Inspirational Woman: Ann Perkins | Founder & Managing Director, Perkier

Ann PerkinsI’m Ann Perkins, Founder and Managing Director of Perkier. Perkier is an innovative young British food company.

Every snack we make tastes good, does you good and doesn’t mess up the planet. All our snacks are high in fibre, packed with protein, lower sugar PLUS have added vitamins for immunity and probiotics for a happy healthy gut. AND they’re Gluten free, Vegan and have No Palm Oil! @perkierfoods

I head up the sales, marketing, innovation and overall business strategy for Perkier. We’re a small team of 4, and I am very proud of all we have achieved!

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

No, but I have always been passionate about food and understanding consumer behaviour, so I started my career in consumer research roles in major food companies.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

It took me about 15years to uncover that eating gluten and dairy was causing me so many digestive health issues, as well as impacting my energy levels and mood. Once I took gluten dairy out of my diet the impact was transformative! Bags of energy, positivity and no more bloating and digestive aches and pains! Whilst this was a challenge, living through this gave me the passion and determination to start my own food company providing gluten and dairy free foods that deliver taste and health, sustainably.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Launching our healthy snacking range into TESCO, Sainsbury’s, ASDA and Morrisons, with just my partner Steve! A self-funded power team of 2! Our name is a mashup of our surnames Perkins and Turner.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

Passion and determination to achieve my goals. Understanding though that I can’t do this alone so building powerful relationships is key to all our successes (and makes the journey a lot more fun!).

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I am a passionate believer in mentoring. I have mentored employees in previous companies from being on the verge of exit to being strong and valuable employees. Early in my career I had 2 mentors who were great role models and enabled me to communicate my pretty radical ideas to the leadership team at Heinz. Having convinced the team my ideas were worthy of a go, I unlocked huge cost savings and business growth. Without my mentor’s support and guidance my ideas would not have been heard!

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?

Coaching men in the workplace to be aware of the gender inequality that exits and how adapting their behaviours at times will enable women to shine brighter and add more value to the organisation.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Can I have 2?!

  • Go to a specialist and find out why you have low energy, digestive health issues and low mood – and don’t accept them fobbing you off! It took 15years to find out that gluten and dairy was dramatically impacting my quality of life.
  • In the words of Dr Kirstin Neff “We’re stronger and more able to deal with the difficulties in life when we are our own ally.” In essence, silence the inner critic and be your own cheer leader!

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

I love working at Perkier, so growing the business so more people can enjoy our truly healthy and ethical snacks excites me. We have lots of new products launching this year and will be fund raising too!

What do you love most about your job?

Working with so many different people from our buyers at the major supermarkets like Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, to small independent stores, the awesome team who make our snacks, our photographer, design partners and all the Perky Fam.. our new influencer community! Oh and creating new snacks and doing the essential taste testing too! Basically apart from talking the bins out I love it all!

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