Acorns 2021: Charlotte Jakubecz, 29

28 July 2021
Acorns 2021: Charlotte Jakubecz, 29

Head of F&B partnerships, BaxterStorey

Nominator Charlotte Rouse, head of mobilisations and supply chain, BaxterStorey

Charlotte Jakubecz joined BaxterStorey's graduate programme in 2015, and by 24, she had become retail manager at the prestigious Amazon contract, managing a team of 20. Here, she led a workplace dining culture change with the introduction of Pod Kitchens and a market hall-style service, earning herself a BaxterStorey Rising Star Award nomination in 2018.

Innovative ideas come easily to Jakubecz. She co-founded Fuel in 2019 after identifying a gap in the market for street food in the workplace. A success from the start, Fuel went into contracts at the UK's largest online retailer and a leading London bank and helped the London region achieve a 100% client-retention rate in 2019. It also scooped Innovation of the Year at the 2020 BaxterStorey Awards.

Fuel has pumped over £100,000 back into small businesses during this tough year, with traders such as the Cheese Bar and Cyprus Kitchen saying they have relied on the income from Fuel to survive.

During her spell on furlough in May 2020, she devised BaxterStorey At Home (BS@H) to support struggling suppliers. BS@H launched in November with 15 partners and now has over 4,500 customers, 50 partners and year-to-date revenue of £180,200.

Always keen to share her knowledge, she mentored a sous chef at Amazon to enter the 2020 StrEATfood Awards.

She has also found time in the past year to volunteer at the Trussell Trust food bank.

What is the most positive people change you see for your sector post-restrictions?

"A stronger focus on employee wellbeing. The introduction of flexible and remote working makes achieving a work-life balance easier and should, in turn, create a happier, more productive workforce. Also, the openness around discussing mental health and wellbeing can only be good for our industry."

Photography: Hospitality Media/Adrian Franklin

Back to the 2021 Acorn Award winners >>

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