Success Stories

 

We could tell you about how amazing our culture is all day but actually why don't we sit back and let some of our people tell you about their journeys.

Just click on the pictures below to hear a little bit more about our people.

 
Hannah Key Chris Brook Rebecca Johnson Becca Dilks Sharon Green
 
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Hannah Key

Hannah Key

Favourite Thorntons Product: Dreamy Desserts

My career with Thorntons started when I was 16 years old studying my A- Levels: I got a part-time position in one of our Nottingham stores working at the weekend. After eight months, I was promoted to Senior Sales Assistant, and stepped up to managing the store and a team of four staff members on a Sunday or when the manager was away. I stayed in Nottingham to go to University, so was really pleased to be able to keep working for Thorntons whilst I completed my degree (as I loved it so much!).

Once I had graduated, I was lucky enough to get a maternity cover job at our Head Office after my Regional Manager recommended me for the role. For nine months, I worked on the Consumer Environment team and was responsible for management and delivery of Point of Sale (POS) materials to our entire Retail and Franchise estate.

The maternity placement came to an end in early 2011, and so I applied for a Marketing Assistant position. Marketing was something I was really interested in as it formed part of my degree, so this seemed the perfect fit for my long-term career aspirations. I got the job and was involved in some really exciting projects. This role gave me a grounding in Marketing and New Product Development (NPD) and the people around me helped to equip me with the tools and confidence I needed for a head start in the industry. After a year, I was promoted and headed up Product Development on our Classic Collection boxed chocolates, and then was given ownership of the Easter category- which is worth over £30m.

The latest chapter of my career with Thorntons commenced in September 2015, when I moved to the Insights team. I’m now responsible for understanding the behaviour and motivations behind the decisions our shoppers make: what they want from Thorntons and whether we are meeting those expectations, or whether we need to work even harder to deliver the fantastic chocolates and brand experience they know and love.

Working here is fab because of the people I get to meet and the experiences I've had along the way. Not only that; what we do here makes people so happy- it’s more than just chocolate, it’s about the emotional connections and meaningful relationships our products help create.

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Chris Brook

Chris Brook

Favourite Thorntons Product: Choc Riche

The initial factor that attracted me to Thorntons was the company itself, in particular its strong brand image and reputation for achieving excellence. I was also attracted to the size of Thorntons as a company. On the one hand, Thorntons' status as a national organisation allows it to offer a career that provides diversity in work activities and training opportunities. On the other hand, Thorntons' size allows the potential for early responsibility and a chance to have a real personal impact on the development of the company. This balance provides an ideal environment to develop professionally and personally.

I joined Thorntons through their Graduate programme where my first placement was as a scheduler of Thornton's six enrobing production lines. My key responsibility was to ensure that over 200 products and 300T of product were scheduled to the correct volume and mix to satisfy customer demand.

My next role was a Process Manager of three production lines in the manufacturing factory. I was responsible for managing up to 90 people, with KPIs that included: delivering plans to the correct quality and cost; ensuring all health, safety and hygiene procedures were followed; and driving improvements in machine and labour efficiency through continuous improvement techniques.

My final graduate placement was in Marketing where I was responsible for project managing the development and delivery of our Spring Seasonal Exclusive boxed range. I worked cross-functionally on a number of topics, such as category analysis, pricing strategy, product design and value engineering.

After the graduate rotation, I was successful in gaining a permanent role with Thorntons as Process Manager of Thorntons Direct, which processes our products ordered through our online site to our customers throughout the world. This area was highly seasonal with annual despatches in excess of 350,000 and staffing levels ranging from 20 to over 200 people.

Most recently, I have been successful in being promoted into the role of Factory Manager for Thorntons Packing Factory. Within this role I manage a team of 10 Process Managers which in turn manage a team of 400 permanent operatives and in excess of 300 temporary operatives at our peak times.

During my time at Thorntons, I have received a combination of extensive on-the- job and external training. In addition to my day-to-day role, I have also participated in 'Thorntons Operations Academy'. I was also part of a bi-weekly project team that was trained in Business Improvement Techniques.

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Rebecca Johnson

Rebecca Johnson

Favourite Thorntons Product: Lemon Mousse

I joined the HR team at Thorntons Head Office as a Senior HR Business Partner only recently, in October 2015. I was part way through the recruitment process when I was made aware that Ferrero had acquired Thorntons. I was already very interested in this role as it was different to a usual Business Partner role however the transformation from a UK based PLC to a Global FMCG privately owned organisation made the proposition even more exciting and I’m really looking forward to being part of that journey.

Within my current role I support both HR teams (Retail and Supply Chain) by leading from a HR perspective on projects for example software changes/implementation, managing supplier relationships such as legal advisors, monitoring budget spend (hopefully keeping us on track!), manage any ethical audits by our customers (this has already helped me develop a keen interest in all matters ethical) and I act as a Business Partner for HR, who in my experience often get neglected!

So far my role has proved varied, interesting and challenging, which all tick my box as far as a job is concerned. Thorntons is extremely supportive of its employees, is good at providing development opportunities for people which is evident from some of the people who I’ve met since I’ve joined who started out on the factory shop floor and are now in Head Office or Management positions. Overall Thorntons is generally a great place to work!

The latest chapter of my career with Thorntons commenced in September 2015, when I moved to the Insights team. I’m now responsible for understanding the behaviour and motivations behind the decisions our shoppers make: what they want from Thorntons and whether we are meeting those expectations, or whether we need to work even harder to deliver the fantastic chocolates and brand experience they know and love.

Working here is fab because of the people I get to meet and the experiences I've had along the way. Not only that; what we do here makes people so happy- it’s more than just chocolate, it’s about the emotional connections and meaningful relationships our products help create.

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Becca Dilks

Becca Dilks

Favourite Thorntons Product: Viennese Truffles

I chose Thorntons because they are a top class confectionery manufacturer and a much loved and respected brand. In working for Thorntons I knew I would be given the opportunity to gain core skills during my personal and professional development which would be easily transferable across to other areas of the business. I also wanted to work for a company in which I would be given the opportunity to have a real impact on the way things are done.

I joined Thorntons over 7 years ago as a Production Scheduler, where I was responsible for the coordination of production and packaging for 175 products worth a total of £22M in gross sales a year. The role involved a huge amount of responsibility for improving service level by ensuring we fully met customer demand, but also gave me the freedom and confidence to work with my areas to make improvements to the way we achieved this. As a result schedule adherence on my packing lines improved by 9% leading to an additional 1.8M units of product being produced.

I then moved onto the role of Account Executive in Commercial Sales, which allowed me to gain an understanding of a completely different side to the business in a varied and dynamic role. Working for half of the week as an Account Support Resource for a Senior Business Manager on a key multiple account, I was able to learn about the key dynamics of business development within a commercial environment. For the other half of the week I worked in a field sales role responsible for making the difference at store level by building strong customer relationships and increasing sales of our products by using core negotiation skills.

My final role as a Project Engineer proved to be an incredibly steep but enjoyable learning curve, and has influenced and shaped my career for the last 4 years. The role gave me responsibility for energy reduction and improving waste and recycling across the whole of Thornton Park, and was a great opportunity to build new relationships with departments that I hadn’t previously come into contact with, and also to see a real environmental and business benefit from my projects as they were implemented.

The success of the role led to a permanent position as an Environmental Project Manager which has since evolved into the role of Environmental Manager for the entire business, overseeing the management of everything from the environmental impacts of our Operations to the training of our employees on pollution prevention, energy management and environmental awareness. In short, the Graduate Scheme not only gave me the opportunity to grow and develop personally and professionally, but it also paved the way for a career which I love in an area I hadn’t thought of before – and to top it off it truly has allowed me to have a really positive impact on how things are done.

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Sharon Green

Sharon Green

Favourite Thorntons Product: Gooey Caramel

Favourite Thorntons Product: It really depends on my mood…I love all our products! If I had to choose I would select the Lemon meringue from our delicious dessert range.

I joined Thorntons in 1995, the same year I got married. It was Valentines and I recall how excited I was when I stepped through the door of Derby Market Place.

As a small child I visited Thorntons just once a year to buy Brazil Nut toffee for my Dad on Father’s Day…How things have changed since then.

My journey began as a Store Manager, I loved my little store in Derby. 18 months down the line I was offered a fantastic opportunity to work on a project to review and propose new controls and systems for all retail store administration working in our head office in Alfreton.

I gained a great deal from experience working alongside our internal audit and finance team but my heart and passion was working in our stores, engaging with colleagues and customers. So when a new store flag ship store opened in Derby and I was asked to manage this and a second site, I grabbed it with both hands.

After a year my Area Business Manager went off on maternity which gave me a further opportunity to progress. I applied and was offered the positon on a temporary basis and was responsible for 17 retail stores.

The maternity placement came to end in 1999 but as one door closed another opened and I applied for permeant position to be an Area Business Manager, covering the East Midlands. I was offered the positon which brought many additional exciting opportunities included attending the Oxford Summer School as a delegate and returning twice to facilitate as a group director. I have also been involved in many projects including the rollout of our Epos till systems. I feel very proud to have been giving the opportunity to evolve our extraordinary business.

Working for Thorntons amazes me every day, seeing people I support and coach grow and build their own success stories is one of the most rewarding parts of my role. Listening and caring for our customers knowing they leave having received the best service, is the greatest feeling in the world.

...and so I feel privileged, proud, passionate, excited and energised to help write and deliver our next chapter