A view from the top: The Duppy Share

Discover why the Duppy Share CEO think it’s important to hire young people

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We spoke to Jack Orr-Ewing, the CEO of The Duppy Share to understand his journey from Tesco to CEO!

What was it like finding your first-ever job?

It took me a LONG time… I left university in 2008 in the midst of the credit crunch and deep recession. All the major employers were not hiring and I had made the mistake of spending my university holidays teaching for money, rather than building work experience in industries I wanted to work for. So I ended up spending 18 months doing tutoring jobs and applying for 100s of companies from consulting, to finance, to consumer goods.

Eventually, my friend said that the Tesco graduate scheme was still taking applicants, and when I looked they only had placements in technology schemes, which my history degree wasn’t particularly useful for. I applied anyway, and I remember answering in my interview that I felt owning an iPhone gave me pretty good insight into consumer technology, which somehow they bought and offered me the job. I never did any technology roles, and found my way through the business to roles that suited me, and eventually moved into a Tesco funded startup called Harris and Hoole, which is where my interest in hospitality grew… from there I did an MBA, and when I finished I did 1 year of consulting for Costa Coffee, EAT, McDonalds and Premier Inn… the career makes sense looking backwards now, but never would I have predicted this would be the pathway to where I am now, or that running a rum company was the obvious place I’d end up!

What was it about The Duppy Share that made you take the leap into the spirits world?

Primarily it was George – Duppy’s founder. He’s been a friend for over 15 years, and when he offered me the chance to work on his brand I jumped at the opportunity. I wanted to join a start-up, and build something from the ground up, and joining George 2 years into his journey felt like a good plan. I’ve always loved going out, putting on events and having fun, and I knew from my days working for Harris and Hoole how fun work could (and should) be an enjoyable experience – I knew that whatever happened at Duppy, it would be a fun journey, and would give me the engagement and passion for work that I had lost while consulting. I wasn't disappointed.

How important is it to you to hire young people into your business?

As a rum company, it’s important to stay connected with our core audience, and with people whose curiosity and lifestyle matches up with the needs of a modern, fast paced spirits brand. We need to be connected with nightlife, events, bars and via social media, and young people are perfect for that. It’s a high energy, exciting team atmosphere, and it’s really important to George and I that we build a culture that gives opportunities to young people to build their careers.

What is your dream for The Duppy Share and where do you see the company in the next 5 years?

Our dream is to create a rum fuelled world, where we can all look back on a life well lived, with countless memories made together… We are the UK’s largest premium rum brand, and our plan is to replicate that success in multiple countries, and grow Duppy into a major player in the UK spirits market. To do to rum what Henricks did to gin would be a great achievement.