We are so proud of all of the amazing women who work at graze everyday but we want to spotlight a few of our extra exceptionable graze women for International Women’s Day! Learn more about Ele, Jess and Emma below.
After spending her childhood wanting to learn more about cooking and trying out recipes with her family, London born Eleanor Freeman decided to pursue her passion for food. Having studied and gained a degree in Food Science & Nutrition at university, Eleanor moved back to London and worked as a ‘product developer’ for Innocent Smoothies (the UK’s leading smoothie brand) for four and a half years before going on to secure her current position at graze in 2010.
Now, famously known at graze as Eleanor ‘The Taste’, she is in charge of trying the brand’s new products. Since starting at graze, Eleanor has perfected the skill to perfectly pair flavors together to make sure each new graze snack is nutritious and unique and responsible for creating the wholesome snacks that are placed in every graze box.
What is an average day as graze’s taste expert?
An average day for me might start with a brainstorm with the rest of the taste experts about what graze’s next range of new snacks could be. We regularly sample new ingredients and also spend a lot of time tracking down unique ingredients to incorporate into new graze snacks. Sometimes we have tasting sessions where we try a sample from every product we offer to ensure we are happy with the quality. Then in the afternoon sometimes I will visit with one of our suppliers, like the small bakery that makes all of our whole oat flapjack bars, to chat about ways to improve our recipes or try out new flavors ideas!
Is it true your taste buds are worth £3 million pounds?
Yes! In 2011 graze had my taste buds valued at £3 million pounds and there were lots of strict rules in the insurance policy – such as not being able to eat foods that contain chilis with a Scoville heat rating over 350,000, lick food from a knife or eat the potentially fatal Japanese blowfish, Fugu!
Ele’s job is so cool she was even featured in Marie Claire’s article “3 Cool Jobs You Didn’t Even Know Existed”. Read her interview here!
Jess has been graze’s go-to nutritionist since 2011. She keeps us up to date on the latest trends in the food world, on all things healthy and writes all of our nutrition articles for the graze blog. She’s on hand for all of graze’s nutritional needs.
Passionate about health and founder of JESSIPES.CO.UK (a health blog full of fun, healthy and delicious recipes and videos), Jess specializes in weight loss, diabetes and detoxification. She runs 30 day fat burning and detox challenges online and at yoga and PT studios around the world. When she’s not working with clients, she delivers workplace health talks and workshops to businesses around the country. Inspiring people to take baby steps to turn their health around is her absolute passion.
What is a typical day like as graze’s nutritionist?
My day starts with a 9:30 am brief with Ele, our graze taste expert, where we map out my projects for the day. These usually include reviewing ingredients and health claims on products. I also write a lot of nutrition-related content or recipes for the graze website, blog and videos!
Some days I also help the customer service team with nutrition related questions from our grazers. I’m basically always on hand to lend my thoughts and opinions on all things health-related at graze.
What is your favorite graze snack and why?
I love nuts as they keep my energy levels great and you can do so many inventive things with them. I love the graze natural energy nuts and I usually blend these to make energy balls.
Jess has tons of amazing recipes and tips on her blog JESSIPES. Click here to check them out!
Emma Heal joined graze.com as Retail Director in November 2014. Bringing 15 years of commercial leadership experience and entrepreneurial spirit to the graze team, her remit was to launch graze snacks into retail and build a strong team and killer proposition from scratch.
By July 2015, Emma had overseen the hugely successful retail launch of the on-the- go range of 12 SKUs into more than 4,000 stores nationwide, including WHSmith, Sainsbury's and Boots. After a first class degree from the University of Bath and six months studying International Business at Copenhagen Business School, Emma cut her teeth as a buyer at Tesco before moving to the other side of the negotiation table as account manager for innocent drinks; largest grocery account in 2006.
Following the successful launch of a £500k campaign for Age Concern in 2007, she was awarded Princes Trust Award for Business in the Community. Emma then went on to launch innocent into several countries in Scandinavia, sparking her passion for driving the strategic growth of innovative start-ups. Before joining graze, Emma was Head of Commercial Innovation for Africa at Diageo.
What is a typical day at Graze for you?
Launching a business from scratch in 7 months meant playing many roles while I rapidly grew a great team. Now Graze has been in stores for just over a year, the day often starts with a management or sales team focus, for example meeting my executive board to discuss the strategy of Graze’s four separate business channels across the UK and USA. I’m a big proponent of regular 121s, so I meet with each of my senior team once a week individually.
Product innovation is king at Graze. We can bring a new snack to the market in 48 hours thanks to our manufacturing and design capability. So more often than not, I’ll have a session with our amazing product team, tasting new snack ideas to bring to the shops.
I’m often out visiting our retail partners or meeting up with other companies to see how they do things and find learnings and ideas we can share. I also believe in paying it forward as much as possible, so often have meetings with start-ups to offer advice on how to crack the industry. My day is usually a mixture of all of these things so it’s always a fresh challenge.
Quote above is an excerpt from an interview with The Fold London. Read the rest of Emma’s interview here!