Me and My Factory

Salads boss on how career progression benefits all

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

The director of a Leeds-based prepared salads and vegetables business has drawn on his own experience to highlight the value of giving staff the incentive to progress their careers.

In this exclusive interview, Troy Foods commercial director James Kempley told FoodManufacture.co.uk he would take on staff “no matter what”​, provided they were willing to start on the factory floor and were ambitious about furthering their careers.

Kempley, who started on the factory floor when he joined the business at the age of 18, said he was keen on the future directors of the business to have progressed “from the bottom up”​.

While still only 23, he claimed that starting from the factory floor helped him learn all aspects of the business, meaning nobody could “pull the wool”​ over his eyes.

‘Progress them up to team leaders’

“We want to be able to take people on the factory floor … and progress them up to team leaders, to supervisors, to managers,”​ he said.

“Once you know your business inside out, and you’re passionate for it, it makes such a difference to everyone around you. That’s how you can grow your business and that’s how you can drive it forward.”

With a turnover of more than £50M, Troy Foods is owned and run by James’s father David.

Find out about Kempley’s battle to win over staff and his ambitious growth plans for Troy Foods – part of our ‘Me and My Factory’ series of profiles – in the October issue​ of Food Manufacture​.

Eric Richmond Pies

Meanwhile, the owner of a Yorkshire-based pie and meat maker has claimed he was extremely lucky to have found the business for sale, after switching from a successful career in IT.

In this exclusive video interview​, Eric Richmond boss Tom Martin said the company had a “ready-made” ​reputation and a “customer-base that was loyal and understood what we provided”​ when he bought the business in 2014.

Martin has doubled turnover to £1M in his three years in charge.

Do you and your factory have a story to tell?

If you think you would make a suitable Me and My Factory candidate, Food Manufacture’s associate editor Noli Dinkovski​ would love to hear from you.

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