to lie to me – I admit I was hoping for more when I asked.

What’s your favourite film and why? My favourite film changes from time to time.

Presently my favourite would undoubtably have to be The Greatest Showman. I was late to the TGS party, yet, once I had finally watched it, the music has stayed with me ever since. Here is a film that keeps on giving – and the significance punches hard. Finally, it is unadulteratedly entertaining, and manages to deliver utterly what it promises to, with no compromising. 


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What has been the most embarrassing moment in your life? At a pitch when I was a lot younger, the prospective client had a particularly unfortunate name.

At the end of the pitch, having done a good job, I accidentally repeated his name in the context that it is more frequently colloquially used. He took offence. Pitch was over. I guess the word was within reach on my mental desktop and I grabbed it by accident when looking for a figurative pencil.

Which celebrity would you most like to work with and why? Assuming a little time travelling, I would very much like to work with Terry Pratchett – I wish to learn about world building, story-telling and comedic self-deprecation from the master.

What would your death row meal be? Homemade nasi lemak with beef rendang.

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