Dani Bol

Name: Daniella Corrodus-Patterson

Age: 24

Job title: Quality technician

Company & location: Bol, Paddington, London

Education: Food Science BSc (hons), University of Leeds UK

Why did you decide to go for a career in food? My family have always made food a big part of our lives and my mother decided to make a career of it too. She used to run her own café and often catered delicious authentic Caribbean food for parties with hundreds of guests. So as someone who loved to be in the kitchen, I always made sure to help wherever I could – even if I was only 10. Like mother like daughter, I soon realised I also wanted to make a career out of my favourite hobby (eating) and just decided to combine this with my interest in chemistry too.

Explain your job to us in a sentence (or two): I track and monitor quality for the company by tasting a lot of Bol (about 1,000 products in the last three months)! This includes many visits to all of our kitchens spread across the UK, so that we can implement improvement plans for any trends we’ve highlighted or are seeing in our consumer feedback.

What does a typical day look like for you? Working so close to production means I might be in the Midlands one day, the north the next, and then back in London leading taste panels with the rest of the team by the end of the week. Wherever it is, I’ll be eating Bol, collecting every bit of feedback I can to drive improvements for our recipes. The best thing is that we are our target market, so everyone at Bol is super passionate about delivering delicious plant-based food which is easy to enjoy.

“People think operations is just for the guys. My entire ops team are women”

Tell us how you went about applying for your job. It started just before a lot of people had ever heard of the word Covid, and although we did have to put a halt on things for a month, I found my application process surprisingly quite fun. After reaching out to Bol, we had some conversations about what I was particularly interested in and future aspirations. I then presented my ideas on how to improve current trends within the company to the operations team. There were three stages before my final chat with Bol’s founder, Paul Brown, which was ultimately a chance for us to say hi and get to know each other a bit. We’re still a relatively small team, so understanding how new people might fit into the culture is an important part of the process.

What’s the best part about working for a food company? The endless supply of free plant-based food! For me, the plant-based diet doesn’t just stop once I’ve left the office, so it’s incredibly energising that I get to be part of the mission that is helping to make it part of the norm.

And what’s the biggest misconception people have about working in food & drink? I must admit I’m also guilty of this but it’s definitely the idea that operations is just for the guys. My entire ops team are women – they’re legends.

What advice would you give to other young people looking to get into the food & drink industry? Definitely to join a start-up. Smaller teams mean so much more exposure to each department and how they operate, which gives you lots of experience and understanding for what you’re really interested in and what it is that gives you the most energy. At Bol there is a huge amount of flexibility within different roles, which is really invigorating.

What’s your ultimate career dream? To be a food critic and get my tastebuds insured: it’s been the same dream since I was 10.

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