Skip to main content

10 food & drink entrepreneurs share their best careers advice

Published on: 12 Dec 2017

Over the years, The Grocer has interviewed many of the UK’s top food & drink entrepreneurs. Here are 10 pieces of advice from those who made it.

henry dimbleby leon

“Focus on the stuff. In the end when you start up a business there’s so much to do and actually all that’s important is making the food better, the service better, the environment better. It’s tempting to spend 80% of your time on tables and chairs, or licences, all the crap. The only thing that’s important is the stuff”

Henry Dimbleby, Leon


ella and matt mills

“To be an entrepreneur you need to be an optimist.”

Ella Mills, Deliciously Ella


Alana Spencer

“When I started my business, I had an order for 40 boxes of chocolates. When I took them in she said she didn’t want them as the boxes didn’t have dividers. I stayed up all night hand crafting divides for the boxes. When I took them back the following day she said she didn’t want them anymore. I was 16 and learned that day to always take a deposit.”

 Alana Spencer, Ridiculously Rich 


Candy Kittens

Take the experience first, the cash will come later. With any luck…

Jamie Laing, Candy Kittens



gino d'acampo

Don’t run a business, walk it”

Gino D’Acampo, Bonta Italia


Paul Lindley of Ella's Kitchen

“Sir Ken Morrison said: you see them? (pointing to my feet). Keep them on the ground. Also, start by asking why? That’s the most insightful question, to ask why, not how or what”

Paul Lindley, Ella’s Kitchen


henrietta morrison

“I remember my mum saying, walk in as if you own the place,”

Henrietta Morrison, Lily’s Kitchen


Brewdog Vladimir Putin

“If you believe in something, go with it. And don’t listen to anyone else”

Martin Dickie, BrewDog


  anthony fletcher graze

“Be curious. And hire curious people.”

Anthony Fletcher, Graze 



Alex James

“I can’t talk to the cheese buyer at Waitrose unless I know what’s going on in the industry. So I read The Grocer. I used to read the NME in the same kind of way because it tells you what’s happening and who is doing what.”

Alex James, Alex James Presents Artisan Cheeses