What does your job typically entail?
A typical day is getting to the shop around 7am to start prepping the day for opening at 8am and supporting the staff who are on the early shift. My role throughout the day is operational and reactive and can take many forms, such as helping in the café, taking stock, having meetings with the teams or individuals, spending time chatting to customers or credit control – you name it, I can turn my hand to it. I think it’s important my team see me and know I will turn my hand to anything and everything. I’ve been in their shoes and therefore can relate.
How did you get into the industry?
You might say it was my destiny from birth. Given our business has been in the family for 111 years, and I helped my granny and then parents while growing up and loved it, it was inevitable really. I did spend four years away at university studying in Aberdeen, but once I finished I came back supporting my parents; then when my mum became ill I became more and more involved until I met my husband, Owen, and we took over the business together. That was 25 years ago this year. How time has flown by, but I can honestly say I’ve never regretted it for a minute. I love what I do!
And your least favourite?
I think my least favourite thing is balance; trying to balance out a home and work life. It’s incredibly difficult in a family business. More often than not if someone doesn’t turn up for a shift, can’t do a shift or if there’s a problem, it generally falls to myself and my husband. So, to be able to facilitate any problems, days off can often be limited and my kids often have to come to Jannetta’s to spend time and catch up with me.
I’m even more conscious of this balance now that my youngest is the last child at home as his siblings are now off at university. I hate not spending quality time with him and my family. It’s a much quieter house with only one child at home and I’m very conscious of this. I love it when all the family are all home again for the holidays and try my utmost to get time off to spend with them.
What’s your favourite food and beverage?
Oh, now that’s tricky. Beverage, well, having Italian heritage, it has to be prosecco. I love nothing better than after a hard day’s work, sitting in the garden, in the sunshine (you can tell I don’t do it often), enjoying a chilled glass or two of prosecco.
My favourite food is also Italian. I’m fortunate to have had lots of recipes handed down through the generations, but my favourite, if you forced my hand, would have to be arancini – a stuffed risotto rice ball covered in breadcrumbs and deep-fried, which is delicious and very moreish. And to finish? Well that’s easy, our own Jannettas gelato, nocciola (hazelnut). A perfect combination, all topped off with Michael Bublé serenading me – perfect!
And your least favourite?
I’m not a great fan of marshmallows and popcorn. It’s the texture of marshmallows that really gets me. I won’t go into details but let’s just say it’s a texture I don’t enjoy at all. As for popcorn, it’s down to texture too and the smell. I just don’t get it. Other than that, I’m really not a fussy eater.
What is the biggest factor currently affecting the industry?
For us it’s the ‘B’ word: Brexit and the uncertainty of it all. What it will mean and what’s it likely to affect. So far we have already seen a hike in some prices and this has an obvious knock-on effect for us. We’ve been told tourism is down locally and it’s been referred to as the ‘Brexit effect’. How true this is I’m not sure, but it is a cause for concern.
Some of our staff are also concerned, unsure what the future will be for them. It’s hard to reassure them when we aren’t even sure what it will mean, but we do hope to retain our team as they’re pivotal to our continued success. It’s really the uncertainty of it all and what it might mean and not being able to plan or support when it’s all so uncertain and unclear currently.
What one piece of advice would you offer someone working in the industry?
I think the one golden piece of advice I would give is to work hard at getting an excellent team behind you to ensure business sustainability ensuring continued quality, service and sustainability for the business and the fifth generation.