Meet the Team

Food manufacturing recruitment specialists

Bristol Office

  • Chris Trudgian food recruitment
    Chris Trudgian
    Managing Director
  • Nick Crocker food recruitment
    Nick Crocker
    Senior Consultant – NPD, Quality & Technical
  • Oliver Duffen
    Consultant – Production, Operations & Supply Chain

Stamford Office

  • Nicola Richardson
    Principal Consultant – NPD & Development
  • Scarlett MacLean
    Principal Consultant – Quality, Technical & Hygiene
  • Oliver Edwards
    Consultant – Engineering
  • Lisa-Marie Dienel
    Consultant – Production, Operations & Supply Chain
  • Natasha McFarlane
    Consultant – Quality, Technical & Hygiene
  • Jessica Arthey
    Consultant - Production, Operations & Supply Chain
  • Chloe Shiels
    Trainee Consultant- NPD
  • Jecca Sweeney
    Trainee Consultant – NPD
  • Josh Manby
    Trainee Consultant – Engineering
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Chris Trudgian food recruitment

Chris Trudgian

Managing Director

Chris is the founder of Zest Solutions & the Zest Foundation. He set the business up with one key vision – to be the leading food recruitment business in the UK for our clients, candidates and colleagues. This is being realised through outstanding customer service for both clients and candidates alike and delivering ongoing training and development for our colleagues within a fun, results focussed working environment. Something that has already resulted in Zest winning a national award for Outstanding Employee Engagement and being a finalist in three further categories. Chris also enjoys a charity challenge – he has finished four half marathons and with a love of cycling he has most recently smashed Lands End to John O’Groats in 2015, camping along the way.

Favourite food and drink: Loves a beer or glass of Sauvignon Blanc with a great BBQ or a Charlie Bigham’s Chicken Tikka Masala

Favourite morning smoothie: Blueberries, bananas, raspberries, spinach, ginger and coconut water

Nick Crocker food recruitment

Nick Crocker

Senior Consultant – NPD, Quality & Technical

Nick is the newest senior consultant at Zest, working from our Bristol office. Nick joined in 2014 and after a successful two years has become the fastest person to reach this level, thanks to hard work and continued support from his colleagues. Nick specialises in junior Quality & Technical roles. Client’s Nick has worked with include Graze, Olives et Al, Dairy Crest, Cook Trading and Samworth Brothers. He is 100% focussed on putting the right people in the right role. Nick’s most noticeable accomplishments include buying his own house at the young age of 25, completing the Bath Half Marathon in less than 2 hours and eating 12 Jaffa Cakes in one minute.

Favourite food & drink: Apples, specifically Granny Smiths & a pint of Peroni

Favourite morning smoothie: Pineapple, banana and coconut or if it’s the weekend – pineapple, banana, coconut & rum!

Oliver Duffen

Consultant – Production, Operations & Supply Chain

After leaving school in 2014 Oliver stumbled across recruitment and has been in the business ever since, focussing on Production & Operations recruitment. With a keen eye for detail and quality, he thought this sector suited perfectly. Through the great support and training Zest have given Oliver, he has a passion for great client service and gets a real buzz for making candidates and clients happy.

Oliver finds building relationships between candidates and clients rewarding and finds there is nothing better than seeing one impressed with the job you have done.

 

Favourite food – Anything spicy

Favourite drink – Anything alcoholic to wash it down with

Nicola Richardson

Principal Consultant – NPD & Development

Prior to joining Zest, Nicola had set up her own business (with her now husband) as a bit of a ‘modern day Del Boy’. After deciding to put her salvage hunting days behind her, Nicola joined Zest in 2009. Ten years on and she still has an eye for that hidden gem. Nicola now heads up one of the longest standing & most successful NPD desks in the UK food industry. Recruitment is still very much at the forefront of her day-to-day activity. With her determined personality, appreciation of high standards and passion for food (yes, as well as eating it) she has become highly regarded within this specialist field.

Favourite food & drink: Sushi & seaweed & anything mixed with rum – from dark n’ stormy, pina colada, long island ice tea to a mojito or two!

Scarlett MacLean

Principal Consultant – Quality, Technical & Hygiene

Scarlett originally came from a design background, after having trained and worked in the fashion industry for a number of years. With a re-location to Stamford on the cards, Scarlett felt it was time for a career move into an exciting industry that was driven by daily interaction with new people. Having always had an eager passion for food, Scarlett found Zest. Scarlett is now well established within her specialised areas of Quality, Technical and Hygiene. Being someone who takes huge pride in her market and places great emphasis on ensuring she places the right people in the right role, she ultimately enables clients and candidates to go on to design their future. Aside from recruitment, Scarlett loves food- from creating a fine new dish to indulging in it once served. Someone who is not afraid of their greens and has a daily penchant for Green Tea.

Favourite Food & Drink: Anything that is green or a root (preferably ginger) with a side of Burleigh’s Gin, Brockmans Gin, Hendricks Gin or anything Gin.

Oliver Edwards

Consultant – Engineering

Former personal trainer and checkout boy, Oli has always enjoyed good conversation and forming new relationships. Working from the Stamford office, he now heads up engineering for Zest across the East of England and takes great pleasure in a job well done, pleasing both candidate and client alike. The occasional gym goer, coffee connoisseur (caffeine junky), enjoys nothing more than a ‘couple’ of Spanish beers on a Friday afternoon and believes that there is no better way to round off the weekend than with roast beef and a glass of red.

 

Lisa-Marie Dienel

Consultant – Production, Operations & Supply Chain

Lisa joined the company in 2017 and now heads up Production, Operations and Planning. As a Psychology graduate she suits the fast paced sales environment and the relationships developed with candidates along with clients through account management. She loves to explore new food; whether it be cooking herself or finding a new restaurant. Through her experience in food recruitment her eyes have been opened to a new element of the industry which has added to her enthusiasm!

Best part of her role? Finding her clients the very best talent that go on to make significant contributions and helping her candidates find their dream role.

 

Favourite food: something savoury or anything with a kick! Favourite drink: nothing beats a good glass of wine on a Friday evening.

Natasha McFarlane

Consultant – Quality, Technical & Hygiene

Natasha – loves food and chatting about it!

Also loves the gym it’s about balance right? 🙂 After hanging up her property hat she now works with the finest talent in the Technical, Quality and Hygiene market who are gifted, valuable and always in style.

She is swiftly becoming the go to for recruitment support in the East Anglia, West Midlands and Home Counties area.

Driven by understanding the needs of her clients and delivering exceptional service she has an unrivalled transparent and honest approach which has led onto building and maintaining long term relationships.

 

Favourite food and drink: Seasoned food (salt n pepper don’t count) & Mac n Cheese. Loves Bellini’s and Rum Punch!

 

Jessica Arthey

Consultant - Production, Operations & Supply Chain

Jess started her career within hospitality as an assistant manager and weddings/event coordinator back home in Kent before taking a huge leap and relocated to Cyprus to live with her now husband, who was serving there in the British Army at the time. Two fun filled years later, leaving the sun, sea and sand behind, Jess decided she needed a complete career overhaul and that is when Zest caught her eye. Bringing her love to help people, genuine approach and pride in doing things right,(oh and not to mention a love for all things sweet and savoury), Jess has been a member of the team here at Zest since 2017 within production operations and planning and still loving it.

 

Favourite Food and drink: Has to be a cake of any variety and coffee, coffee and more coffee (and throw in a white wine too)!

Chloe Shiels

Trainee Consultant- NPD

Chloe joined Zest in November 2018 and is currently a Trainee Consultant working in New Product Development alongside Nicola. She had discovered her love for recruitment and would definitely not look back (it’s also an added bonus that we specialise in food manufacturing!) With a eye for detail, she will make sure you are provided with the best service and will not leave any stone unturned! Chloe has recently moved to the Stamford area and absolutely loves socialising and eating out with friends (especially Friday drinks with the team!)

She LOVES Italian and Mexican food and enjoys a nice glass of white wine!

Jecca Sweeney

Trainee Consultant – NPD

Prior to joining Zest, Jecca had been working in the property industry up in the big smoke. Jecca decided she was ready to make the move back the countryside and wanted a career that gave her the same buzz!

 

Now working within the NPD and process team, Jecca is cornering the north west market! Jecca loves a muddy challenge having previously done Tough Mudder! Jecca is now training for the charity triathlon at Blenheim Palace.

 

Favourite food and drink: Hendricks gin with Mediterranean Fever Tree Tonic and sushi. Biggest vice: anything chocolate!

 

Josh Manby

Trainee Consultant – Engineering

Prior to taking the leap into recruitment at Zest, Josh spent the last 7 years of his career working in hospitality. 3 of these years as restaurant manager. After a long stint in the industry he felt it was time for a challenge, which is when he fell head first into the fast paced life of recruitment. He has always thoroughly enjoyed working closely with others, which is where his people skills play a great part in this role. Between work, sleep and the occasional beer, football  is his passion.

Always in that order of course…

Favourite food and drink: a traditional  beef roast dinner with any liquid that comes with a percentage.

“Truly focused on the food & drink manufacturing industry.”