Meet the Team

Food manufacturing recruitment specialists

Team Zest

  • Chris Trudgian food recruitment
    Chris Trudgian
    Managing Director
  • Nicola Richardson
    Principal Consultant – NPD & Development
  • Scarlett MacLean
    Principal Consultant – Quality, Technical & Hygiene
  • Nick Crocker
    Nick Crocker
    Senior Consultant – NPD, Quality & Technical
  • Oliver Edwards
    Senior Consultant – Engineering
  • Natasha McFarlane
    Consultant – Quality, Technical & Hygiene
  • Jecca Sweeney
    Senior consultant – NPD & Process
  • Josh Manby
    Consultant – Engineering
  • Niall
    Niall Cater
    Consultant – Engineering
  • Sam Jones
    Consultant - Operations
  • Coco
    Head of Security

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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

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.

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 Edwards

Senior 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

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

Senior 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

Niall

Niall Cater

Consultant – Engineering

Niall started off his career in the leisure industry from training in the gym to selling in the gym, he’s done it all but was ready for his next move.

Fresh into Zest with a keen motivation to help others and do what’s best for them, Niall’s move into recruitment was only natural.

Now looking after engineering for the West of England with a no quit attitude, Niall plans to leave no stone unturned when it comes to finding his candidates the perfect role.

Apart from regularly training and being the resident sweet tooth, he enjoys trips to London testing all the nice bars and pubs.

Favourite food and drink: Can’t say no to a burrito and a cold Spanish beer

Sam Jones

Consultant - Operations

Sam started off his recruitment career within Executive Search for the Medical Devices market living in Manchester. Looking to come back to his home area of Stamford and a fresh recruitment experience, Zest was the perfect move.

Now looking after the Production and Operations market and an eagerness to help others, Sam will pull out all the stops to find his candidates the right role.

Outside of work, life revolves around going to the gym, playing football and counteracting this exercise with as many unhealthy calories as possible.

Favourite food & drink: Steak, Chips, Peas and Peppercorn sauce! Followed by a sweet Cookie Dough and Ice Cream for dessert. Accompanied by a Cider of course!

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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