HeForShe: John Stapleton | Co-Founder, New Covent Garden Soup Co., Little Dish & Glencoe Foods - We Are The City

John Stapleton is the ‘Authentic Entrepreneur’ with 30 years’ experience in pioneering new FMCG categories and establishing and growing successful consumer-led businesses in both the UK and the USA.

John now actively manages an investor/Non-Executive Director portfolio contributing value-added business growth advice, guidance and mentoring to business owners.

John has first-hand experience in start-up, early stage growth and scale-up stage businesses, having co-founded three FMCG businesses, building and growing each to exit. John helps design creative, practical, experience-based solutions to problems, challenges and opportunities that brand owners encounter in starting, growing and scaling their companies, across all areas of business.

In 1987 John co-founded the New Covent Garden Soup Co Ltd., which pioneered and grew the fresh soup category in the UK. On reaching over £20m revenue, Daniels PLC bought New Covent Garden Soup Co in 1998. In that same year, John co-founded Glencoe Foods Inc., to bring the fresh soup concept to the US. On returning to Europe, John established a consumer branded food consultancy and worked with a number of corporate and early-stage growth businesses across the FMCG sector in the UK, US and continental Europe.

In 2005, John co-founded Little Dish, which supplies healthy, natural and convenient meals and snacks to children over one year. Little Dish created the chilled toddler food category, developing full UK retailer distribution and became the go-to brand in fresh toddler food. Having grown to approaching £15m annual revenues, John exited Little Dish in 2017.

Leveraging his extensive experience, John provides business growth advice and mentorship to growing businesses; is a business thought leader and speaks on a wide range of entrepreneurial management & motivational leadership topics. Get in touch if you’re interested in having him speak at your event.

Why do you support the HeForShe campaign?

I grew up in a family where both my parents worked, but my mother took a leading role in financial and family commitments. I grew up believing it was normal for a woman to take the lead and play a central role. When I realised this was not necessarily always replicated throughout society, I felt a need to help rectify this.

My admiration for the HeForShe campaign resolution to operate equally and share responsibilities, with no consideration of gender strengthened my resolve to encourage and support this mentality within the work place.

 I believe the understanding of gender equality is at a turning point and many people generally recognise that gender equality is not just a cause which women need to fight for. I also recognise that there is still a long way to go.

Gender equality is not solely a female issue, it is a human rights issue. The HeForShe movement is an inspiring initiative of solidarity which provides a platform for men to engage on gender equality issues and become catalysts for change for both their own gender and for women’s.

Why do you think it’s important for men to support gender equality in the workplace?

For gender equality to reach its truest form, the support for change must also be shared equally.

Women alone cannot solve the gender equality issues that are present, even prevalent, in the workplace. I believe we need an inclusive solution that understands men’s perspectives – while at the same time challenging those perspectives when they hinder gender equality. It must be possible to break down stereotypes while creating an alliance between both genders who are inspired to work together for both diversification and collaborative leadership in the workplace.

How welcome are men in the gender equality conversation currently?

Women’s rights seem to be synonymous with feminism, even though gender equality benefits men as well. It is a lazy approach when men label feminism as anti-men but women could prevent (some) men from marginalising gender equality initiatives by presenting it as a movement which benefits both genders.

Having a male’s voice in an issue that is commonly misconceived as primarily female, is a positive step forward in breaking down traditional gender role pigeonholes.

Do you think groups/networks that include the words “women in…” or “females in…” make men feel like gender equality isn’t really their problem or something they need to help with?

It is impossible to get an answer to a question if you don’t ask it. And you can’t fix a problem you don’t see (or chose not to see).

Gender equality is an important focus in many, but not all workplaces. It is often not at the forefront of business change at the most senior levels. I believe this is gradually changing but we need to maintain the momentum that comes from movements like #HeForShe.

 ‘Women in…’ or ‘Female’s in…’ networks ensure that the importance of gender equality message is heard by men and by women. These groups help to promote and educate leaders (many of which are men) on the need gender throughout all levels and facets of a business.

What can businesses do to encourage more men to feel welcome enough to get involved in the gender debate?

Thought processes and attitudes need to cascade from the top. Strong leadership and clear communication surrounding the importance of gender equality must be a prime focus of management. It is their responsibility to ensure that the message and representation of gender equality is reflected as a company whole.

Male leaders can provide an inspirational environment for women when they visibly support women’s rights through gender equality measures.  Male leaders in business need to encourage women to speak out on the relevance of diversity and gender equality, while feeling this message will be well received.

Values and behavioural based rationale teamed with two-way engagement will promote a cultural shift. Similarly, the more that gender equality measures are successfully introduced at the workplace, the more their benefits will be recognised (by men) and the more broadly they will be supported.

Do you currently mentor any women or have you in the past?

I have made sure I have shared my professional experience and advice with both males and females, throughout my life. I have worked with and mentored some extremely talented women and I am proud that they feel comfortable talking with me about issues and seeking guidance, regardless of our gender differences.

Have you noticed any difference in mentoring women – for example, are women less likely to put themselves forward for jobs that are out of their comfort zones or are women less likely to identify senior roles that they would be suited for?

Throughout my mentoring experiences, I have mostly found that women have no problem being strong leaders, entrepreneurs or business advocates. Some can take a more cautious approach to putting themselves forward for senior positions, though I believe this is changing. Men that speak out about women’s rights contribute to women being more assertive regarding  their abilities.    It can also promote workplace culture which is built on trust, reliance, open communication and encouragement.

The best businesses are built from the inside out.  Gender equality not only stimulates, challenges and enables the workforce to achieve its true potential, it inevitably also has a positive impact on business performance and ultimately the results.

How can UK SMEs prepare for life after Brexit? - Just Food coverage

When it comes to Brexit, almost everything is uncertain and unclear. As entrepreneurs and leaders of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), it can be tricky to anticipate and take proactive action to future-proof your business when the post-Brexit business environment remains so unpredictable, John Stapleton writes.

The UK business community, and the SME sector in particular needs information on which to make decisions and confidence to deliver against them. Small businesses need to understand what they can do and need to do now to mitigate Brexit risks and take advantage of opportunities that will surface. Despite the lack of clarity, failing to prepare for a post-Brexit world is tantamount to preparing for failure.

In any big instance of change (and it doesn't get much bigger than Brexit, the UK's departure from the European Union next March), it is important to understand the risks and opportunities that will likely emerge. However, for SMEs, the distractions from doing this are numerous.

It is easy to put Brexit to the back of our priority list. After all: 

- "Brexit is seemingly out of our hands anyway"
- "SMEs don't have any influence and if anyone, the politicians and big lobbyists will shape Brexit"
- "I need to just concentrate on managing my business"
- "We have enough problems on our plate - consumer confidence, GDPR, internal challenges like recruitment and building company culture, the list goes on…"

While the post-Brexit landscape still remains unclear, it is important entrepreneurs and business leaders remember that no business is too small to be challenged by the upcoming risks and opportunities. In order for FMCG start-ups to prepare for a post-Brexit world effectively, there are five key areas they should evaluate as jumping-off points:


Business leaders should look to embrace the (already and potential further future) devaluation of the pound and see it as a powerful commercial opportunity. A weaker pound has, across the board, already facilitated demand overseas and increased supplier margin. There is an appetite for Brand Britain abroad, so 'heritage-focused' marketing and branding makes for great commercial opportunity. Significant benefits exist in implementing hedging tactics against current contracts to mitigate the risks of supplying orders at a loss.


Devaluation has, on the flip side, increased the price of imports, which makes the purchasing of British-grown or originated goods more appealing to customers at home. Growing FMCG brands may look to "product substitution" - designed to develop home versions of imported products sold to UK consumers with UK-designed and manufactured products. Why can't British consumers buy Brie made in south Wales rather than in France - once the "protected designation of origin" rules don't apply post-Brexit?

This approach can be further positioned through a concerted emphasis on innovation and new product development, as well as a focus on re-positioning or re-targeting consumers at home with local products. "Brand Britain" is already a recognised trend in the UK marketplace that can be capitalised upon to achieve further prominence, including the desire for consumers to support their local, vibrant economies, the growing preference for organic and artisan products and the emphasis by many challenger brands on authenticity, provenance and craft.

Staff & Skills

Many UK businesses employ significant numbers of EU-origin staff - especially in the food and beverage industry - and this group (unless they have already become UK citizens) needs reassurance and support regarding their future presence and status in the UK. Businesses can avail of an audit process or an 'Action Kit' (different industries have developed approaches best designed for their needs) to provide their relevant staff with the advice and direction they need to understand the various options available to them and help with following procedures to secure their future in the UK and within the businesses to which they belong.

Such 'Action Kits' serve to answer questions such as, 'Who is affected by Brexit and in what way?' 'How can their current and future status be secured? ' 'How can I, as a business, provide reassurance and security for them and their families?' One can also outline the relevant regulations and demystify bureaucracy and provide tactical information ranging from legal support to technical information on government regulations.

Tariffs & Customs 

It's important that all business leaders are, at the very least, anticipating the introduction of new or increased trade tariffs. Business needs to lobby government in a coherent way through relevant organisations (e.g. the Food & Drink Federation, which acts as a mouth-piece for food and soft-drink manufacturers operating in the UK) for greater clarity on trade and customs arrangements. Together, business and government must work together to ensure we all avoid disadvantage and disruption.

In instances of increased self-sufficiency, growing FMCG brands might look to develop further options within their supply chains by increasing export opportunities outside of the EU. This will not materialise overnight but small businesses need to lobby government to develop trade channels with non-EU countries which will mitigate potential loss of export trade with the EU.


For those wishing to grow their trade opportunities within the EU, it might be worth considering developing an EU manufacturing base. This approach can lead to the avoidance of UK tariffs for buying and importing ingredients and similarly avoiding EU tariffs when selling and exporting finished goods. This should be designed to sustain a growth strategy, and not detract from UK-based activities. When launched successfully, an EU manufacturing base may increase job security and stability for your total business - especially in the long-term. Obvious options to consider are Ireland, given the benefits of the same language, business culture and very similar tax structures and legal systems, or eastern Europe, where a low unit cost and a great proximity to certain raw material sources and ultimate consumer markets may be deciding factors.

When it comes to Brexit, almost everything is uncertain and unclear. However, as entrepreneurs and business leaders, this is precisely the environment in which we thrive. Being prepared - whether for Brexit or for the next market change - presents an opportunity to develop a competitive advantage over your industry competitor who doesn't.

John Stapleton is a serial entrepreneur behind food brands New Covent Garden Soup Co. and Little Dish. He is also an angel investor, industry advisor and speaker on a range of topics including entrepreneurship, leadership and #GetBrexitReady  

Six reasons angel investors say no - Natwest Content Live coverage

Standing in front of an angel investor can be daunting, and things will quickly fall apart if they don’t believe in you. Three UK angels tell us what makes them say “I’m out”.

John Stapleton, serial entrepreneur and angel who co-founded the New Covent Garden Soup Co:

1. The entrepreneur won’t listen

Some founders, says Stapleton, simply cannot handle advice. “They claim to want the value-added ‘smart money’ that angels bring, but in truth they believe they have it all figured out and are not interested in what the investors have to say,” he says.

Stapleton has a way of weeding out such people: he will ask them to justify some of their fundamental business assumptions during their pitch. “Founders who don’t listen tend to get defensive and their answers either demonstrate this, or suggest that they think you’re not ‘getting it’,” he says.

Another gripe of his: “Many founders believe they know exactly what their target customer wants, but haven’t actually asked them.”

While angels definitely don’t like know-it-alls, they give equally short shrift to wishy-washy ‘yes men’ or people who expect their investor to hand-hold them through every step of their business journey.

2. The product or concept is not scaleable

“Many times, an entrepreneur doesn’t understand the commercial reality of setting up and growing a business,” says Stapleton. “It turns out that what they really want to do is to build a lifestyle business in which they plan to draw a decent salary.” That’s fine, he says, but it doesn’t constitute a growth plan and it probably doesn’t warrant much external investment.

What has often happened, he explains, is that the initial motivation to develop the product was born out of frustration that it did not exist – but the founder often failed to seek out real consumer insight. “They end up designing a product which is relevant only to themselves,” he says. “For angels, the return on investment will be non-existent.”

When owners do have loftier ambitions, they sometimes fail to see that they can’t produce their product at margins that are attractive enough. It’s another frustrating example of a business that won’t scale.


Phil Mitchell, angel investor and co-founder of funding experts Harbour Key:

3. The business is overvalued

Angels see red when people value their business at hundreds of thousands or even millions of pounds when they haven’t even got off the ground.

“You need the founder to have a realistic expectation of what stage they are at and therefore what value they really have,” says Mitchell. He explains that if a business has already established a revenue stream or has a product that has been patented – perhaps alongside some big customers who are ready to take it – then they’re going to be a much more valuable business to an investor than “if you’d just stepped out of your bedroom with two bits of plastic”.

If a business has barely begun, he says, then potential investors should be viewed as more of a partner – and the equity the founder is prepared to surrender should reflect that.

4. The management team fails to make a strong impression

“When we have the initial meeting, angels want to know who the people are and feel that they have not just passion but also the skill set to take the business to where they want to go,” says Mitchell. “I like to understand where these people come from. What’s their story?”

The easy way to convey this, says Mitchell, is to add a team sheet in your pitch deck with a bit of information about who you are and why you’ve gone into this. “The angel needs to feel that these people are going to make it happen,” he says, “because it could be two or three years before they take any money out.”

What angels really like are people like the man Mitchell saw last week: a founder on his fourth start-up, who had sold his previous three. “He sells and comes back with another idea: you could see he had a lot of drive, good skills and you could have a lot of faith in him,” Mitchell says.


Jamie Waller, entrepreneur, investor and committee member at The Supper Club, a community of founders and CEOs of high-growth businesses:

5. The founder wants a large salary

About 90% of the investment decks Waller is sent don’t give him the vital data he requires: numbers. “Not just pie-in-the-sky revenue forecasts, but actual costs,” he says. “What are you going to spend my money on and when?”

When these details find their way to him, he says that in more than half of all cases he is stunned to see founder/CEO salaries at £150,000 – £250,000. “I built my business for seven years before paying myself £100,000,” he says. “It took me 10 years to get to £200,000. Entrepreneurship is about taking risk. Paying yourself £150,000 in year one of a start-up because you can afford to with investors’ money is not risk.”

A more reasonable salary for a founder in their first venture, he says, would be between £50,000 and £80,000.

6. There is too much focus on perks and fun

“I get around two investment pitches a week in which the founder has budgeted for pool tables, weekly staff entertaining and unlimited holiday entitlements,” says Waller, who was once very close to making a £100,000 investment in a business only to be told by the boss to “come along on Thursday after 3pm as the team will have stopped working as we have pizza and beer on Thursday afternoons”. He cancelled the meeting and closed his wallet.

“Investors want to see money being used in the right way and at the right time,” Waller says. “A good example is a business I invested in recently that had a £15,000 budget for a staff party – but the criteria for the party was hitting a £5m sales figure that year. That’s good business. You’re paying a fee for success.”

Speciality Food Magazine Coverage - VIEWPOINT: JOHN STAPLETON - Meet the champion of SMEs and passionate advocate of facing Brexit head on

John Stapleton was recently interviewed by Speciality Food Magazine where he spoke about his passion for Getting Brexit Ready and how he is helping SMEs face it head on.

You can read the full interview in this month’s magazine - which can be found here:

Why business success depends on surrounding yourself with self-starters

Here, John Stapleton, founder of the New Covent Garden Soup Co, gives his four top tips on surrounding yourself with self-starters to drive growth and scale.

Building a culture where staff are self-starters can be key for a business

Ben Lobel

Being a new entrepreneur can feel both bewildering and exhilarating. In the early days of any business journey, as an entrepreneur you will need to be all things to all people. Because of this, you will need to be extremely tenacious and ride the rows of obstacles that will be thrown your way. In the beginning the entrepreneur does, and almost is, everything – simply because there is noone else and everything is down to you.

The setbacks you face will often feel both challenging and time consuming, and there will inevitably come a time when you can no longer wear all the hats you needed to wear when you were getting started. Eventually, you’ll need to find people out there who are better suited to managing some of the areas of your business than you are.

At this point, you’ll need to build a support network, improve your processes and structures for business scale and free up some of your own time so that you can focus on the areas you’re more passionate about (and probably are best at) – it’s very likely it’s these areas that drove you to start your business in the first place!

Read the full article:

New Covent Garden Soup Co. founder John Stapleton backs Latin American food start-up - Just Food

New Covent Garden Soup Co. and Little Dish co-founder John Stapleton has backed UK-based Latin American food business Capsicana, investing in the company as part of a crowdfunding campaign.

Read full article:

Can Startups Really Benefit From Having a Mentor? - Fleximize Coverage

Can Startups Really Benefit From Having a Mentor?

Startups often struggle to find tailored guidance on navigating business growth. John Stapleton, co-founder of three FMCG businesses, shares his thoughts on the value a mentor can add to a startup.


The road to building a successful startup is not always a smooth one. There are a lot of things to get right - strategy, budget and competition to name just a few. This can lead to many budding entrepreneurs forgetting one of the most crucial influences that they need to drive success: a mentor.

In entrepreneurial life it is inevitable to feel as though you are swimming against the tide. There is a lot of excitement that comes with the freedom of making things up as you go along, however, having a sounding-board can help reduce some of the chaos. Navigating a new and unknown landscape can be simpler if you have the guidance of a mentor.

Drawing from my own experience, I didn’t have a support network to assist me in weighing up the pros and cons of available options when my first business began to grow at a rapid pace. Armed with hindsight, I believe a good mentor is a great source of proactive support to any entrepreneur in a startup environment. 

What makes a good mentor?

There are several aspects that define a good mentor: 

  • A good mentor should be a non-executive and maintain an arm's length relationship with the business. 

  • It is vital that they know the industry well and understand the challenges that the business faces. 

  • A mentor should also help build on the strengths of the business, while offering a wealth of knowledge that comes from their own personal experience.

  • They should be able to do all of this while maintaining a refreshing and energetic passion for developing the entrepreneur and the key players in the team.

How can mentors add value to a business?

A mentor should be in a position to pre-empt problems or obstacles that lie ahead, whilst ensuring that hidden opportunities are recognized and seized. A great mentor will also offer the ultimate startup tool - a ‘Little Black Book’ of contacts which can open doors that many entrepreneurs are unable to leverage themselves.

When mentoring entrepreneurs, I ensure that I offer as much insight and advice as possible for them to be successful by supporting them to make their own decisions – not by making the decisions for them. This can sometimes include speaking to customers of the businesses to gather their opinions before feeding back to the executive team.

This external information enables me to provide the tools and guidance needed to form the strong foundations of a mentor-mentee relationship. It is important to strike the right balance but, once fine-tuned, it can accelerate the growth of a startup and help a business become more competitive.

How do I choose the right mentor for my business?

There are several factors to consider when seeking a mentor, each as integral as the next. Direct entrepreneurial experience and knowledge of implementing a 'disruption strategy' are vital characteristics of a startup mentor. 

Crucially, an entrepreneur should not seek a mentor until they have taken the time to consider what both they and their business hope to achieve from the relationship. The entrepreneur should also consider what style of guidance or providing advice is best suited to them. 

There is quite a significant difference between engaging a mentor and engaging a coach, as both serve different purposes. A coach will use methodologies to coax answers to problems, whereas a mentor will draw from his or her own experiences and provide advice based how they have tackled similar situations. Bear this in mind when deciding what would best suit your business needs and style of work. 

Boundaries and milestones

Once a mentor has been appointed, a critical first step is mutually establishing goals, frequency of input required and relevant deadlines. This framework will not only set milestones, but it will help the mentor and mentee realize what success looks like to both of them. Rules of engagement, such as meeting frequencies and levels of involvement, also need to be addressed up front.

The most important element of a mentor/mentee relationship is for the mentee to take the driving seat. An entrepreneur works with a mentor because they have mutually recognized the business has the potential to benefit from the mentor’s insight. Therefore the mentee needs to take charge of the relationship to ensure that they can deliver the optimum outcome by working together.

I have found that meeting outside of the business environment or the company setting is the most efficient way to elevate productivity. Avoiding inevitable distractions from the business often allows the entrepreneur to think clearly and laterally to recognize what is actually occurring within the business. The best business decisions are often the most considered and there is no better way to move a business towards success than to involve someone who has been there before.

Lessons in authentic leadership - London Loves Business coverage

And planning the year ahead

So, it’s New Year again and a favourite time for many of the entrepreneurs that I mentor to set themselves up for the year ahead by planning and goal setting. Not so much New Year’s resolutions but more about self-improvement, developing new skills or improving certain qualities. I’m often asked by entrepreneurs how to be a better leader – are there any books , courses or business schools I would recommend. Successful entrepreneurs who start off with an interesting idea or concept, and grow that idea into a successful business often suddenly find themselves responsible for the personal career development of tens or even hundreds of people – something that great idea didn’t provide much training for.

I find the one quality that is too often missed, or worse, intentionally withheld, when it comes to leadership, is authenticity. All of the development books and even the world’s best business schools cannot help with the development of leadership skills if you can’t let yourself be yourself – and I learned this the hard way!

At the beginning with New Covent Garden Soup Co. I felt, at times, like a fish out of water. I almost felt, to a certain extent, I was a fake. In the very early days, I’d sit in meetings and think, ‘Who’s responsible for this particular decision?’ To my horror, I’d realise it was me! I thought ‘I can’t make these decisions when I’m not an expert in any of these topics!’ I thought it was smart to be “suited and booted” thinking this is how the leader ‘should’ dress (although I hardly ever wore a suit before).

As a trained scientist my brain was naturally wired to behave in a certain, methodical way – with decisions made on the basis of logic, research and proof points. I quickly had to unwire this way of thinking. As an entrepreneur, you don’t have the luxury to be an expert or time to work out a lot beforehand. You need to be creative, make judgements and implement very quickly!

What’s most important is that you need to provide the vision for the direction of the business and inspire everyone that you come into contact with to buy into this vision. Pretty soon, it’s no longer just you and your idea but a whole team of people that you need more than you can possibly imagine and who need to be fully engaged with and signed up to the journey.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that all that matters is your business acumen. Everything you have experienced as a person has shaped you – not just what you learned in a suit! Your personality goes a long way. If you don’t try to leverage your personality in life you can’t really be an effective leader. As a business leader, you need to be inspirational in order to secure investment; in my world, to convince retailers and consumers to list and buy your products; to convince people to come to work for you (without the big salaries!) and the many other times you need to be able to influence people in business. To do this effectively you have to be yourself. It’s true that there are many great books on leadership but reading tips from Richard Branson or Elon Musk will not make you become them.

You can’t be inspirational by trying to be someone else. Inspiration comes from a place of authenticity. Unfortunately, what often  ends up happening is  you put yourself under so much stress by constantly trying to be someone else that it dominates  your energy. There’s enough to deal with, without trying to impose another layer that’s not natural for you. If you can understand what has shaped you, this can give you confidence to guide you to make the right decisions in your professional life. Keep calm and trust yourself.

The best example I can give of authentic leadership is looking at some of the great managers of the football Premier League. Alex Ferguson spent over twenty five years getting outrageously successful results as manager of Manchester United, setting all sorts of records which will be very difficult to surpass. However, he may even admit himself he was ‘a thug from the wrong end of Glasgow’ and his approach was to manage by fear. That worked for him and his players for a quarter of a century so you might think that’s the way to be if you want to be a successful football manager. But unless you have a personality exactly like Alex Ferguson, trying to be like Alex Ferguson won’t be in any way effective. Claudio Ranieri led Leicester City to win the Premier League from nowhere – one of the most unexpected series of results in all of sporting history!  He did this with a team of individuals with which the pundits said should not be possible. He has a completely different manner from Ferguson yet also achieved phenomenal results. He did this by being the mild- mannered person he is, appealing to the players sensibilities and inspiring them to success far beyond anything the club had ever achieved before (they were almost relegated the previous season!) or which their budget suggested they were even capable of.

On the other hand, Juergen Klopp of Liverpool and Dortmund has a gregarious, back-slapping bonhomie and displays this approach to managing elite football teams. His love of playing attacking football that is attractive to watch as well as his frank approach to interviews makes him very relatable to players and fans alike.  A different personality again but one which is highly motivational and effective – for him.

Leadership, motivation and, ultimately, success is rooted in authenticity. Without it, you won’t be successful – and you’ll break your heart trying.

UK sports nutrition deep-dive part two - what does the future hold? Just Food Comments

In part two of our look at the UK sports nutrition category, Andy Coyne takes a close look at the opportunities in the market and at threats to its continued growth.

Read the full article here:

Get a mentor with a cool head - The Times

It can be lonely at the top of a business: endless decision-making, the burden of responsibility and the pressure of presenting your “game face” to staff, customers and suppliers can be isolating. An experienced business mentor can help.

For Alison Ritchie of Polar Ice, a dry-ice manufacturer in Portarlington, Co Laois, a number of seasoned business people provided guidance and support as she grew a small family business into a multimillion-euro enterprise.

Read the full article, including John’s comments, here:

Sainsbury's-Asda merger – Ireland 'launches food sector risk assessment' - Just Food Coverage

The Irish government is said to be instigating a risk assessment of its food industry following the news yesterday that 'big four' UK supermarkets Sainsbury's and Asda are to merge.

Read the full piece, including John’s comments, here: