What was your first job? Account executive at Media Audits.

Give us a quick rundown of your career to date. I went from Media Audits to Express Newspapers, and then to Denby-Coloroll as brand manager. I moved to Whitbread where I stayed for 11 years, before moving to Heineken for five years. I have been at Chapel Down since 2001.

Has your career followed a logical path? Is there any such thing? Thrusting young executive, via successful, slightly maverick corporate manager, to excitable, wiser, middle-aged entrepreneur.

What is the best decision you have made in your career and why? Jumping off the corporate treadmill and doing something I love in a place I love for more than just the money.

Who do you most admire in the grocery industry? Anyone who refuses to swap brand principles for short-term gain.

Do you have a mentor and how have they helped you in your career? My wife, Susan. For not asking questions and being supportive all the time.

What is the most important piece of information you have ever been told? The soils of south east England are almost identical to those of Champagne.

If you could change one thing in the grocery industry what would it be? To extend the courtesy of timekeeping to your guests/customers/suppliers that you expect yourself. I am never late. It is an easy gift.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Working with talented, smart, polite, passionate and pleasant people.

What is the least rewarding part? The bureaucracy of a small business.

Do you think you'll always work in grocery? If not, where are you likely to work? I will only work where I think I can make a difference. And that means having a real passion about what I'm doing. English wine suits me very well!

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry today? Try to end each day a little less stupid than you were when you woke.

What do you do when you are not working? Eat well, read novels, drink good wine, watch and coach rugby and ponder on the meaning of life.

Where do you hope to be in five years time?

In size 36 waist trousers.