MOVE over Lord Sugar...Coleraine man Jim Warke is after your job!
Jim, who is Retail Director for Jollye’s pet store, recently met with Lord Sugar’s right hand man Nick Hewer who is host of the new BBC Northern Ireland series, Farm Fixer, to be aired this autumn.
The Apprentice style series follows eight Northern Irish farmers who are hoping to diversify their farms given the economic downturn.
Jim explained his role: “As retail director of Jollye’s in Northern Ireland I had to listen to a pitch from one of the farmers, and decide whether or not I would consider selling his product in the 12 Northern Ireland stores.
“Nick had been working alongside each of the farmers, mentoring them to help them make the most of their product. He sat alongside the farmer as he made his pitch to me in our newly opened Newry store.
“The farmer had a natural water source on his farm and was keen to make use of it to diversify, so his idea was a flavoured pet water.
“Unfortunately he didn’t have enough detail about costings, so I was really unable to consider his proposal.”
As someone who has worked his way up through the business world, Jim said that it was good to be able to pass on some of his knowledge to the farmer and the producer of the show.
But what did he think of Nick?
“He was really keen to find out all about the pet market here in Northern Ireland, about trading, the products we sell and about cost margins.
“He comes across as a very stern character on ‘The Apprentice’, but to be honest in real life he’s really nice.”