Stuart Elkington, DryDrinker com

Name: Stuart Elkington

Job title: Founder & MD


What was your first job? It was as a paperboy in the village I grew up in, East Leake in the East Midlands. The biggest challenge was trying not to rip the papers (a simpler time!).

What’s been your worst job interview? To be honest, none spring to mind. I haven’t had that many different jobs, so haven’t had too many interviews, thankfully.

What was the first music single you bought? I think it was Nik Kershaw – Wouldn’t It Be Good when I was about 10 or 11.

How do you describe your job to your friends? I usually describe myself as being self-employed – but it depends how good a friend they are as to how much of the gory detail I give them afterwards!

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Seeing my team happy, or seeing someone I’ve managed really grow into their role. Also, we’ve had some amazing customer letters over the years, thanking us for helping them moderate their drinking, or for introducing family or friends to low & no-alcohol options that actually taste good. That kind of stuff always gets me.

What is the least rewarding part? During the winter our warehouse is pretty cold, so packing up orders on those days aren’t my favourite.

What is your motto in life? Ahh, my kids could even tell you the answer to this one: actions speak louder than words.

If you were allowed one dream perk, what would it be? I would love it if people always did what they said they were going to do – can we make that a job perk?

Do you have any phobias? Once as a young chef at a hotel, I had to chop strawberries as part of a wedding party dessert, and I ended up eating a few too many along the way. I turned bright red and had to go home to have a lie-down, so strawberries have made me feel a bit funny since…

If you could change one thing in grocery, what would it be? I’d make sure every delivery was made on time. I’m sure everyone would thank me for that?

What luxury would you have on a desert island? It’s not a luxury – it’s something I need and have had as part of my evening for the passed 27 years: two slices of original malt loaf with butter. And it must be the original malt loaf. And yes, I’ve even found it in a Waitrose in Antigua.

What animal most reflects your personality? Maybe a playful Labrador. I think I’m quite loyal and don’t take myself too seriously.

What’s your favourite film and why? This is an easy one: A Fish Called Wanda. My son is even named after one of the characters in the film.

What has been the most embarrassing moment in your life? So, back at the start of my career I was promoted to area manager and had my first meeting with the board. It was back in the days of car phones, so I diverted my car phone to the office phone and went into the meeting. I was getting a hard time in the meeting and the phone on the desk just kept ringing and ringing, so eventually the CEO answered it. Unfortunately, it was my mum asking what I wanted for tea… which caused a lot of laughs at my expense.

Which celebrity would you most like to work with and why? Steve Coogan, for the comedy value he’d bring.

What would your death row meal be? Liver and onions with mash, peas and brown sauce, cooked by my mother.

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