Better Wholesaling sits down with MJ Baker Foodservice’s MD Jo Baker to discuss her work within the company, and topics such as her love of cricket and ideal dinner party guests
What was your first job?
Greyhound parade at Oxford Dog Track. I used to walk the greyhounds to the traps and catch them with a lead after the race.
How would your colleagues at MJ Baker Foodservice describe you?
I hope ‘firm but fair’, and I like to think that some of our younger female colleagues are inspired to believe they are able to lead an organisation. In my experience, some of my female employees have arrived with us and have been very light on self-esteem. I like to think that I can show them by example that they are more capable than they think.
If you could turn any everyday activity into an Olympic sport that would give you a chance of winning a medal, what would it be?
I am a keen home cook and I think my roast dinner is pretty good. I would be a potential medal candidate in the roast lamb category.
If time and money were not an issue, what hobby would you most like to get into?
Living in Devon, I am always slightly jealous of people who can sail. Nothing fancy, but the ability to read the wind and chart a course would be pretty neat.
Describe your perfect day.
Waking up in Sydney, Australia, to a cup of tea made with Tetley teabags. Following a light breakfast at Bill’s, I would then head to the Sydney Cricket Ground for a nailbiting final Ashes Test, which is poised for an England victory, before teleporting back to Cornwall and enjoying drinks in a beach-facing bar, culminating in dinner at Rick Stein’s with my family and my best friends.
What’s your song of choice at karaoke?
I have been known to do a karaoke number or two. My husband and I do a pretty good Islands in the Stream, with me singing the Dolly Parton bit and Malcolm singing Kenny Rogers.
Who would be your four ideal dinner party guests?
Ian Botham, so we could chat about cricket, and he would bring the wine from his extensive cellar; Exeter Chiefs and England rugby player Jack Nowell; and the Obamas, so we could explain cricket and rugby to them.
What fad or trend would you like to see make a comeback?
Candidates turning up for interviews and on the first day of employment. This is a fad that seems to have fallen out of fashion somehow and ought to be revived.
If you could choose a super-power, what would it be?
The ability to intervene when tragic events were about to happen in people’s lives.
What do you wish you knew more about?
How to play the piano. Piano players always look like they are having a wonderful time. My song repertoire would be anything that other people can sing along to.
When was the last time you changed your mind about something major?
That, as an organisation, we now need to sell ourselves to potential new recruits. For example, allowing staff to purchase from MJ Baker and investigating holiday home ownership that colleagues can use free of charge.