We have built an exceptional team to support our operations, with backgrounds in some of London's finest hotels, restaurants and catering companies. Scroll through the team photos above to find out what each of the team can do for you, and more importantly who is our Jonathan Edwards lookalike (apparently!), and who gets their kicks from Kylie!
Mark started his life in the catering industry as a pastry chef in five star West End hotels. Having moved into contract catering he worked his way up the management hierarchy to eventually become Managing Director of the London arm of one of the country's largest caterers. He earns utmost respect from all Vacherin's staff because he has been there and done it all!
Mark's passion is food quality and provenance and the intelligent use of prime ingredients to create food offers to meet individual client tastes.
What Mark loves about Vacherin: I love the fact that we are achieving our dream of creating a company full of fantastic people, delivering exceptional food and service to a portfolio of truly lovely clients.
Mark is an accomplished equestrian, competing in dressage and eventing. He is also a respected judge of showhorses. An expert skier, he can be seen most years carving perfect turns on the slopes of Val d'Isere.
Clive Hetherington - Owner | Executive Finance Director
Clive's passion for food led him into the catering industry over 20 years ago. He held Finance Director roles in two large independent London caterers prior to establishing Vacherin.
Clive believes in straight forward and simple but robust accounting solutions and has an acute appreciation of operational needs. His systems are designed to help our teams manage efficiently and effectively without taking the focus away from their primary focus - that of delivering great food and service.
What Clive loves about Vacherin: "I believe we have achieved our aim of concentrating on and delivering our clients' requirements and thereby driving our commercial success rather than allowing commercial considerations to determine the style and level of service we offer as so many of our competitors do".
Classical music is the most dominant interest in Clive's life. He sings tenor for the Wimbledon choral society, one of the foremost large amateur choirs in the South East of England. He gains great satisfaction from encouraging his childrens' musical development and, inspired by their progress, he recently picked up his trumpet again after a gap of 30 years!
He is also keen on skiing, running and squash although active participation has been hampered since the surprise arrival in 2007 of triplets to add to the two young children he already had.
Phil's developed a passion for excellent service and a keen eye for detail as an operator in first class hotels. He gained invaluable experience in commercial contract catering when working in sales for the world's two largest contract caterers, prior to joining Vacherin.
Phil is committed to creating bespoke solutions for any new business opportunity and stays close to all our contracts to ensure that we are delivering the best commercial results for us and our clients.
He is passionate about sustainability and working with suppliers and clients to minimise the impact of our services on the environment.
What does Phil love about Vacherin? I love the fact that we are so close to our clients - we are able to carry through the promises we make at tender time because we are all in the operations regularly, making sure it happens.
Sport, sport and more sport. Phil represents Great Britain at Triathlon and competes year round in triathlon, duathlon, cross country running, cycling road races and time trials. He is also a decent footballer - a right back of the "old school" variety - and supports Brentford. He is a keen but not technically gifted skier, golfer, tennis and squash player.
Simon joined Vacherin in 2014 to head up the operations team. His background was initially in 5-star London hotels, following which he moved into the City contract catering world, moving through the ranks from general manager to operations director with independent and global competitors.
He brings uncompromising standards, a track record of great people development and building exceptional client relationships. His proactive approach and ability to take a 360 view of the operations has brought great strength and support to our clients and unit teams alike.
What does Simon love about Vacherin? I love the fact that Vacherin works in partnerships with its clients, delivers on its promises and employs the best people. Vacherin is independent and growing, with a great handle on food & service, nutrition, sustainability and having fun!
Outside of work, Simon is a passionate sports fan. A Quins rugby supporter, Twickenham RFC Rugby Coach (2014 coach of the year), Water Poloist as well as a keen but erratic golfer, and some-time tri athlete!
Zoë, as Director I Commercial at Vacherin, oversees sales, marketing and the development of the business. Her role is a culmination of a career in catering operations, events and the management of the catering contract and venue hire at the Natural History Museum. As an 'all-rounder' Zoë brings creative solutions and a practical approach - all designed with the end customer and the facilities and infrastructure as the driver. Zoë is passionate about creating the extraordinary and developing ideas that are appealing, marketable and have the ability to be continuously refreshed in line with the seasons and ever-changing trends and innovation in food.
Zoë's favourite aspect of working in the food and drink industry? It has to be the research! I enjoy building partnerships with clients, developing internal teams and the social side of working in a business that revolves around people and fantastic food.
Crossing the finishing line and holidaying with the family.
Dan provides inspiration, guidance and support to our exceptionally strong team of chefs. He leads by example, promoting innovation, seasonality, craft skills and excellence in preparation and presentation
Dan describes his own cooking style as focusing on using the best seasonal produce to create great tasting imaginative dishes. Taking traditional flavours and adding his own modern twists. He intuitively knows what style is right for each client and is always pushing the boundaries to create an exceptional dining experience.
What does Dan love about Vacherin? Being able to use exceptional suppliers, without restriction enabling all of our chefs to be passionate and creative with all the food they produce, benefitting all of our clients as well as the company with its constantly evolving style and focus.
Dan takes his passion for cooking home with him where he has his own miniature commercial kitchen and is able to practice and create recipes for business and pleasure. Dan enjoys keeping fit and attempting to play golf.
Dale is our longest serving employee, having been General Manager of our very first contract, so he knows the company and its employees inside out! Dale has a passion for training and motivating staff, so having undertaken the CIPD personnel qualification while still running his operation it was a natural step for him to join us as our first dedicated HR resource.
Dale now spends his time ensuring that we recruit and retain the best staff in the business and that we get the best out of them.
What does Dale love about Vacherin? The people! We say we want to employ interesting people who are interested in what they do and it’s true from the top of the company all the way down. There’s a great family spirit which shows itself every time the staff come out to party!
Dale loves spending time doing up his home and garden. When not doing this Dale loves travelling and looks forward to planning the year's holidays. Weekend breaks in the country are just as important as that couple of weeks on a sunny beach. Spending time with his family is also very important to him.
Sam’s background includes senior management roles within Management Accounts and Commercial Finance, for companies ranging from SMEs to multi-billion pound organisations. He believes in ‘working smart,’ which involves fine-tuning processes/systems and providing on-the-job training, which empowers employees to use the tools that are available to them in the most productive and dynamic manner possible.
What I love about Vacherin: Delivering consistently high standards of food and service into an eclectic portfolio of clients, each with their own bespoke criteria and expectations, and creating an atmosphere of happy customers, clients and staff!
Sam loves to travel so he’s always planning his next adventure, with going ‘off the beaten track’ and/or snowboarding a big passion of his. On the quieter weekends he enjoys the cinema, reading and watching football.
Laura-Jo Blackburn - Designer | Business Development & Marketing
Laura-Jo joined our Sales and Marketing team as our in-house designer. Her background was in guest services and events within 5 star hotels, yet always having been creative, until she accidentally ‘fell’ into design when she chose to move to London.
What she loves about Vacherin? Having a tight team that work closely together everyday, as I like to be busy and involved in lots of different aspects of the business so that no day is ever the same.
Photography, good food, and spending time with her friends in the countryside.
Before Vacherin Josh held a marketing position in a small financial firm back home in Kent. Josh has always been passionate about marketing, advertising and design, studying modules such as branding and global marketing at university. He assists Anna in marketing helping out wherever needed to create new material, develop ideas, organise events and launch new units. Often found creating presentations, sending out our N&D collateral or marketing, Josh always make sure the units have the little touches they need to run successfully.
Travel, France and travel.
Gaëlle Charluet-Roy - Manager | Business Development
Gaëlle’s love for the hospitality industry started early on, working as front of house in an array of establishments in France, Italy and the UK. Back in London she then spent 5 years running a boutique agency specialised in high-end events giving her first-hand experience in sales and business development, as well as impeccable customer care, which she now brings to the Vacherin sales and marketing team.
What she loves about Vacherin? I love that Vacherin is committed to sustainability and really puts its money where its mouth is. “Green” has become a bit of a trend wagon to jump on, but Vacherin has really been a true advocate of CSR for years.
Movies, movies and more movies. Gaëlle loves watching them and talking about them. You’ve been warned. She also practices yoga and is partial to a glass of Pinot Noir (You can take the girl out of Burgundy…).
With 14 years’ experience of working in contract catering in London, Lorna draws on her in-depth City experience to develop strong, effective client relationships and consistently deliver outstanding customer service.
Lorna has a vast array of experience in the industry and she has progressed through a variety of roles whilst successfully completing an MBA.
What does Lorna love about Vacherin? It’s a company of foodies! There is a very genuine belief in the team about the work we do, and immense passion to deliver on the promises that we make.
I really enjoy getting to know clients and developing strong working relationships. I believe good business is built on good relationships.
I am passionate about great attention to detail and believe it’s the little things that truly count, with Vacherin I have the freedom to execute this belief.
Malcolm runs our ever-expanding team of support staff, including chefs, porters, front of house staff, hospitality hosts, managers, administrators and receptionists. The Crew are directly employed by Vacherin and trained to our exacting standards so that whenever they are required to cover for absence or to serve large events our clients are guaranteed a seamless level of service.
With over 70 full time staff on his books, Malcolm possesses exceptional organisational and man management capabilities, not to mention the patience of a saint!!
What does Malcolm love about Vacherin? It’s a forward thinking company, always looking at novel, innovative and new ideas to offer clients and Vacherin are prepared to invest in their staff development to enable this.
Fast cars, fast bikes, in-fact anything fast except fast food
Natalie is our front of house services expert, bringing polish and glamour to our reception and concierge operations. She has a natural passion for excellence in all areas of customer service.
Natalie’s background is in five star hotels in London, USA and Canada where she led her teams to deliver exceptional service combining technological innovation with traditional warm hospitality.
What does Natalie love about Vacherin? Vacherin has independence and personality to reflect the business of our clients with the delivery of the highest service standards. At Vacherin we all share the passion for providing excellence in the delicate art of hospitality from catering to reception services.
Outside of work, Natalie is a keen gardener spending many a weekend in her wellies perfecting her cottage garden and when not enjoying the great British weather she is a keen cook, always trying out the newest recipes and sharing with her excited family and friends. She also loves to ski, horse ride and play badminton.
Debbie joined Vacherin from running some of London’s largest and most demanding contracts for one of our largest competitors. Commercially very astute, Debbie balances the client’s commercial needs with the customers’ to maximise sales and minimise subsidies.
Debbie has exceptional experience within London contracts for the World’s two largest caterers, so she is relishing the intimate environment of Vacherin where she can ensure that best practice developed in one site can quickly be transferred across all relevant operations.
What does Debbie love about Vacherin? Having come from a big company where everything is standardised it is so refreshing to be able to really put the client and customer first, with unique solutions for each one.
Successfully juggling home and work well and having fun at the same time.
Anna is our support manager and coffee aficionado. She supports our operations team in all activities but several years' experience running high street branded coffee houses and restaurants means she brings valued expertise in specific areas of marketing, merchandising and coffee service.
Anna has a unique flair and style which she uses to ensure that all our cafés and restaurants present a professional, contemporary image to enhance the customer experience and boost sales.
What does Anna love about Vacherin? The level of creativity and innovation gives a huge buzz - everyone is always on the lookout for new trends and products so that they can be the first to feature them, before we share the idea across other Vacherin operations.
Anna is a qualified reflexologist with a keen interest in everything holistic. She loves to travel and continues to reduce her carbon footprint by cycling into work come rain or shine! She's also very green-fingered and can be found in her garden all year round.
The friendly voice at the end of the phone – Ausra is the one who keeps the office running smoothly and keeps us all in check!
Always ready to help out whether in operations, sales, HR or organising our legendary charity social events, Ausra is scarily organised and the one member of staff we truly couldn’t do without.
What does Ausra love about Vacherin? We have such lovely clients! They are all from such different businesses and backgrounds, yet they are all so friendly and seem to be very into their catering.
Outside of work, Ausra is a biker who loves tearing up the countryside with her Hell’s Angels mates on her Harley Davidson …
David Philpott – Deputy Manager | Human Resources & Premier Crew
After graduating with a degree in politics and international relations David initially worked in the hotel industry. David initially joined Vacherin to set up a new HR information system, which then developed into a general HR Assistant role, before taking on the added responsibility of assisting in the day to day running of the HR function and Premier Crew.
Village Cricket and fleeting moments of hope supporting Gillingham Football Club.
Tom’s experience prior to joining Vacherin includes senior management roles in challenging corporate contracts as well as high turnover retail environments. His previous responsibilities as financial champion mean he brings a sharp commercial outlook to his contracts.
He brings a dynamic, creative and energetic approach which enthuses his staff, clients and customers.
What does Tom love about Vacherin? Vacherin is made up of real foodies – this passion for providing cutting edge food is so exciting to see, with inspiring events happening within out sites every single day.
Socialising in London’s Restaurants and Bars and in contrast also enjoying the countryside from time to time. Real passion for watching most sports and playing football for Maddigans FC in the Hackney Marsh Sunday League, also regularly running and swimming to stay fit.
Ann supports the operations in all aspects of their trading & accounting. She is involved from mobilisation, training new staff in our systems, and providing ongoing support to any smaller units.
Ann also delivers our commerciality workshops – training the teams in how to maximise sales and manage cost to minimise subsidy.
What does Ann love about Vacherin? The fact that all our contracts are so close together means that I can get to any site very quickly, and I know what is going on everywhere all the time.
Ann loves socializing and meeting new people. A glass of wine looking out to the sea is her idea of heaven!!!
Zoe joined us in Spring 2016, with a background in sustainability across the public and private sectors. She has a strong academic background, having earned an MSc with Distinction in Environmental Social Science from the University of Kent. Zoe brought with her a broad range of skills and experience, having tackled sustainability agendas at the Environment Agency and Anglian Water in previous roles. She’s a very keen foody so was pleased to take on a new challenge in the Catering sector, particularly at Vacherin who have already set the bar high on sustainability and CSR.
What Zoe loves about Vacherin: The fact that I can combine my two great passions – food & sustainability!!
Outside of work, Zoe is a big football fan and loves nothing more than an away day following her team, Norwich City. She also plays a little football herself, as well as squash and badminton. When she’s not running around, she loves Scandinavian crime dramas, craft beer, and cooking up delicious veggie feasts for her family.
Hazel is responsible for ensuring that we get the best possible products at the best possible prices. She forms the link between our units and our suppliers and works tirelessly on our clients’ behalf to ensure that we get the full benefit of our considerable purchasing power to deliver best value.
Hazel is instrumental in introducing new products into the units and is also always on the lookout for new suppliers who will help us in our quest to stay at the forefront of innovation.
What does Hazel love about Vacherin? We’re very loyal to our suppliers, so I have the opportunity to build great relationships. But equally we’re not tied to anyone, so we are able to put the customer first in terms of quality, price and service.
A good gossip whilst running with the girls, planning, arranging and enjoying sociable events with friends/family and achieving a good work/life balance.
Sarah recently joined Vacherin as Operations Manager. Initially trained as a chef, Sarah’s 10 plus years in contract catering have seen her grow through different roles, from Chef Manager to General Manager, making the move to operations a few years back with great success. Sarah brings buckets of enthusiasm and strong commercial skills to our Operations team, as well as an undying passion for food.
What she loves about Vacherin? Working for a company that takes such great pride in delivering high quality service.
Achieving goals, eating food and being happy.