Cherrytree Bakery

Communications Director – Cherrytree Bakery; family-owned, national bakery and food service retailer, supplying cakes and other snacks through B2B channels.

Mark Beaumont appointed to restructure existing business book, win new contracts and balance existing book, with potential future promotion to MD

Background

Cherrytree Bakery is a family-owned food service retailer, which bakes and sells cakes and other sweet snacks through B2B channels, such as coffeshops, supermarkets et al.

One of the family members, Josh Entwistle, had recently left as Communications Director – this key position was vacant and needed filling. It was critical that the new hire would:

  • Understand food service and the process of creating product for other entities to sell, and the demands and pressures of that retail model
  • Manage relationships with large retailers (such as supermarkets and coffeeshops) and have previous experience of selling into them
  • Identify opportunities for cross/upselling into current order book and increase retention and reorder levels
  • Restructure order book, so that Cherrytree weren’t so reliant on one or two large customers
  • Solve issue of a manufacturing plant that didn’t have enough capacity

Journey

Rowan worked closely with the MD and owner, Gary Entwistle, in order to understand the role requirements, alongside the personal requirements of the incoming Commercial Director.

As experts in Executive Search, Rowan:

  • Consulted with the Board at Cherrytree, to help it appreciate the need for a Commercial Director with a deep understanding within food service
  • Identified candidates with significant, relevant experience of maximising commercial opportunities within the food and food manufacturing sectors, at Director level
  • Evaluated candidates’ exposure to working with an order book that needed broadening and diversifying, as well as their exposure to negotiating large, complex commercial contracts

Through Rowan’s search and selection process, Mark Beaumont was successfully appointed. Mark was a highly suitable candidate with a strong track record within the food manufacturing industry, with Foodpack and Golden Foods. Mark had strong commercial experience, and the ambition of becoming an MD in the future. This was attractive to Cherrytree, as the incumbent MD was planning to move up to CEO level, step back from day-to-day activities and have a more strategic involvement with the business.

Impact

Mark had previously:

  • Worked at Commercial Director level at Foodpack, and Senior Management level at Continental Fine Foods and Golden Foods
  • Been engaged and placed by Rowan Executive Search, whose wide network and industry track record offers clients unparalleled access to Senior and Board-level Executives
  • Negotiated and secured commercial contracts within the sector, bringing a wealth of expertise and relevant industry knowledge to the position

Since joining Cherrytree, Mark has:

  • Re-negotiated and won key commercial contracts, whilst balancing the client book. For example, Costa Coffee now only represents 40% of Cherrytree’s business, as opposed to 80%
  • Kept the shrinkage of the business down to only 50% during the Covid pandemic. Given the nature of the business, this was forecasted to be much higher before Mark’s appointment
  • Been promoted to MD, leaving CEO Gary Entwistle to take a step back from day-to-day operations and step into a more strategic role