Secrets of gaining and retaining top talent set to be revealed


One highlight of the live events at Food & Drink Expo is the discussion on gaining and retaining top talent in your business. Having the right people on your team can make a huge difference but finding and keeping them can be easier said than done. We caught up with panellist and previous winner of The Grocer’s Top New Talent Award, Adam Sopher, Co-founder & Director at Joe & Seph's to get his thoughts. Here’s what he had to say:

You’ve grown a fantastic business, with a great reputation – how important has having the right people around you been to your success?

Having the right people has been massively important to us. Across all areas of the business we have at least one member of staff who has been with us since the beginning. Whether it’s the kitchen, packing, the warehouse or the office – we’ve got some great people with great experience who’ve all been part of our story and have been a huge part of Joe & Seph’s success. They are 100% aligned with us as Founders in terms of what we want to achieve and our goal of producing the best tasting popcorn in the world. Our whole team also go above and beyond in everything they do and have been become a part of our (now very large!) family.


You’re a family business, tell us what this is like and how it’s different to other companies?

It is different but it makes for a nice working culture. My Mum and Dad are also Directors and being family, it means we can always have honest and open conversations. We’re all also 100% aligned on what we want to achieve and I think working with family helps with this. I’d say being family run has been very positive for the business and it means there’s real enthusiasm and collaboration across the whole company.


Retaining top talent is a key issue for the food and drink industry – what are your thoughts on this?

From my past experience of working under other Managers, I was always excited and enjoyed my work as long as I was learning, developing and being given new opportunities. This is an approach I now take with my own team and I think is key for retention. I try to develop them with exciting projects and let them manage their own time. For me I think this is more important than salary, benefits etc. It’s also great to see members of your team thrive and grow with the company. Our Head of Marketing and Brand actually started off as an intern with us almost 4 years ago and now leads his own team and some huge new projects we’ll be launching later this year.


More insights to come

You’ll be able to hear more from Adam Sopher at the ‘Gaining and retaining top talent in your business’ session at Food & Drink Expo on Tuesday 19th April at 1.45pm. Adam will be joined by a select line-up of The Grocer’s Top New Talent winners from the past three years to discuss how their businesses and brands attract the best people. Panellists include: Ben Mason (Founder, Mason’s Beans), Lawrence Harvey (Retail Director, Tesco UK Central Region), Kris Comerford (Category Director - chilled foods at Tesco PLC), Anna Bateson (Head of Category Management and Shopper Marketing, Innocent Drinks) and Nicole Tallant (Buying Manager Confectionary, Asda).
You can also see Joe & Seph’s Popcorn on stand G148 at Food & Drink Expo.