Former Cadbury, Tesco and Genius Foods 'heavyweights' on board at Border Biscuits: 'master biscuitier' named

Border Biscuits has hired former Cadbury, Tesco and Genius Foods “heavyweights” as it looks to fatten up its market share.

The firm said the “talent acquisition drive” underpinned its ambition to disrupt the UK snack market.

The five new senior roles come hot on the heels of new managing director Paul Parkins joining the business last August.

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Mark Chance joins after a career at Purity Brewing, Cadbury and Tyrrells, to take up the position of sales director.

Kevin Smithson (operations director), Linda Brown (master biscuitier), Mark Chance (sales director), Simon Stoten (financial director), Lisa Mullen (technical manager). Picture: Stewart Attwood
Kevin Smithson (operations director), Linda Brown (master biscuitier), Mark Chance (sales director), Simon Stoten (financial director), Lisa Mullen (technical manager). Picture: Stewart Attwood

New operations director, Kevin Smithson comes from C&C Group, owner of Scottish lager giant Tennent’s, having also worked at Genius Foods and The Jordans & Ryvita Company.

The Scots biscuit maker has also found its “master biscuitier”. The role, which drew global media interest, attracted a record number of applicants with some from as far away as India.

Master biscuitier Linda Brown will “instill the magic” into the firm’s new product development, utilising her wide-ranging expertise to lead the brand’s innovation pipeline.

With more than 20 years of industry experience, new technical manager Lisa Mullen will be tasked with maintaining the manufacturer’s high standards in biscuit making.

Simon Stoten, formerly of Greene King and Tesco, has now been installed as finance director.

Parkins said: “This is a huge milestone for us as one of the UK’s most loved biscuit brands. The high calibre of the new additions to our senior team, alongside the expertise and experience they bring, is absolutely indicative of Border Biscuits direction of travel.

“As a business, we have ambitious targets for growth which are supported by significant investment. We’re pleased to have further strengthened our senior team as we lay the solid foundations to build that growth.”

The firm was founded in 1984 and is based in Lanark. Its best-selling dark chocolate ginger is Britain’s number one chocolate-coated ginger biscuit, outselling more than twice that of all own-label varieties combined.

In July, Border Biscuits continued to expand its UK foothold following a retail listing with supermarket chain Morrisons.

The latest deal followed £1 million of private investment in the firm’s manufacturing plant, enabling a run rate of up to 500 chocolate biscuit bars a minute.

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