Name: Will Cabedo
Job title: Sales executive
Company & location: Brave, White City/West London
Education: Oxford Brookes University
Why did you decide to go for a career in food? Food is one of the biggest passions in my life and always has been – from cooking alongside my mum and grandma to reading cookbooks and watching endless shows about the industry. As consumers we are surrounded by food and drink all day, it’s one of the biggest industries in the world and it’s one that is surrounded by constant innovation. Whether it’s a new product, new packaging or new recipe there is always something new and exciting to experience. A career in the fmcg industry was a no-brainer for me, I’m surrounded by like-minded foodies and get to be a part of something real that I truly believe in.
“I get to be a part of something real that I truly believe in”
Explain your job to us in a sentence (or two): With any startup, your role takes on a new meaning each day and for me, this was definitely the selling point for joining a company like Brave. You’re given so much independence, trust and responsibility, allowing you to get involved in all aspects of the business. However, my main priorities are based around business development and spreading the word about Brave. I’m always looking out for exciting customers to bring on board as well as new channels for us to explore, whether it’s out in the field or online – there is so much opportunity!
What does a typical day look like for you? A typical day for me, after getting into the office, is catching up with emails: whether it’s pitching to potential new buyers or following up from meetings I’ve had the day before. Much of the role also involves being organised, so the mornings give me time to plan my weeks ahead.
Sales is all about winning new business and this is done by meeting and developing relationships with potential customers. My afternoons are typically spent out and about, exploring all corners of London, hunting out some potential new business, whether it’s a café, gym or office. At the end of the day, everyone snacks so there is no limit to where I can go. Either way, getting out on the road and chatting to people is the highlight of this job – each day is so varied, I’m enticed into some great conversations with some really interesting people and for someone who can’t sit still for five minutes, it’s the ideal role.
Tell us about how you went about applying for your job. I was fortunate enough to find Brave quite early on during my job hunt but I think it helped really knowing what I wanted to do prior to this.
I began my process through endless uploads of my CV onto graduate websites, targeting primarily jobs in the fmcg industry in either sales or marketing roles. I was fortunate enough to get in touch with Brave quite quickly and I knew straight off the bat that this was a company I had to work for. I had my first interview face to face with [Brave co-founders] Amber and Seb and we talked about my background, my passions, the company itself and the direction they want to take it in. They also asked for my opinions and how I see the company growing in the future.
The same interview also involved some roleplay where I was put into a few sales scenarios and asked to sell Brave into stores. I had a feeling this might pop up so I was well prepared.
My second interview was really interesting, we actually met in a store and went through products, testing my knowledge on current trends, themes and in-store positioning. This was followed by an interview with a Brave mentor who went into further detail about why I wanted the role and what I could bring to the company.
The whole process was very much a case of getting to know each other on a personal level. With a small business you need to be on the same page as the founders and the team: being on board with the company’s morals and values, and understanding what it is they are trying to do is so important.
“In my second interview we met in a store and went through products, testing my knowledge on current trends”
What’s the best part about working for a food company? The best part has to be being surrounded by like-minded people. It’s a close-knit community and people are always willing to help out in one way or another. At the end of the day, we’re all sharing the same experiences whether we’re at the start, middle or end of our journey – someone will have gone through what you are going through and will no doubt be willing to offer advice. Oh, and the endless roasted peas supply and snack trades with other brands are pretty good!
What advice would you give to other young people looking to get into the food and drink industry? My advice for anyone looking for a career in this industry is get yourself down to any food-related event and throw yourself into conversations with everyone and anyone. Like I said, it’s all about networking and the best way for you to see and meet anyone is in their natural environment selling their product. Most brands chat to each other and making a good impression with one company may mean you get recommended for another. Be genuinely interested in what they do, their story and the product itself. It’s a fast-paced industry, full of constant change and lots of excitement so don’t expect consistency – work hard and enjoy the ride!
What’s your ultimate career dream? At this stage in my career I am very much focused on growing with Brave and I am excited about the future with them. There’s massive potential to grow with the business which is so exciting. As for my role, like I’ve said things change all the time so I don’t know where my role could take me. I am really enjoying my sales role and the prospect of perhaps looking after international customers/markets and even having my own team under me would be great progression.