Latest food and drink hires and promotions

By Bethan Grylls

- Last updated on GMT

Darren Osborn, Henley Bridge's new digital strategy director (left); father and son Simon and William Theakston (from L-R, top right); and Brian Meyer, Holmach's new projects director (bottom, right)
Darren Osborn, Henley Bridge's new digital strategy director (left); father and son Simon and William Theakston (from L-R, top right); and Brian Meyer, Holmach's new projects director (bottom, right)

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Here is a round-up of the latest appointments from the food and drink industry, including a raft of new positions at ingredients supplier Henley Bridge after a record breaking year.

Henley Bridge invests in growth after record year

Henley Bridge has expanded its senior management team after achieving its ‘best ever’ profit/financial figures.

Last year saw the ingredients supplier’s net profit increase by 3.6% on the previous year, reaching £25.3m.

“As our profit figures show, 2023 was an extremely successful year for Henley Bridge, in spite of the fact that it was a very turbulent 12 months with huge price increases, inflation and a very aggressive market for chocolate,” ​said managing director Tracey Hughes.

“We’re financially strong, have no debt and are hitting all of our cashflow numbers with the aim of being even bigger and better this year.”

The firm is now targeting a net profit of £28.5m for 2024 and has hired new recruits and promoted several people within the business to new roles to help hit this.

Among the new appointments is Darren Osborn who takes on the role of marketing and digital strategy director. The team has also been strengthened by three new additions.

Three long-serving business development managers have also been promoted to newly created sales roles. David Allman is now key account and group account manager; Steve Carrigan, sales manager for the gelato and ice cream sector; and Tony Williams, field and internal sales manager.

Stephen Griffiths, who has left his role as development chef at Harlech Foodservice to join Henley Bridge, has taken on the position of northern business sales development chef.

Meanwhile, Clare Nice will be moving into a newly created role as internal business support manager at the ingredients firm.

Hughes concluded: “We’re very fortunate to have a team of very hardworking, loyal and dedicated professionals who have been with us for a long time. As a business, we choose to reward promote from within wherever possible and I believe we now have the structure in place to take the business to the next level.”

Theakston’s Brewery welcomes next generation to the business

Independent Yorkshire brewery, T&R Theakston welcomes William Theakston as its new channel development manager.

He is the eldest son of the company’s chairman, Simon Theakston, and the sixth generation to join the family business.

William Theakston’s experience spans stints at Fullers, Smith & Turner, Marston’s, and most recently, Charles Edge London – a company specialising in the development of brands, where he was export and UK sales manager.

Prior to this, he served as an officer in the British Army, where he completed two operational tours in Afghanistan and held a counter-terrorism role in the Ministry of Defence.

At T&R Theakston, he will be developing the brewery’s on-trade sales force, with a particular focus on customers in the Southern half of England and Wales.

Managing director, Richard Bradbury says the appointment is the latest stage of a long-term growth strategy as the company approaches its bi-centenary in just three years’ time.

“We seek to demonstrate that a business doesn’t survive for 200 years by ever standing still,”​ Bradbury added.

“Over the last four years, we have been steadily strengthening all aspects of our organisation in head office functions and front-line sales to support our ambitions. The investment in our organisation has been careful and measured to deliver commercial and financial return alongside our steady growth in market share.

“In parallel, we have worked hard to ensure our beers remain affordable to consumers and customers despite inflationary pressures.”

Holmach appoints new director

The provider of thermal processing technology solutions has a new projects director.

Brian Meyer stepped into the newly created role at Holmach Ltd last month, where he is responsible for leading sales and project management functions.

This includes developing and implementing strategic sales initiatives, managing sales teams, and driving revenue growth.

Meyer brings more than three decades of experience, having held roles across a number of global businesses, including AAK, Tayto Group and PepsiCo.

Commenting on the appointment, Holmach managing director, Chris Holland, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Brian to the Holmach team. His extensive experience in the food and beverage industry, combined with his strong scientific background and proven track record of success in sales and project management, make him a perfect fit and a valuable asset to the company.”

In other news, ingredients manufacturer Macphie says hybrid foods, such as 'brookies' and 'fluffins' are set to sweep the nation.

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