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For anyone who thinks purchasing is all about paperwork, you haven’t lived in Sophia’s shoes for a day!
“A key part of my role is understanding what’s happening with the food market. It’s my knowledge of the products, particularly the new ones, that affects what solutions St. George is able to offer to our customers.”
For Sophia to be able to do her job successfully, she needs to understand why a product is grown, how it is grown and why there are shortages.
Crucially, she needs to keep abreast of what people are consuming these days, which food choices they are making, and how the industry is constantly changing.
This puts her at the very forefront of what is happening with the food industry.
“Every year I attend three buy shows, where groups of suppliers get together and offer food distributors deals on the day. These shows also give suppliers the opportunity to exhibit new products and introduce them to the market. I also attend conferences and functions related to what our suppliers might be doing.”
When she learns about a new product, Sophia is methodical in gathering all the necessary information because she then educates the rest of the team at St. George about it.
“As you can see, my job is never the same, never boring. It’s a huge challenge, and I really, really enjoy it.”
As well as the analytical challenge her job presents, Sophia builds great relationships with her suppliers. This is vital to keeping the healthy supply of food available to customers.
“I’m the first person to know if there’s a problem from a supplier due to drought or other circumstances, and I’m able to find the solution for our customers.”