Getting to know you: Simon Hazlett

What do you currently do?
As Managing Director of Boulder Brands, no two full days are the same. All days however, will start by meeting with my Boulder Brand colleagues to review daily / weekly tasks. I am responsible for the UK and Europe markets, with over 70 staff within various different pillars of the business including, Technical, Operations, NPD, Finance and Commercial.

We are currently going through some exciting NPD for the UK market as well as launching into Portugal in October so orchestrating all this is certainly keeping me busy.

What is your inspiration in business?
For me it’s been a real journey and most of it comes down to passion. Baking is something that’s been part of my family for over 100 years, with the last 15 being heavily focussed on mastering the gluten free market.

I will never forget, whilst I studied abroad in Buenos Aires, over 20 years ago, my Aunty came to stay with me. She is a diagnosed coeliac and seeing first-hand, the significant lack of suitable products for her was something that stuck with me for years. Being able to now say that our Udi’s Gluten Free products have grown to a brand that is soon to produce over 50 products that genuinely bring happiness to people who couldn’t normally enjoy such simple pleasures is my real inspiration.

Who do you admire?
Anyone that’s genuinely brave enough to follow their passion and go it alone will always get my admiration.

With every successful business, obviously comes a good team. Watching everyone here doing the things that I can’t, impresses me everyday.

Looking back would you have done things differently?
Hindsight is of course a wonderful thing and there are a lot of things I would do over again. But I am now luckily in the position to say that I can look back on mistakes from my younger years knowing that they have shaped who I am now and enabled me to learn valuable lessons.

What defines your way of doing business?
Being from a long line of family bakers, certain traditions have stood strong in what I use in my day-to-day life. It simply comes down to treating others like you wish to be treated. It is something that was installed in me as a child and something I try and portray in every sector of Boulder Brands.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Everyone has his or her own theories when it comes to cracking the business code, but realistically, there is no one winning formula. If I could offer one thing to take away from these questions, it would simply be, do your research, and follow your passion. Times will always be tough, but doing something you love is going to make striving for success a whole lot easier.