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5 minutes with new MD Mark Aylwin

Matthew Clark MD Mark Aylwin.JPG

Our new MD Mark has been with us just long enough to get his feet under the table and have a good look at what makes MC what it is. So, we thought it was about time we got to know him a little better, I caught up with Mark to find out more about the man heading up MC!

 It’s been a busy start to the year for you, how are you settling in to MC?

Really well thank you, Matthew Clark is a great business with fantastic people, who have made me feel very welcome. As well as spending time in Bristol, I had the opportunity to visit some depots and get out into trade to meet some of our customers. I feel very much at home in Matthew Clark

So, what did you do before you came here?

I spent the past 9 years at Booker, where I was responsible for the delivered business. I joined when Booker acquired Blueheath where I was the CEO and was tasked with developing a delivered wholesale business. I had a great time there, our growth was driven through moving into new markets (such as delivered) and through acquisitions. I am hopeful that we will enjoy the same success, by being part of Conviviality.

 Tell us about the interim results, what do they mean for MC?

It was a good set of results in a tough market. Matthew Clark was a star performer over Christmas and this was particularly impressive, set against the distractions that a takeover inevitably brings. The team at Matthew Clark has been very professional during that period and looked after our customers, who have in turn rewarded us with their business. That said, I think the market is challenging and we need to be at the top of our game if we are to continue to prosper. Only by giving our customers the right range, the best value and outstanding customer service will we ensure our success

What attracted you to the role? Why are you here?

Matthew Clark is the leader in its field and it was a privilege to be asked by Diana to join this great business. Wholesaling is very close to my heart and I have a real love for the hospitality sector. 

What experiences are you going to pull on to make the most impact at MC?

I have been fortunate to work for a variety of companies, in a wide range of roles and with outstanding people. In every role I have learnt valuable lessons that I intend to call upon at Matthew Clark, but the most important thing I have learnt is to listen. I don’t have all the answers, but I am good at finding people who do, whether they are colleagues, customers or suppliers.

What’s been your highlight so far?

There have been many, including the welcome I received, the depot visits, the presentations from the central and field teams, but most of all I would say, it was being out in trade and seeing all the great efforts from across the business come together to give our customers the most outstanding offer.

Anything surprised or shocked you?

No great surprises, as I knew Matthew Clark well. I have however been most impressed by the quality of the people and their output and the strong relationships with our customers.

What’s your priority for 2016?

Ensuring that the transformational deal with Conviviality is a success, by working with colleagues across Matthew Clark and Conviviality, our suppliers and most importantly our customers. 

What do you love about the On-Trade?

I love the hospitality industry and the on-trade is at its centre. We help our customers ensure their customers have a wonderful experience. The on-trade is at the heart of the most exciting revolution in out of home. The development of new dining concepts, the craft beer revolution, the ever expanding range of spirits all go into making this the most exciting trade to be in.

 Now for the really serious stuff ….

 What’s your go to drink on a night out?

I always like to start with a pint of Ale or an American IPA.  If I am on holiday, it is whatever is local; I love local takes on traditional drinks; nobody does a Gin & Tonic like the Basques!

What’s your idea of a perfect night out?

Starting the evening in a lively bar with my family and friends and then onto a good restaurant a nice bottle of red.

 What are you most proud of?

I am proud to be part of industry where people work hard and have fun. We are in one of the few industries where someone starting out at the bottom can still make it to the top (and have fun doing it).

What’s your favourite sandwich?

A salt beef sandwich in Selfridges’ brass rail bar.

Music or movies?

Movies

Favourite film? Favourite Band?

Too many to choose from, but recently, I would have to say Tom Hardy in Legend. In terms of music, I have quite an eclectic taste; anything from Blues to authentic Country Music, but it’s always best live. I am not really a charts person and couldn’t tell you who is at Number 1!

Football or rugby? Who’s your team?

Football; Charlton Athletic. They never cease to disappoint, but I still turn up to every home game! Both my grown up sons go with me, so it’s a nice afternoon, spoilt by 90mins of average football.

Favourite wine?

Toughest question yet! If I am in a wine growing region, it has to be local, but at home it would be a bold red from Rioja.

Would you rather fight a hundred duck sized horses or a horse sized duck?

As you can imagine, I have given this a lot of thought. It would have to be horse sized duck, it’s got to be better to take on one big problem than a hundred little ones.

 

I couldn't agree more! Thanks Mark, we look forward to hearing more from you in the near future!

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