Meet the Team

Food manufacturing recruitment specialists

Stamford Office

  • Chris Trudgian food recruitment
    Chris Trudgian
    Managing Director
  • Nicola Richardson
    Principal Consultant – NPD & Development
  • Scarlett MacLean
    Principal Consultant – Quality, Technical & Hygiene
  • Georgia Attwood
    Office Manager
  • Oliver Edwards
    Consultant – Engineering
  • Lisa-Marie Dienel
    Consultant – Production, Operations & Supply Chain
  • Natasha McFarlane
    Consultant – Quality, Technical & Hygiene
  • Jecca Sweeney
    Consultant – NPD & Process
  • Josh Manby
    Consultant – Engineering
  • Harriet Blamire
    Consultant - Operations & Production
  • Coco
    Head of Security

Bristol Office

  • Nick Crocker
    Nick Crocker
    Senior Consultant – NPD, Quality & Technical
  • Oliver Duffen
    Consultant – Production, Operations & Supply Chain

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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

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: Sushi & seaweed

Favourite drink: 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.

Georgia Attwood

Office Manager

After an 8 year stint in the insurance industry Georgia decided it was time for change! So she went head first into the position of Office Manager at Zest. With a passion for people and a knack for problem solving, Georgia now ensures that the office runs smoothly, taking great pride in supporting the sales team – there’s nothing a cup of tea and a biscuit can’t fix! Outside of the office you’ll find her in her happy place, out in countryside trekking with her dogs.

Favourite food: a saucy pasta dish and a slice or 2 of garlic bread.

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. Oli is an occasional gym goer and coffee connoisseur (caffeine junky).

Favourite food: Enjoys nothing more than a ‘couple’ of Spanish beers on a Friday afternoon

Favourite drink: 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!

Jecca Sweeney

Consultant – NPD & Process

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

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

Harriet Blamire

Consultant - Operations & Production

Harriet has recently joined us with over a year’s food recruitment experience under her belt and is excited to hit the ground running here at Zest. She will be recruiting for the Operations and Production market and is keen to get stuck back into what she enjoys most, finding exciting new opportunities for her candidates as well as the best talent for her clients.

Anyone that knows Harriet knows that her life pretty much revolves around food, although she admits her cooking abilities are little to be desired. If she’s not thinking about or consuming some kind of food, outside of the office she’s either enjoying drinks with friends, going to the gym or most likely relaxing with her dog Teddy.

Favourite food and drink: Hard to choose but Italian food and Sushi hold a special place in her heart. She also loves a glass of wine (or two) – red or white, not fussy.

Coco

Head of Security

Zest has been a huge part of my two ‘dog years’. Relocating from Liverpool, I joined the business in the winter months of 2017 as Pest Controller. Back then my coat was a little more woolly and my phone manner a little aggressive!  Fast-forward two years and I have come a long way. I now meet and (sort of) greet visitors, have a lovely shiny coat and plenty of doggy dollars. Recently, I have been promoted to Head of Security at Zest – a position I have been eyeing up for a while.

Favourite Food: Chicken, Chicken, Chicken- I literally never stop thinking about Chicken! I look forward to what the next chapter has to offer me here at Zest. A tour of a chicken factory maybe – one can dream right?

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