Name: Ed Faulkner (right) and Ivo Devereux
Age: 27, 26
Job title: Co-founders
Company & location: Sapling Spirits, London
Why did you decide to go for a career in food and drink? We are both massive foodies (and love a drink!) so we were going into an industry that we were already passionate about. It’s great to be part of such a universal industry that everyone can relate to. It was also attractive because there are such huge opportunities for sustainable innovation. I think it’s fair to say there are systemic issues with the way food and drink is produced which result in excess carbon emissions and diminished biodiversity (among other things). It seemed like an industry where we could really make a difference.
Explain your job to us in a sentence (or two): As co-founders we do a bit of everything, but as the company has grown Ivo has moved more into the business development side to make sure the commercial activities of the business continue to run smoothly, while Ed has worked on the sustainability side of the brand to make sure that everything we do and promise is watertight and as progressive as can be.
What does a typical day look like for you? We work out of an office in Holborn and these days sadly spent a large amount of days on Zoom! Being in the drinks industry we still have the benefit of spending a good amount of time with our trade customers and enjoying the London food and drink scene.
“We started the company in 2018 after we were tasked with planting 250,000 trees”
Tell us about how you went about applying for your job. We started the company in 2018 after we were tasked with planting 250,000 trees off the west coast of Scotland. It was tricky to encourage people to come to such a remote and wet place so we decided to start a music festival. Guests would come up on coaches, plant trees in the day, and then drink cocktails and listen to music in the evening. It caught on and we managed to do the lion’s share of the planting, which was a great result! The only problem was that there were no sustainable spirits to match the ethos of the event. We started planting an extra tree for every bottle of a spirits sold and it became a real talking point. We wanted to give people all over the UK the opportunity to plant trees while doing what they loved: listening to music and drinking with their friends.
What’s the best part about working for a food company? Its a really unpretentious industry. Everyone is passionate about what they do and nobody takes themselves too seriously. Its a breath of fresh air compared with other places I’ve worked.
What advice would you give to other young people looking to get into the food & drink industry? There are thousands of food and drink brands out there and its difficult to chose one that will work for you. Find a company that looks after its employees and matches your own personal ethos and you shouldn’t got too far wrong. Ideally you would also be a fan of the product that you are making or selling!
What’s your ultimate career dream? Our career dream is to grow Sapling into a company that can provide grants for progressive tree planting projects and support sustainable innovation across the industry. Sustainability should not and never will be a way to get one up over your competitors. Its a collective movement in which everyone needs to support and help each other do better for the planet.