>>William Opie, managing director, Bennett opie

The most fulfilling part of running a business, says William Opie, is working on new product development and seeing consumer reaction as these new ideas hit the market.
“I get a great deal of satisfaction seeing new products come to fruition and being well-received by our customers,” he says.
As MD of Bennett Opie, a family-run specialty producer supplying foods including olives, cocktail cherries, nuts and garnishes, Opie says he ensures the company is on a sound footing by responding to market changes, listening to customers and constantly developing the business.
He visits key customers in the UK and abroad, as the firm enjoys a successful export business to 40 countries.
Opie says: “I’m hands-on in developing cohesive marketing strategies to ensure a strong brand portfolio.”
On a day-to-day basis Opie meets with clients and suppliers and manages internal issues. He spends two days a week out of the office with customers and once or twice a month visits customers abroad.
One of the focuses of the business in the last few years has been to develop offerings using local produce. When it
comes to product portfolio the firm is constantly thinking long-term, says Opie, evaluating existing ranges and looking at new product development. He says: “The grocery industry is competitive and fast-moving and we have to stay one step ahead.”
Bennett Opie trades with most of the major multiples and Opie also deals with international companies as far a field as Finland, New Zealand and Russia. He is proud of the company’s international working relationships.
Another major responsibility for Opie is the day-to-day management of more than 100 employees, and they will join in helping the company celebrate its 125th anniversary in May. Opie says: “The team here is loyal and committed - we have a good working relationship.”
the md who gets a real buzz from NPD that hits the mark