THIS week’s High Flyer is Glenn McDowell, owner and master butcher of Glenn’s Butchers in Limavady. The butcher’s winning line of sausages are now making their way to Lidl stores later this month, having been selected as one of the winning suppliers for the Lidl Kick Start Supplier Developer Programme 2018.
What was your first job?
My first job was in Jingles Music Store in Coleraine. I was only 14 but I worked weekends and all my holidays, cleaning the store and stacking shelves.
How much were you paid?
I was paid £3 an hour and I certainly worked hard for it.
What qualifications do you have?
I am a Master Butcher-Sausage Maker.
What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
I have been working in the butchery industry since I was 16 and I feel I have accomplished so much in those 21 years. I’m extremely proud to have won awards at several major events including the prestigious European Championship ‘Commanderie des Fins Goustiers du Duché d’Alencon’ and the UK National Meat Awards. Getting selected as a supplier for this year’s Lidl Kick Start programme is definitely one of my greatest achievements.
How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?
I am an easy-going family man who enjoys the craic, but people would definitely describe me as determined and hard working. People might also say I’m a Spurs fanatic!
Who do you look up to in business?
Lord Alan Sugar. He worked his way up from nothing and wasn’t afraid to take risks or even chance his arm. I think we can all learn a lesson from being a little bit cheeky and creative.
What one thing would you change to make your job easier?
If only there was two of me!
How do you get the best out of people who work for you?
I am always upfront and honest. I find being open with my team and setting expectations from the outset means people have greater ownership of their roles and give more to the job.
What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?
What’s your favourite book?
I’m a nerd underneath so I would have to say Harry Potter or Star Wars – I love sci-fi.
What sort of car do you drive?
A Peugeot 306 estate – it’s a practical family car.
Have you any unfulfilled ambitions?
I really want to grow the business and feel there is no limit to what we can achieve. I’m delighted to have the new opportunity with Lidl and I’m determined to use it as a springboard to the next milestone for the business.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in their career?
Be prepared to stay calm and strong because there will always be the rough with the smooth. Embrace the journey and enjoy the adventure.
If you could swap jobs with someone else for the day, who would it be and why?
As I’ve mentioned I’m a bit of a Tottenham Hotspur fan. I would love to be assistant manager of Tottenham Hotspur for the day, simply to be in the presence of Mauricio Pochettino and watch him work his magic.