We're putting the Stockist Chailight on Victoria from Simon Johnson! It was such a delight talking to her about her role at Simon Johnson, she is a wealth of knowledge with her twenty plus years of working for the business! We are so proud that our Chai Walli blends are being stocked here. Let's hear her story ...
Tell us about how your business Simon Johnson started?
Our company was started by Simon Johnson (the man and founder!) in 1989. Simon was originally a chef and felt frustrated by the lack of access to fabulous ingredients in Australia and New Zealand (where he is from) - and so began to source and exclusively import and distribute quality ingredients, and source a unique range of quality Australian products. Today, SIMON JOHNSON is recognised as one of Australia’s premium wholesalers and retailers of imported and domestic quality food products. We have five retail stores across Australia and a significant online presence that runs alongside a nation-wide wholesale distribution network that supplies top restaurants, airlines, retailers, caterers and more across Australia.
Tell us what you do at Simon Johnson, what's your day-to-day like?
I have been with Simon Johnson in many roles for over twenty years – currently I coordinate the education and events side of the business which includes: educational events for our teams, wholesale customers and retail consumers; coordinating the promotional calendar and in-store activations to support our promotional offers; design and running of the SIMON JOHNSON Cooking School; maintaining relationships with our business partners; and assisting in the creation of internal and external EDMs and other promotional collateral.
Could you share with us your your first chai experience?
To be honest I was never really aware of real chai – until I met Uppma! Watching her teach our teams and customers in the retails stores and seeing her in action in the Art of Chai Workshop really impressed me. I really had no idea what it was all about and now love the range and the knowledge behind the blends.
Now that you have discovered chai, have you created a chai routine for yourself?
In our stores, we try different blends with the teams and customers, and often stop to have a group ‘chai’ in the afternoons. I love the turmeric latte and make this at home for myself (and our son - who can have it because it is caffeine free!). Definitely with honey as a warming winter drink.
If you were a Chai Walli blend, which one would you be and why?
11 Spice of course! Something to suit all moods when you need a pick-me-up.
Have you shared any special chai moments with your customers?
Hosting the Art of Chai workshop with Uppma in our demonstration kitchen was fantastic and so memorable – and seeing the reaction of the attendees to the science behind the blends – not just for taste after all!
What is the most rewarding part of being part of the Simon Johnson team, and working with so many independent businesses?
I love learning about the products and then being able to share these stores with our customers and teams.
If there was one thing you want the world to know, what would it be?
Eat quality food (and chai!)