Emily Burr – Buyer

Emily Burr, Confectionary Buyer

How did you get into buying confectionery?

By total accident! I was doing a Food Technology degree and was planning to become a teacher but then decided that wasn’t for me. I had to do a 4-week placement as part of my course and being from the North I decided to take a chance and ask if I could complete it at Booths and I got it! I spent time with some of our Buyers and took on the role of Buying Assistant and then joined the Trainee Buyer Programme when the chance became available. When I completed that I was a fully-fledged Buyer and was given chocolate and sweets as my category, so all in all it was a complete fluke!

What responsibilities do you have as part of your role?

I choose what chocolate, sweets and crisps products we sell, as well as the range of those products, the price we sell them at and the promotions we have on them. I also have to make sure the products taste nice and would be something our customers would like.

What’s your favourite thing about working for Booths?

Definitely the people. They make working here extremely fun and keep you going when you’re having a stressful day. I also love that we’re passionate about being Northern as so am I!

What’s most important to you when selecting new products?

Selecting something different, but also something that our customers will enjoy. If we can combine those two things then we’ve got it right.

What challenges do you face as part of your role?

I see so many products from suppliers that selecting final ones and telling people ‘no’ is really tough.

What’s your most exciting story from your career in the world of buying?

It’s not really an exciting story but definitely the most surreal! When I was a Buying Assistant one of my categories was Home Baking so our egg supplier invited me to their farm. I had to wear a Ghostbusters-style overall and wellies that were too big and walk through this field full of chickens!

What’s your favourite product from the categories you sell?

My favourite chocolate is Mini Eggs and I think they should definitely be sold all year round! For sweets it’s a toss up between Rowntree’s Randoms or Fruitella. For crisps, Lancashire’s Salt and Vinegar crisps are a winner.

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

I would be up a hill in the lakes or on my kayak.

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