miles wheeler the savourists

Name: Miles Wheeler

Age: 23

Job title: Sales & marketing executive

Company & location: The Savourists, London

Education: BA Sustainable Design, Falmouth University

Why did you decide to go for a career in food? There’s never a moment I’m not thinking about food. Why not turn an obsession into a career?

Explain your job to us in a sentence (or two): At the heart of it, I sell vegan savoury snack bars, but working in a startup means you get involved with so much more: from contacting business and industry sites, to designing tote bags and everything in between.

What does a typical day look like for you? There is no typical day with us at The Savourists. I could be out sampling on the shop floor in our stockists one moment and then in a meeting 30 floors up The Shard the next!

My role, and launching a new brand, really revolves around people and the relationships you make. We have something completely different to offer and there is an education piece around it too. I love encouraging people to try our savoury bars, whether that’s one customer in Planet Organic or a catering manager looking after 4,000 people. It’s all about having fun with it and enjoying sharing food with your customers.

Tell us how you went about applying for your job. I applied through the Young Foodies graduate scheme. I had to send through a CV and had an informal chat on the phone with them first. From there, they sent me through options they thought I would be a good fit for. I was interested in The Savourists and had to write a quick introduction to myself, go through a phone interview and then finally an in-person interview at The Savourists head office in Parsons Green.

The whole process was relaxed but professional. Nobody tried to catch me out with hard questions but I decided to pitch some NPD in my interview to prove my market awareness – it took me hours of trend research to come up with something I thought would be exciting!

“Launching a new brand really revolves around people and the relationships you make”

What’s the best part about working for a food company? I love working with a startup and the networks around SME food and drink brands are really open and friendly. It’s such a fun and supportive environment and you get to work with genuinely passionate people who have put everything on the line to create something delicious that people will love. The drive, passion and determination of people in our space is really inspiring.

And what’s the biggest misconception people have about working in food & drink? The biggest misconception was actually my own. I would never have thought I would be working in sales in a startup straight out of uni: I thought startups would only go for people with lots of experience. I also thought I would learn more with a bigger business and more formal training. However, learning on the job and from conversations with others in the industry has been so much more engaging and fun than any training day could have been!

What advice would you give to other young people looking to get into the food & drink industry? If you love food and drink, there is a space for you. I can’t recommend working for a startup enough. It’s an absolute rollercoaster but the opportunities to learn and grow within such a supportive community make it more than worth it.

What’s your ultimate career dream? I will start my own food business one day. I’m not sure yet whether it will be a street food venture at Borough Market or a food product headed for the supermarket shelves, but I do know my experience over the next few years at The Savourists will be invaluable.

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