Elle Ponsonby

Name: Elle Ponsonby

Age: 24

Job title: International Sales, Trade and Event Marketing

Company: Rude Health

Education: Philosophy and Politics, Bristol


How did you end up working in food?

I grew up wanting to be a greengrocer. But then I started wavering. It was interning in a law firm, which quickly catapulted me back to food.

What was your first job in food?

I’ve grown up flogging an iconic food, one of life’s greatest gastronomic gifts. Mr Trotters Great British Pork Crackling is a brand founded by my father, Tom Parker Bowles and TV’s Matthew Fort. Being involved in sales, innovation, pack design and distribution from a young age means I’m nosy about almost every aspect of Rude Health.

What’s the best part about working for a food company?

Being a part of the real world more than the virtual world…and all the free food.

What does a typical day at Rude Health look like for you?

6.30AM Swimming in the Serpentine

8.30AM Frowning over which of our 60 foods and drinks to eat for breakfast

9.30AM Responding to messages from international distributors who’ve sidled into my inbox overnight

10.30AM PING - calendar reminder - ‘granola tasting in the kitchen’

11.30AM Reassuring an irate customer, via phone, who’s convinced that our oats have given him tinnitus. Unlikely, Alan.

12.30PM Internal meeting discussing marketing support for an imminent new product launch

1.30PM Lunch at our Rude Health Cafe (ft kimchi)

2.30PM Booking our smoothie bike in for demo sessions across the London independent stores

4.00PM Featuring our office home brew beetroot and ginger kombucha on insta-story

4.30PM Checking over new pack designs for mistakes

5.30PM Getting round to doing one or two of the things I initially meant to do

Rude Health is a very young company. How does that affect your job and the responsibilities you’re given?

Responsibility is dished out generously at Rude Health, and it’s in our ethos, so I doubt this is something that will change as we grow. Rude Health is interesting in that the structure is pretty horizontal - barring our founders and two directors.

What’s the biggest misconception people have about working in food & drink?

People seem to think that companies are bigger and have more staff that they actually do.

What advice would you give young people looking to get into a food & drink career?

Contact companies whose ethos or foods you rate. Don’t just wait longingly until they advertise a position.

What’s your ultimate career dream?

Make enough money so that I can buy Roquefort cheese at Whole Foods without flinching at the till.

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