Nick Vadasz

Name: Nick ‘The Picklesman’ Vadasz

Job title: Founder 

Company: Vadasz Deli, The Compleat Food Group

What was your first job? I once worked as a chef at a themed restaurant called Sweeney Todd’s – I learnt early-on how ‘cut-throat’ hospitality can be. 

What’s been your worst job interview? It was a hot summer’s day in central London and I was interviewing for a sales job (not my strength). I arrived late and dripping with sweat like a sauna dweller. I didn’t hear a single word they said as all I could concentrate on was the vast river flowing across my forehead and into my eyes. I styled it out by refusing to wipe my brow whilst the dark sweat patches formed on my light blue shirt, acting as beacons of a young man literally melting away. I still got the job though.

What was the first music single you bought? Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody. Big then and now, it’s definitely stood the test of time!

How do you describe your job to your mates? It goes something like this: “I founded a pickle and ferments business 12 years ago. You know, sauerkraut, kimchi and pickles? I sold it to The Compleat Food Group but I still work for the brand on media and in NPD, creating new, exciting products, which is great because it’s what I’m best at!”

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Creating new products, getting great feedback from customers and seeing them succeed in the retailers. Nothing beats it!

What is the least rewarding part? I love the smell of kimchi (second only to the taste of it) but not smelling like it all the time!

What is your motto in life? Eat more pickles. (I’m getting this on a t-shirt.)

If you were allowed one dream perk, what would it be? Paid pickle trips. Eating my way around the world, packing in as many pickles as possible, as only the Picklesman can. 

Do you have any phobias? Yes, a poisonous snake appearing from under my last and only jar of pickles. 

If you could change one thing in grocery, what would it be? Well, obviously I’d replace the ambient shelves with bespoke refrigerated pickle aisles, fully loaded with all things naturally brined and overflowing with healthy, gut-loving bacteria.

What luxury would you have on a desert island? A mixed pallet or two of Vadasz pickles. And as I’m lying on the beach, a good hardback novel – anything really, so long as it prevents my pickles from falling. There’s nothing worse than sandy pickles. 

What animal most reflects your personality? It’s a split: Wild cat/terrier/butterfly.

What’s your favourite film and why? Blue Velvet ticks all the boxes. It’s horrific/dark yet romantic and beautiful with a magical soundtrack and magnificent, memorable performances. 

What has been the most embarrassing moment in your life? Doing a stand-up routine and very briefly fading out of character. I realised in that moment what the audience were experiencing. Self-doubt must be banished at all times.

Which celebrity would you most like to work with and why? None, all the good ones are dead but if I had to pick, it would be Tom Waits. Some of his genius might rub off on me and also because he’s not on Instagram.

What would your Death row meal be? A full English breakfast. It must include fried bread: a great Stornaway black pudding, The Butchery’s (London’s best!) thick cut streaky bacon and sausages; two fried eggs (Clarence Court); fried tomatoes; Heinz baked beans (not the home-made nonsense) and white crusty buttered toast (definitely not sourdough!) with a pickle plate on the side, so I don’t get indigestion. Heavenly!

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