Steve Perez

What was your first job? Working for my dad, peeling potatoes in the kitchen of his hotel, The Red Lion in Chesterfield. It’s a place with lots of happy memories for me, so 40 years after I left the hotel, I bought it back.

What was the first music single you bought? I’m a Jimi Hendrix fan so Voodoo Chile had to be the first single I bought.

How would you describe your job to your mates? I try to do a bit of everything. I set up Global Brands over 20 years ago, which is at the core of what I do.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job? Creating drinks brands and being a fly on the wall – seeing people enjoying my drinks in unexpected places. This is what makes me want to keep investing.

What is the least rewarding part? Dealing with bureaucracy can be frustrating, particularly at a time when drinks are in the limelight. In my view, the drinks industry was made an example of over the sugar tax.

What is your motto in life? It pays to work hard and be tenacious.

If you were allowed a dream perk, what would it be? It is my dream to own a jet again.

Do you have any phobias? Only the one – heights. Although I’d be willing to make an exception for the jet…

If you could change one thing in grocery, what would it be? More innovation – we need to keep consumers on their toes! Today’s shoppers want more from brands – experiences – and it’s on us to deliver.

What luxury would you have on a desert island? A desert island means sunshine, and there’s nothing more refreshing than a gin & tonic on a hot day. Made with Franklin & Sons of course!

What’s your favourite film? Vanishing Point.

What animal most reflects your personality? To set up and run your own business, you need that killer instinct – spotting the opportunities and not letting them get away. I’d have to be an eagle.

What celebrity would you most like to work with and why? Working with a fellow entrepreneur like Alan Sugar would be a great opportunity. He’s a straight-talker and so am I. I think we’d work well together and I would welcome his advice on recruitment as I grow my empire!