It’s probably fairly obvious that we love and sell all kinds of delicious boozes here at Master of Malt. But did you know that we also work with the likes of bars, restaurants and pubs? It’s Rachel Matthews and her team who look after this side of proceedings, and in today’s instalment of our International Women’s Day series we’re getting stuck in to all things Trade!
Rachel joined Master of Malt five-and-a-half years ago, and has been instrumental in building the Trade team out. Her hospitality background is a huge advantage, as is a love for the hundreds of new products we see each week. Over to Rachel!
Tell us about you and your role at Master of Malt.
I’m the trade service manager. What do I do, I hear you ask… well, I’m here to support and help develop the team to provide the best service to our customers that have businesses in the world of booze. We give our on-trade customers a service which is knowledgeable, product-filled and a cut above the rest. And we continue to make Trade a thriving sector at Master of Malt! Each year we gain more customers through word-of-mouth because of the service we proudly provide.
How did you get into trade service?
I’ve been at MoM for five-and-a-half years; before that, I was waitress at a cocktail bar when I met you (love that song – The Human League!). Sadly, it wasn’t as cool as that – it was a seafood restaurant. I’d worked in the hospitality industry for long period of time after university and I was ready to get out, but I still wanted to continue dealing with customers as I enjoyed that aspect of my work. This is when I decided I wanted to work for MoM, I knew a fair bit about alcohol, but my main love was dealing with customers. I finally, got an interview (after stalking the website daily) with Emma Golds, and they accepted me for a stock assistant role (not what I wanted but it developed my understanding of the company). I quickly transitioned into the Trade department. From there, I grew within the department, continually learning and building my knowledge about how to give our customers the best service possible. I’ve always been a believer that you have to work hard for what you want and always push yourself, learn from your strengths and weaknesses.
What are the particular challenges to working in Trade?
I love a challenge; it is the only way you learn about yourself. But one particular area I find challenging is keeping up with the constant flow of new products. There are thousands of them, and it is not slowing down! For instance, the gin industry is still booming, and I believe there are 315 distilleries in the UK according to from HM Revenue & Customs figures, and gin drinkers helped category sales exceed more than £1.9bn in 2018. It’s absolutely mind-blowing!
What makes the drinks industry such an interesting place to work?
The industry is ever-changing, you never stop. People said after the EU referendum that the alcohol industry was in danger. Well, I can confirm that Trade is seeing sales climb 65% year-on-year. People are wanting to spend more on the quality of the liquid, and are more focused on the ingredients and stories behind the bottles. This is great, as we are able to help our customers expand their knowledge on the products available, as well as our own knowledge, too! We are constantly learning, and no day is the same.
Recommend a drink!
Tough question! If I’m needing a pick-me-up then I’d go for an Espresso Martini. If I’m putting the world to right with my friends, then I’ll have a wee dram of the Glenfarclas 15 Year Old.