Peter Lynn, key account manager, Mullin’s & Dale Farm Ice Cream
BRIEFLY OUTLINE YOUR BACKGROUND
I started my career in the Department of Health in London and returned to Northern Ireland in the early 1990s, to take up a role as store supervisor at Mullin’s Ice Cream. As the business expanded, I moved to a field sales role, with a focus on supporting its scoop ice cream proposition. When Dale Farm acquired Mullins six years ago, I transitioned to account manager for key accounts across the island of Ireland, and this has been my focus ever since.
WHAT DOES YOUR ROLE INVOLVE?
I manage Mullin’s and Dale Farm Ice Cream, both take home and scoop offerings for key accounts such as BWG, Musgrave, Costcutter and Gala in RoI, and Musgrave in NI.
A key part of my role is developing and growing trusting relationships and working as a strategic partner and advisor to our customers.
WHAT IS THE BEST/WORST PART OF YOUR JOB?
I love the flexibility and variety of my job and the people side of my role. Every day I work closely with customers to build lasting relationships that stand the test of time. I still work with people I met for the first time over a quarter of a century ago – I won’t name names! What’s the worst part? Ice cream is a product driven by weather; when the sun shines the whole country wants their ice cream at the same time and this can be logistically challenging. However, our extensive distribution network across the island supports the need for Dale Farm and Mullin’s to be agile so we can always deliver for our customers.
BRIEFLY OUTLINE A TYPICAL DAY
Varied. I typically start the day checking my diary for meetings to help me plan, and work through my inbox. If I’m in the office (or home office these days) I will review all promotional pricing for my customers ensuring everything is set up or drafting new proposals for promotions. Like most, Zoom has become a part of everyday life and I would have regular daily meetings with trading managers.
If I am out of the office, it could involve a trip to Donegal, Portrush, Dublin or Kerry, and anywhere in-between, to discuss plans for a new Mullin’s Ice Cream scoop parlour set ups in retail stores.
PROUDEST MOMENT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE?
At a push, I would say it was winning a fair bit of bling over the years for the brand. In the past I was directly involved in product development, so I was delighted to win both gold stars and Best Product from Northern Ireland at the 2013 Great Taste awards in London. That was pretty special and one for the memory books.
BEST THING ABOUT BEING INVOLVED WITH THE LOCAL RETAIL INDUSTRY
NI has some of the best food producers in the world and our local retailers really get behind and support us. I feel proud when presenting a new Mullin’s product to our retail buyers and having the opportunity to tell them our brand story and explain our 1,300 local farmers supply the freshest milk and cream that goes into every tub of Mullin’s Ice Cream.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO TO UNWIND AWAY FROM WORK?
I like walking, particularly around the North Coast. Living only 10 minutes from The Whiterocks Beach, I like nothing more than wrapping up well, sticking the headphones in and walking the length of the beach and back listening to good music.
TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF THAT NOT MANY PEOPLE MAY KNOW
Recently I have taken up bread making. Great for unwinding and the finished results provide great satisfaction. I’ve had no complaints yet anyway.