The Newt in Somerset

March 2022 to date
I am currently working with the Innovation team at the Belazu Ingredient Company.

The Newt in Somerset

The Newt in Somerset
During the Covid lockdown I was fortunate to be asked by the team at the Newt in Somerset to help develop an initial range of Own Label Products for their retail shop and on-line business.

I worked closely with the Estate Head Chef, design team and purchasing, and because of covid restrictions all of our communication and work was on-line through Teams.

The suggested range of products came together quickly, and as samples were produced to specifications, these were taste tested and either signed off immediately, re-worked following tasting comments, or rejected, through until a final range was formulated.

The design team then stepped in to create a selection of very elegant designs, all of which now bring the total offer together, and has also built a foundation to grow the brand.

It was a pleasure to work on this project, especially under circumstances and restrictions, and I believe the products created now offer a wonderful range of quality and flavour all linked to the estate in Somerset.

If you’ve not visited I would encourage you to spend a day exploring the gardens, retail and eating at the Cafe.

Abel & Cole

Managing and working with the buying team. My role was a head of buying maternity cover and the management of three product categories, Grocery, Bakery and non-food. The aim was to maintain the existing product ranges but also enhance them through the introduction of new key products, some new own label products and where necessary, to raise the quality of the product range with new Organic food lines.

With the Abel & Cole food team and each producer, I helped maintain and manage the price structure, insuring that the total product offer was competitive and supply was maintained.


Having previously worked for Daylesford Organic, it was a pleasure to be asked to carry out some project work, developing more own label lines. The three projects have been varied but have added to the unique selection of products Daylesford offer under own label and branded through their retail outlets.

National Trust

Own Brand Development

Managing the re-development of the existing own brand National Trust food products. Enhancing and raising the quality of the product range with new British food lines, including savoury condiments, sweet biscuits, savoury biscuits, tea and Christmas puddings.

Sourcing the right product from the right manufacturer, developing recipes and tasted each product with the National Trust food team. Once the chosen lines had been carefully selected, I assisted with the development through to launch.

With the National Trust food team and each producer, I helped coordinate the price structure, production volumes, physical production, packaging print runs and provided input to the new design.

All products are now available at National Trust shops and on-line at

Rustichella d’Abruzzo

Pasta producer Abruzzo Italy | Product placement

An Italian pasta producer that exports, artisan pasta and sauces to 60 countries throughout the world.

My brief with this project was to identify a new UK distributor and to develop more retail business for the Rustichella brand. Many retailers were interested in the brand, but required a solid UK distributor to supply regularly and in small quantities.

The challenge with this project was a UK market that is saturated with many pasta brands and competitive prices. Rustichella pasta is produced in small quantities and dried slowly over 2-3 days, so its quality is high and it’s cost price reflected by this.

The outcome 12 months from starting the search; A new UK distributor who successfully trades with supermarkets, gourmet food hall’s, delicatessens, restaurants and the food service business, giving the Rustichella brand an opportunity to grow to its full potential and the distributor a new category and an additional stream of revenue.

Steens Manuka Honey

New Zealand | Product placement

The largest producer of raw Manuka honey in New Zealand. My brief has been to help establish more retail business in the UK and help search for distribution partners in Europe and the USA.

The challenge here was price and a UK market saturated with existing Manuka brands. The positive attributes of Steen’s Honey, is quality and access to good stock of all active rated Manuka. Steen’s also has a unique and eye catching brand.

The UK Manuka Honey market was and still is growing and so once I communicated with retailers, including the big 5 supermarkets, they all showed their interest. The outcome to date: listings with the two luxury food halls in London, one in Paris and with one of the UK’s major supermarkets.

Community Foods

London | Purchasing and Product Management

The Community Food project began with a range review of all existing product lines and a proposed cull of a number of SKUs in the catalogue. Non-moving lines took up valuable warehouse space and fast moving products were not allocated sufficient space.

After completing the review and making recommendations, the stock level was reduced, the warehouse re-configured and space allocated to suit requirements.

While carrying out the review I also developed two bespoke review processes, a Category Review process, for the Brand Team and a sales review tool for the Sales Team to help assess product performance.

Tsvetnoy Central Market

Moscow | Merchandising

The brief was to support Ford McDonald Consultancy with the sourcing of a selection of UK and European product lines for the new Tsvetnoy Central Market and deliver all required information to the UK based Russian importer and Tsvetnoy buying team.

Having selected a number of suitable brands I was asked to support the team in Moscow with the merchandise plans and merchandising of the new food market, working in conjunction with the Russian shop floor team and to prepare the market for opening pre-Christmas 2010.


Spanish Food Importer and retailer UK | Seasonal Gift Box Development, Category and Purchasing Management, Brindisa Own Label Product Development

The brief was to help develop the new Brindisa Box selection. A range of Christmas gift boxes, summer picnic boxes and an all year round offer of Gift boxes. The packaging had to be a new design, be practical and cost effective, so that different selections could fit in to no more than two box sizes.

With Brindisa’s unique selection of products we created a combination of ambient and chilled boxes to sell on-line and through their retail outlets. On completion the summer boxes were launched immediately and the Christmas offer launched in October 2012.

Sud De France

The UK regional office for the Languedoc Roussillon | Product Evaluation

Languedoc Roussillon region and an assessment of the product’s suitability for the UK market.

The end reports needed to be factual and consistent and so to help with the evaluation I enlisted the help of some respected and experienced food buyers and distributors, to give a broader view and provide unbiased opinions, which would hopefully be used by the producers.

The outcome once completed, 17 written reports were submitted, for each represented Food producer and the regional Sud de France office in Montpellier.

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