Kate Millar, Evoca’s new National Account Manager, South (HoReCa Specialist), is loving every minute of her induction course at Kingswinford. She’s enjoying the buzz of meeting her new colleagues, familiarising herself with a new office environment, and getting hands-on with the company’s extensive HoReCa range in the showroom.
The one thing she hasn’t been doing is getting to know the industry… After 36 years working for Selecta – latterly as a HoReCa specialist – she’s as familiar with the nuances of the marketplace as anyone in the building.
‘After such a long and happy time at Selecta, I really did want to do something different’, she says. ‘I thought ‘if I don’t make the change now I never will’; then this job came along and it was just what I was looking for so I’m delighted to be here.
‘Most of my experience in recent years has been focussed on Bean-to-Cup, traditional espresso machines and table-top equipment, rather than in vending machines.’ To put that into context, Kate ‘looked after’ Selecta’s account with Costa Coffee for many years. ‘I was responsible for all machine sales and I dealt directly with Costa’s partners, as well as with their sales team, so yes, I have to admit that I do have a lot of experience!’
Kate’s mellifluous Bristol accent is unmistakable and she remains based in the South-West, at Portishead. ‘I’ve been there for twenty years and I love it’, she says, ‘and it’s practically on the M5, so getting around is easy. I’m well positioned.’
She’ll need to be: Kate’s ‘patch’ spreads from Norwich in the east, and takes in Northants, South Wales, Brighton, Southampton and all points west to Cornwall – which means that many famous vending ‘characters’ will fall within her remit. She smiles at the prospect. ‘It won’t be easy for me as the new kid on the block, particularly as I’m following in the footsteps of Louise Wardle, who is widely respected and very well-liked by her customers’, she says. ‘Having said that, I think my forte is account management so hopefully, people will get on board with me and the change to the set-up will be seamless.
‘It really does feel as though I’ve joined a family, not just a business’, Kate says, referring to the number of people in the business whose years of service are well into double figures. ‘It’s a very supportive environment and it makes you feel that you have to be firing on all cylinders so as not to let the side down. That’s the kind of atmosphere I thrive in and that’s why I have so much optimism for the future and why I believe I can make a positive contribution to a great company operating in a very dynamic sector.’
Much more on Evoca HERE on Planet Vending