Leo Taylor, CEO and co-founder of Yum Bug

Name: Leo Taylor

Age: 28

Job title: CEO

Company & location: Yum Bug, Islington, London

Education: University of Edinburgh, Landscape Architecture

Why did you decide to go for a career in food & drink? To move the needle on climate and food sustainability problems – and because I love food!

Explain your job to us in a sentence (or two): Broadly speaking, my job is to make sure our team are aligned and working on the most important issues – right now it’s getting our grub into restaurants.

What does a typical day look like for you? As a founder of a startup, no two days are ever the same. I can go from being an R&D chef to flyering an event in a cricket costume, to having a sales meeting with a restaurant, to pitching a room full of investors all in the same day. Being a small team we are all generalists and have to learn quickly.

“Don’t be shy of hard work, asking for people, or really shouting about yourself”

Tell us about how you went about setting up your business: This was very much a business that evolved out of a passion rather than a career I sought out. My co-founder Aaron and I started cooking with insects for fun on weekends out of my parents’ garage back in 2017. It wasn’t until lockdown that we sold our first insects – which snowballed to a point we got investors excited and raised enough money to move into our own kitchen and hire a small team.

I think the most important advice I can give to (aspiring) founders is to get cracking as soon as you can. We’re strong believers in getting started with a highly imperfect first stab, and iterating it over time. The second most helpful idea for us was to constantly question how things can be improved and have the eagerness to search out answers or learn new skills.

What’s the best part about working for a food & drink company? Working on a problem that matters to creating a better future.

And what’s the biggest misconception people have about working in food & drink? That you spend your whole time eating!

What advice would you give to other young people looking to get into the food & drink industry? There are so many ways to get involved in the food industry, and each role can be very different to the next. If you know what you want to do, I’d suggest just go for it and get stuck in. Make every career decision based on your north star – and don’t be shy of hard work, asking for people, or really shouting about yourself. I worked street food stalls for eight months when I got started in the food industry, a role I got going stall by stall asking people for a job.

If you don’t know what you want to do within the food industry, I’d suggest mapping out things you’ve enjoyed in the past and try to really get to the bottom of why you enjoyed them. Look for themes that run through the things you enjoyed – that will give you pretty strong pointers as to what roles you might enjoy doing within the food industry.

What’s your ultimate career dream? To build a company that contributes meaningful solutions to the climate problem, or important social issues.

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