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5 food insiders reveal what they would do differently in their careers

4 min read
AUTHOR: Ross Carver-Carter

We’ve hosted a diverse group of food professionals on the Food Matters Live podcast, all of whom are blazing a trail in their chosen roles.

When looking back upon their careers- the mistakes, learnings and successes- our guests often ponder what they would do differently if given the chance.

In today’s podcast round-up, we’ve collated some of their wisdom to help you on your own journey towards success.

Rhiannon Lambert, Registered Nutritionist


Rhiannon Lambert is one of the UK’s leading nutritionists, a Sunday Times Bestselling author and host of the chart-topping podcast Food For Thought– an impressive resume to say the least. Asked what she would do differently in retrospect, Lambert had the following to say:

I didn’t have anyone telling me this at the time. But the thing I wish I had been told was, know your strengths and weaknesses. And ask for help. Please ask for help.

To hear more about Rhiannon’s journey from award-winning musician to leading nutritionist, check out her podcast episode! Along the way, she busts the myth that being a social media star is “easy work” and shares her top tips for budding nutritionists.

Mark Whalley, Consumer Insights Controller for Greencore

Consumer insights career conversation

Mark Whalley has spent more than a decade working in the Consumer Insight sector. During that time, he’s worked with a long list of high-profile brands including Unilever, Pepsi, and Heineken.

Currently, he is an Insight Controller for Greencore – “the largest company you’ve never heard of”. What would he do differently if he could go back in-time?

Get that real direct face to face time with people. I think it builds up a lot of skills that you can then sort of use if you move to the food industry, or any insight based position, food or otherwise. I started out doing a lot of desk research, reading a lot of journals and things like that, which is interesting and useful, but less human.

Check out the full podcast to find out what an average day looks like for a Consumer Insights Controller and how Mark’s job has taken him all around the world!

Helen Pattinson, co-founder of Montezuma’s chocolates

Helen Pattinson, Montezuma's chocolate

After leaving a career in law and embarking on a life-changing trip to South America, Helen and her husband launched Montezuma, a luxury chocolate brand with vegan offerings.

Looking back at her decision to enter the law profession, Helen says she didn’t really know what her passion was. Her advice?

You don’t have to do what everybody else does. Really, really think about what you love in life.

Want to learn more about Helens journey from corporate law to chocolate entrepreneur? Check out the full episode over at the Food Matters Live podcast.

Ellie Webb, entrepreneur and founder of Caleño

Ellie Webb

Disappointed with the selection of no/low-alcoholic drinks on offer, Ellie Webb founded Caleño– a range of non-alcoholic spirits brewed with flavourful botanicals.

Her drinks brand is a huge success, with high-profile retailers such as M&S, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s stocking the range. Looking back, we asked Ellie if she’d do anything differently in her career. Here’s what she had to say:

If you want to get into a startup or a business… rather than starting one straightaway, maybe join one and actually learn how how it works- the inner workings- and then that may give you the confidence to go out and start your own business.”

Listen to the full episode to learn what inspired Ellie, how she overcame boardroom sexism and why great ideas only get you half-way to success.

Ayesha Grover, CEO and founder of strp’d

ayesha grover entrepreneur strp'd

Ayesha graduated with an MBA and went on to found strp’d, a company that makes flour, milk and flakes out of nutrient-dense tigernuts. Looking back on her own career path and experience, there was one thing in particular that she regrets not doing sooner:

I would have loved to have more experience with startup consumer brands. I think there’s so much that you can learn along the way whilst working for a startup- things like registering your company; stuff that I never really thought about. [it’s] something I wish I had done earlier on.

Check out the full episode to find out what tiger nuts are (the clue isn’t in the name!), where they are sourced and how Ayesha turned this unique ingredient into a successful health product range.

With our careers guide, you can explore exciting opportunities in the food sector, hone your employability skills and discover the best apprenticeships across the country. Sign up for free and kickstart your food career today.