Aidan Fortune
Aidan Fortune
Editor
ConvenienceStore.co.uk

Appointed as editor of ConvenienceStore.co.uk earlier this year, Aidan previously worked on the brand between 2008 and 2015 as a reporter and products editor. Aidan grew up in the retail industry, with his parents running a convenience store in Dublin. He is most excited about best practice ideas and knowledge sharing amongst retailers that helps the entire sector grow.

Alice Dolling
Alice Dolling
Senior Insights Manager
Lumina Intelligence

Alice leads bespoke insight and analysis within the Lumina Intelligence business. Throughout her four years in the business, she has worked hands on with both retailers and suppliers from a collection of convenience channels and categories, and has built a deep understanding of the market and consumer. Using this grasp, she specialises in translating trends and our data into actionable and tailored solutions that answer clients’ key questions.

Blonnie Whist
Blonnie Whist
Head of Insight
Lumina Intelligence

Resident storyteller at Lumina Intelligence, Blonnie’s mission is to “make data do more”.

Skilled in thought-leadership, she channels research into actionable insight that aligns businesses with consumer needs. Blonnie has previously won awards for her innovative approach to insight in the BWS category.

Ed Sibley
Ed Sibley
Commercial Director
Lumina Intelligence

Ed leads the customer and commercial teams at Lumina Intelligence Food & Drink as commercial director. During a 15 year career in FMCG and retail Ed has worked both supplier and agency-side; proudly working in partnership with some of the world’s greatest brands, wholesalers, retailers and hospitality operators.

Louise Hoste
Louise Hoste
Managing Director
SPAR UK

Louise Hoste joined SPAR UK in September 2019 as Managing Director. She comes to SPAR with a wealth of international retail experience having worked for Walmart in the UK, Canada and Chile in commercial, customer and general management roles.

After leaving Walmart Louise was Director of Category and Pricing at Brakes Foodservice, followed by Director of the Customer Offer at the Co-op. She then moved to Card Factory as Executive Commercial Director.

At SPAR, Louise is passionate about supporting independent retailers and the local communities within which they serve. She champions the importance of convenience retailing and works with all trade bodies and suppliers across the industry moving the SPAR brand forward. Her focus is on driving innovation and developing the SPAR offer to drive sales and profit for every independent SPAR retailer.

Louise lives in Harrogate with her husband Nick and two children, Elliot and Grace.

Nick Brown
Nick Brown
Sustainable Packaging Director
Coca-Cola European Partners

Nick is Sustainable Packaging Director for Coca-Cola European Partners in GB. The role has the objective of leading the organisation’s preparations for the introduction of Deposit Return Schemes; the delivery of CCEP’s sustainable packaging commitments and to develop new business models for the production, distribution and sale of beverages.

Nick was previously Head of Sustainability for Coca-Cola European Partners in Great Britain, leading the delivery of the company’s local commitments on Sustainable Packaging, Community Programmes, Water use, Energy & Climate Change and Sustainable Sourcing.

Nick is an active contributor to industry groups such as INCPEN, RECOUP and The Prince of Wales’ Corporate Leaders group and has given evidence to select committees in Westminster and Holyrood.

Nick has worked in sustainability for CCEP for 10 years and previously held a number of roles in Operational & Commercial functions at the business driving change and building organisational capabilities.

Nick holds an engineering degree and post graduate certificates in Manufacturing & Design and Sustainability from the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). He is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and has membership of the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management and Institute of Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility. He has delivered guest lectures on the Circular Economy at CISL and University of Northampton.

Outside of work Nick is a father of 3 young boys, a Scout Leader and keen club cyclist when time allows.

Nick Read
Nick Read
CEO
Post Office

Nick joined Post Office as Group Chief Executive Officer in September 2019. Nick was most recently Group CEO at Extra Energy and prior to that CEO at Nisa Retail Limited where he led the stabilisation and transformation of the business ahead of it’s sale to the Co-Op in 2018.

Nick has over 25 years of consumer and commercial experience and has previously held senior roles at Tesco, Vodafone, HBOS, Lloyds Banking Group and Thomas Cook. In his earlier career, Nick was a Consumer and Retail Strategy Manager at Deloitte Consulting, a Purchasing Director for Aldi UK and spent 4 years as Captain of the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guard, H.M. Forces.

Phil Ponsonby
Phil Ponsonby
Group Chief Executive Officer
The Midcounties Co-operative

Phil took up the role of Group CEO for the UK’s largest independent Co-operative Society, The Midcounties Co-operative, in August 2018 having originally joined to run its food retail business in 2015. Prior to joining The Midcounties Co-op, Phil was at the Southern Co-operative, where he was Chief Operating Officer for seven years.

He is a Board member of the Association of Convenience Stores and a Director for Federal Retail Trading Services Ltd which binds the relationship between the UK’s co-operatives involved in food retail.

Phil firmly believes in the purity of food and transparency in provenance. He is a member of the Happerley Advisory Board which is a scheme focused on improving traceability and allowing consumers to verify the origins of their food and ingredients.

Pratik Patel
Pratik Patel
Owner
Jay's Budgens

Owner of Jay’s Budgens, Crofton Park in South East London, Pratik realised early on that sharing best practice ideas when it comes to sustainability in convenience is key. He’s learned some top tips from retailers around the country and implemented them in his London store. As well as introducing refillable lines at the store, he’s sought out organic and ethical suppliers that help him stay sustainable as well as cater to his shoppers’ tastes.

Ronan Hegarty
Ronan Hegarty
News Editor
The Grocer

Ronan is currently news editor at The Grocer. He has been covering the UK grocery sector for almost 20 years and has a particular expertise on the convenience and wholesale sector.

Sally Wake
Sally Wake
Commercial Director
Company Shop Group

Sally joined Company Shop in October 2016. Transferring her wealth of knowledge and skills from previous sectors, she is making a positive contribution to the food industry through innovative commercial, social and environmental solutions tackling food surplus.

Before joining Company Shop, Sally was a Director at Peak District Ventures and Bright Red Sales for over ten years, where she developed bespoke sales training, coaching and business development across different sectors. She became an Art of Brilliance motivational trainer and a trainer for the Professional Academy.

A love of running and horse riding and making time for her three children makes for a very packed agenda for Sally.

Sarah Coleman
Sarah Coleman
Insight & Communications Director
Lumina Intelligence

Sarah Coleman, Insight & Communications Director of Lumina Intelligence, joined Lumina Intelligence at the end of 2019. She has previously worked in senior insight roles at IGD, Kantar and Unilever and recently completed a master’s degree in journalism and media communications.