Name: James Eid
Job title: Founder & brand director
Company & location: Earth & Wheat
Education: Currently a second year student at Lancaster University, studying Business Management
Why did you decide to go for a career in food? I come from a family who is passionate about food. I am a fourth-generation baker and I have grown up baking bread. I started baking at a very young age, and now I have joined the family business, Signature Flatbreads.
Explain your job to us in a sentence (or two): I have just launched Earth & Wheat, which is a wonky bread box subscription that helps to fight food waste. My job is very varied. Earth & Wheat is a new startup that requires attention in all aspects of the venture, from marketing to operations.
What does a typical day look like for you? I wake up at around 6am and enjoy a black coffee with my breakfast (which usually consists of lovely fresh bread) whilst listening to the news. After having checked up on the morning’s emails I dash to the family bakery and begin my day at around 7.30am.
My mission at present is to minimise the eye-watering food waste at the point of production, so much of my focus and attention is allocated to Earth & Wheat, especially during our launch period. Earth & Wheat is the UK’s first wonky bread box subscription, rescuing wonky (unattractive) and overproduced breads from going to waste and delivering it fresh directly to consumers’ doors. From website infrastructure to marketing, rescue planning to boxing up and delivering meals to food charities, my day is extremely varied and pleasantly fulfilling.
After the working day finishes, which could be as long as 12 hours, I head home and catch up on the emails which have been flying around, and of course, complete my university studies. As a young entrepreneur, I am becoming accustomed to late nights and little sleep, but I am thoroughly enjoying the journey and I am having so much fun working towards growing Earth & Wheat and participating with our growing community online.
“As a young entrepreneur, I am becoming accustomed to late nights and little sleep but I am thoroughly enjoying the journey”
What’s the best part about working for a food company? The best part is working within a team, and seeing the company flourish as a result of the dedication and commitment everyone puts in. I would assume this is the case for all industries, but what is especially apparent in a food business is that everyone is truly passionate about good-quality food, it’s something that is universally understood and appreciated, and I think that’s great.
And what’s the biggest misconception people have about working in food & drink? Based on what people have asked me, the biggest misconception about the food & drink industry is that we get to eat whatever food is produced. As much as I would love that to be true, if we ate our products, we would have nothing left to share and sell!
What advice would you give to other young people looking to get into the food & drink industry? I would say if you are passionate about food & drink, then go for it. The food industry is vast and complex, so look around for a role you can see yourself really enjoying and pursue that niche specialism. There is plenty of opportunity to learn and progress, and there are plenty of different position types within a food business, from finance to the production floor there will be something for everyone.
What’s your ultimate career dream? I am in my dream career… I am very optimistic about Earth & Wheat, and there is so much opportunity in the food & drinks industry.