International Confectionery magazine sits down with Gemma Whitaker, Marketing Director at Whitakers Chocolates, to find out what inspires her and what she enjoys about working in the industry.
1. If you weren’t working in the industry, what would you be doing?
I’d be working with animals. I’d love to be a zookeeper or work in an animal sanctuary. I’d do anything to help and enhance their little lives.
2. What’s your favourite aspect about working in the industry?
My LOVE for chocolate! I love the fact that this industry is changing all the time and gets more diverse and exciting as time goes by. Consumers are constantly pushing for great chocolate and we at Whitakers, strive to give our customers what they want. It’s exciting for me to be working on new product development and seeing the reaction when these products are launched in the market.
3. How would people define you?
The super chilled smiler! Highly organised if not a tad OCD, very creative and outgoing, laughs a lot and always has a huge smile. Oh & can sometimes be a little too honest/brutal at times!
4. Dark, light or white chocolate?
Dark chocolate for sure (my favourite being dark chocolate bar with orange and chilli).
5. What’s your favourite holiday?
A sunshine island-hopping holiday around Greece. Mornings spent exploring the surroundings, then an afternoon relaxing on a beach, book in one hand, cocktail in the other, listening to the waves and some cool chilled tunes.
6. What three items would you bring with you to a desert island?
An endless supply of fresh water, a knife and my favourite shampoo and conditioner! (I’d also try and sneak a hammock with me so I had somewhere comfy to sleep and chill)!
7. Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I’d like to think I’ll be travelling the world but I’ll have to sell a lot of chocolate to achieve my dreams!
8. What’s the coolest or most important trend you see today?
The growing demand for organic, vegan and gluten free chocolate and not to mention sustainable and recyclable packaging. With growing awareness about the negative effects of synthetic products on health and the environment, most health conscious and informed consumers have started to buy these types of products and are demanding more for the future. What I love is that Whitakers Chocolates have been so pro-active in the vegan and gluten-free sector and currently offer a huge diverse range, which is just going to grow over time. It’s so exciting for us!
9. What or who inspires you?
This might sound cheesy but I would have to say my husband, William. He is so passionate about chocolate and the industry we work within, and his knowledge is endless. He is also the most caring and beautiful person I know. William and I have worked together for over 4 years now, William as managing director and I as marketing director and in this time he never fails to inspire me.
10. What do you do in your spare time?
Lots, I never stop! I love hiking and I have a beautiful dog called Millie, so we go on mini adventures across the UK. I’m also a gym girl and work out at least 4 times a week, I like weight training the best. When the sunshine’s, William & I also like to go water-skiing. Plus, chilling out with friends and family. Eating out as I love food and nice wine. Oh and I’ve recently got into gardening although my knowledge base is very limited at the present. And, lastly…eating Whitakers chocolates of course!
To read more see our latest issue here.