Lara Story Shop

Name: Lara-Louisa Winnington-Ingram

Age: 25

Job title: Storyteller

Company & location: Story Shop, Glasgow

Education: Edinburgh Napier University, BA (Hons) Marketing Management

Why did you decide to go for a career in food? Passion for food has been a constant throughout my life. I grew up in a guest house in the Scottish Highlands where the restaurant was my kitchen and the garden was our larder. The chef would be waiting for me after school, eager for me to try a new dish and I’d often get roped into helping in the kitchen.

I went vegan back in 2018 when I moved to Berlin and I was like a kid in a candy store exploring the food scene out there! [Restaurant] 1990 Vegan Living was a regular spot and me and my flatmate would frequent Chipi Chipi Bombón in Friedrichshain. The same went for London when I lived there and now being in Glasgow, I can’t walk past a new coffee shop or restaurant without going in.

The food and drink industry has always fascinated me. I’ve worked in kitchens, for food brands, I’ve even worked for a company that designed materials from eggshell waste!

Explain your job to us in a sentence (or two): Finding the key ingredient to telling brands stories on social and in the media.

What does a typical day look like for you? I have porridge almost every day for breakfast, usually with peanut butter, banana and honey. I’ll then cycle to the office, where I’ll smell Cairngorm Coffee brewing on arrival, which we stocked up on at Glasgow Coffee Festival. A lot of my working day evolves around meeting the exciting business owners we work with, planning content, talking to food journalists, influencers and working with the team to cook up creative activations. 

“From rum to seaweed, we get an insight into all sorts of different food and drink brands”

Tell us about how you went about applying for your job. I applied for Story Shop having quit my job in London, where I was working for another creative agency. We didn’t have any food clients there, so I had to feed my passion for food in other ways, like spending £10 on avocado on toast. When the pandemic hit, I didn’t have the option of eating out, so it was time to look for other options. I applied for Story Shop during lockdown, it was a while ago now but I remember being asked during one of two remote interviews what an ideal office perk would be and my answer obviously involved food. When I got the job, our first lunchtime was an incredible spread from a local Lebanese place, plus You+I Kombucha. I knew then that I’d found my dream job.

What’s the best part about working for a food company? The best thing about Story Shop is that we work with a wide range of brands. From rum to seaweed, we get an insight into all sorts of different food and drink brands. We work with so many parts of the “food chain” as well, from Dunns Food and Drink, a wholesaler who supply to bars and restaurants across the UK to AllotMe, a company encouraging people to grow their own. We have the chance to change behaviour – to eat more sustainably. And we get to work with so many passionate people who truly care about quality food and drink.

And what’s the biggest misconception people have about working in food & drink? Probably that it’s boring. Food and drink is a fast-moving industry and there’s so much going on, I could never get bored of it.

What advice would you give to other young people looking to get into the food & drink industry? Stay curious! I love trying new food and drinks, which opens my eyes and keeps me on the ball when it comes to monitoring trends.  

What’s your ultimate career dream? I really love what I do and want to continue to help make Story Shop the go-to agency for all the food and drink brands that I love. Maybe one day I’ll have a side hustle – I have a new business idea just about every day. I was about to tell you what the most recent one was but maybe this will really be the one, so I better not spoil it. Apart from that, I’d like to write my own cookbook, highlighting all the amazing food and drink brands that we work with. But above all, I think it would be pretty cool to go back to my roots and run my own guest house with a restaurant. My mum was so passionate about it and that’s definitely rubbed off on me.

Interested in finding out more about food & drink careers? Check out GrocerJobs for the latest vacancies