How did you get to where you are today? I've got here through a combination of hard work, determination and persistence, allied to the good fortune of working for some significant and dynamic brand owners and distributors that provide that invaluable level of experience.

What was the best decision you have made in your career and why? To set up our own business. Seeing all your experience put into practice and seeing the tough decisions that have to be made being proved to be right is so rewarding, both personally and commercially.

Who do you most admire in the grocery industry? I admire the independent retailers who have had to adapt quickly to survive in a fiercely competitive marketplace.

Do you have a mentor and how have they helped you in your career? I do not have a mentor but there are people who have helped shape my career more than others and in whose shoes I place myself when deliberating certain decisions.

What is the most important piece of information you have ever been told? "Cut the bullshit and cut to the chase."

If you could change one thing in the grocery industry what would it be? A more equitable distribution of margins would be a good place to start. It would make so many more things possible, such as product innovation.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Delivering new products to the market that you have been involved with from inception is hugely rewarding, particularly when it is acknowledged and endorsed commercially by your customers.

What is the one thing that you could not do your job without? The calculator - Its answers invariably shape every deal.

If you could start your career again, what would you do differently and why? I would be more patient. I have always wanted everything to happen quickly, but you don't gain experience overnight.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry today? I would say, be sure that it is what you want, because once you are in, it's usually for the long haul.

What do you like doing when you are not working? Golf - with our own business and a young family, my golf handicap has rather suffered, although in fairness it was never that great before! And football - Blackpool Football Club have never let my interest in lower league football down.

Where do you hope to be in five years time? I would like to be somewhere warm and sunny where margins and expenses are not important!