Name: Ben Iravani
Job title: Co-founder
Company: Whitebox Cocktails
What was your first job? Hudson’s Catering – pouring drinks at events in Scottish castles.
What’s been your worst job interview? When I got into cocktail bartending there was a bar in our city that I really wanted to work in. I went for an interview for the bar job and was told the bar I currently worked in served “shit” cocktails. Not a strong start and I didn’t get the job.
Five years later the bar group I founded ended up buying that bar over, so I’ve since managed to pull a few shifts after all.
What was the first music single you bought? A cassette of Snoop’s ‘Doggystyle’. I think my brother had to buy it for me as it had a “parental advisory” sticker on it. It’s still a classic.
How do you describe your job to your friends? Not in too much detail… They know I make cocktails and they don’t seem to have any problem enjoying those cocktails. The proof is in the pudding and I always get brutally honest feedback from them whether I want it or not.
“The big boys always dominate financially which makes it very hard to get seen”
What is the most rewarding part of your job? Working with great people. Our team is excellent and they put in a lot of work to make the business what it is.
What is the least rewarding part? The admin that goes into owning your own company.
What is your motto in life? Care about what you do. It seems obvious but it’s hard to find.
If you were allowed one dream perk, what would it be? Extra hours in the middle of the day to spend more time with my family.
Do you have any phobias? Not really but I do have a distaste for pencil sharpenings which my wife finds hilarious.
If you could change one thing in grocery, what would it be? More support for up and coming brands that can show traction. The big boys always dominate financially which makes it very hard to get seen.
What luxury would you have on a desert island? A fridge to stack all of the required Whitebox cocktails of course!
What animal most reflects your personality? A panda. I graze most of the day like those guys do with their bamboo.
What’s your favourite film and why? White Men Can’t Jump. It got me playing basketball as a kid, which has led to some of my best friendships.
What has been the most embarrassing moment in your life? I’m struggling to think of one – there’s definitely one in there from my stag do if they count, but what happens on the stag…
Which celebrity would you most like to work with and why? It seems like a lot of celebs work with drinks brands these days so it’s maybe not too far out of reach, but if I could go back in time it would be fun to can up some Thug Passions for Tupac (one part Alizé, one part Cristal Champagne).
What would your death row meal be? So hard to say, but my dad is from the Middle East, which might be why I’d lean towards taking a giant mezze platter.