We are delighted to introduce our show ambassadors; our friends from the food and drink industry that help us to shape the show and make it as helpful and inspiring as possible for you.
co-founder and sales & marketing director, buckley & beale
Adrian Beale is the Co-Founder and Sales & Marketing Director for Buckley & Beale, an importer, distributor and wholesaler of speciality foods based in South Gloucestershire. He has over 20 years sales and marketing experience, 11 in the automotive industry, 5 in food retail, and the last 6 with Buckley & Beale. Adrian Co-Founded Buckley & Beale in January 2011 and has been actively involved in supporting small speciality food producers ever since, speaking at conferences and events on the importance of packaging, pricing, making the most of exhibiting and what buyers are looking for.
Adrian is the Buyer for Cheese & Deli, Health & Wellbeing and Foods of the World at Selfridges and one of the most influential food buyers in the industry. He has worked for Selfridges for over 8 years, and amongst his many experiences, was a judge for the Guild of Fine Food World Cheese Awards 2017, which perfectly places him as the man to talk to for a top buyer’s perspective helping us to curate the show content appropriately.
Founder, Bread & Jam
Jason has had a varied career from TV producer to marine ecologist. His career in food started when he bought an abandoned olive grove in Italy and created an olive oil brand called Nudo which was sold around the world and in stores such as Selfridges, Harrods and Waitrose. After 10 years Jason exited from the olive oil business and started up Bread & Jam, the UK’s first food founders’ festival. This annual conference is a one-stop shop for any food or drink FMCG business looking to start, scale or expand. He also runs the FoodHub Forum on Facebook which is the UK’s largest community of independent food and drink brands and most recently he has launched Planet Jason, a brand on a mission to bring exciting, convenient vegan food to vegans, vegetarians and meat-lovers alike.
Proprietor, bayley & sage
Following her degree in hotel & institutional management, Jennie Allen started in food retailing in 1988 as a trainee manager at Cullen's. Two years later she became a Cullen's franchisee and opened new concept stores Cullen's Patisserie and Cullen's Express.
When the company was sold in 1997, Jennie started Bayley & Sage in Wimbledon Village. Founded as a store which takes pride in delivering superb quality, knowledge and provenance - you’ll now find Bayley & Sage in six more London communities – with even more to come!
jb food solutions
Jeremy has been in retail for 30 years with embracing Fine Food and Artisan Cheese for the last 20! As Corporate Sales Manager for Paxton & Whitfield, Jeremy is well respected for his commercial common sense and good humour. His knowledge of the UK High Street (Ecommerce and Export) in all its glory is without question and he takes pride in playing the ambient and chilled product positioning game.
The customer will always be king, and Jeremy delights in commercial relationships that add value and stand the test of time. Always ahead of the curve, he is not particularly fond of the doing the same old, same old in this fast moving and ever changing retail climate. He is also now working on a new venture - JB Food Solutions.
Managing director, guild of fine food
Now well known in the fine food industry, John began his career studying Agriculture & Food Industry Management at Wye College. This oddly named but all-encompassing course covered farming and production as well as sales and marketing, which proved to be the perfect grounding for a career running the Guild of Fine Food.
At the heart of the fine food world since 1995, the Guild supports and promotes speciality food producers and the independent delis, farm shops and food halls that sustain them.
Founder, artisan food club
Marcus Carter left school at 16 to work on farms in Australia. Then, nearly a decade later returned to Devon to study Agricultural Management at Seale-Hayne college. From there, he went into the dairy-farming sector with Genus Breading and on to my mother’s food business Patchwork Pâté, working on sales nationally and internationally.
He then created his first Carter Food House – wholesale to butchers and fish shop across the UK. His passion for helping independent food companies have a voice has been his driving force for many years and his current business The Artisan Food Club has become the perfect method for this to happen.
Chief executive, cotswold fayre
Paul Hargreaves is one of the leading voices in the UK encouraging and inspiring businesses to be a Force for Good and has published a book with the same title earlier this year. Twenty years ago, he founded Cotswold Fayre, a speciality food wholesaler and the company found success quickly, growing rapidly to become the leading wholesaler in the sector. The tremendous success of the company is down to creating a great place to work and one that focusses on changing the world for better. Since 2015 Cotswold Fayre has been certified as a B Corporation - a company that meets the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance.
Director, r&r Teamwork and co-founder, the beer academy
Rupert is the Director of R&R Teamwork, a top, independent food and drink PR agency based in London. He’s a food lover, IPA lover and farmer. He was a founder of The Beer Academy and of Mr Trotter’s Pork Cracklings - and pioneered the ‘beer and pork scratching dinner’. He can commonly be found dismembering thistles in his Oxfordshire fields. He has over 20 years’ experience and success in the food and drink industry. He has a lateral view of marketing and of life – and is, in his own words, “not quite right”.
Head of food & chef consultant, ugo foods
Steve Walpole has been passionate about food and cooking since he started a Saturday job in a local restaurant at the age of 15. He went on to gain a whole host of college qualifications, diplomas and awards including Awards of Excellence winner in 2000, Parade de Chefs medals, Roux Scholarship finalist, Advanced Culinary Arts diplomas. With this wealth of experience and knowledge under his belt as an award-winning food consultant and freelance chef, Steve is now Head of Food at Ugo Foods, the country’s leading fresh pasta manufacturer.
Founder, Bread & Jam
Tara Mei is the cofounder of Bread & Jam: the largest community of food and drink entrepreneurs in the UK. Winner of The Grocer's Top New Talent award, Great Taste Award judge and seasoned entrepreneur. Tara launched London's first retail incubator for food and drink businesses in 2015 and has since pioneered community growth and collaboration amongst early stage brands, supporting hundreds of producers looking to get their products out there. Today, Tara runs workshops and events for cutting edge brands looking to scale as well as her latest venture, Hotcakes - an online platform that makes it easy for independent retailers to source outstanding products from small producers.