From Music to Baking: Meet Samuel Mensah CEO of London Based Uncle John’s Bakery

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Whilst working in the music industry he always took time out to support his parents in running the bakery business.

This is since it was established over 25 years ago, things were always changing and it was important for them to keep on top to remain the market leaders of Ghanaian baked goods.

He soon realized that his parents could not be on the frontline forever – as well as the importance of maintaining the legacy of his family business.

As part of the second-generation Ghanaian community within the UK, he made it his vocation to preserve the culture for future generations. Therefore, as of 6 years ago he decided to give up my music career and focus solely on the business.

His name is Samuel Mensah and he is the Chief executive of Uncle John’s Bakery based in London.

In this interview he tells Big Hospitality what’s like to run such a company.

Tell us something you wish you had been told at the start of your career? 
Brace yourself as this is going to be one hell of a ride.

What time do you wake up?
Between 6am and 7am.

What’s your favourite bakery or even restaurants (besides your own)?
One of them would have to be Nando’s, I love the branding and the embedded culture within the brand. It is something that resonates with me and the vision I have.

What motivates you?
Knowing that I’m able to fulfil a legacy not only for my family but for my generation and the ones after. Day in day out I see new and old customers enjoying our products and being able to share our culture and heritage like this is amazing.

What keeps you up at night?
A constant flow of ideas and innovations.

Which colleague, mentor or employer has had the biggest influence on your approach to the restaurant business? 
My team are my biggest influence as they showcase resilience in our ever-growing business which pushes me empower them even more.

How often do you check your email?
As often as possible to be honest; it seems like the more I check the emails, the more that come in.

How do you let off steam?
I love playing football and I’m part of a league team. I also enjoy travelling.

Worst business decision? 
Thinking that delegation is not important.

Best business decision? 
Deciding to go ahead for the SALSA health and safety accreditation for our business.

What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done? 
Booking a flight to Barcelona and leaving five hours later

Favourite holiday destination?
Dubai

What piece of advice would you give to those looking to climb the rungs in the business? 
Do not be afraid to take the risk. We never know the outcome of our efforts unless we actually do it. You are more likely to regret not trying rather than failure.

If you could change one thing about the restaurant industry today, what would it be? 
The industry is a great place with many exciting things happening but I feel greater representation would hugely benefit. As diversity grows so does the potential to try new things and this would benefit the industry.

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