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Damian Mackowski

Damian moved to Ireland from Poland in 2006 and began working in Allfresh 7 years ago. He started as a night loader, then worked in the office and now has moved his way up to the position he is at today as one of our Sales Reps. Damian’s gradual progression to a sales rep has given him a very good understanding of the business, this helps him complete his job to the highest standard possible. He looks after customers in East Cork, North Cork and he shares the City with Noel another one of our sales reps who will be interviewed very soon. Damian is a very important part of the operations of Allfresh, because of his experience in other areas of the business he can help throughout the business in busy periods.

Below are a number of questions I was fortunate enough to ask Damian -

1. Current Role in Allfresh and what does this entail?

Sales Representative

As Sales rep I look after our customers. Some of my responsibilities include making sure customers get the correct order and that the product they receive is of the highest qualitythe best quality possible. I basically look after the existing customer, which means its not just Monday - Friday. If I get a call at the weekend that a customer ran out of something or forgot to order its my responsibility to make sure its fixed. This is why Allfresh is unique we look after our customers 24/7 , 365 days a year.

Another aspect of my job is to try and get new customers. This requires me to “Cold Call” which is stopping into restaurants, shops and hotels across the county and pitching our prices and quality to them. I am confident that we have competitive prices and our products are the best, so I don’t mind calling into potential customers. I also understand that this is how we grow as a company and its a very important aspect of Allfresh.

2. Favourite part of working in Allfresh

Working with people; this is definitely my favourite job I have worked at in Allfresh. I get to meet new and interesting people every day, which helps me grow my knowledge of the fruit and vegetables industry but also to improve as a sales rep. I learn a lot from the people I meet, people in this industry tend to have been around it for years so there is always an opportunity to learn from them.

I also have a lot of freedom in my job, I can plan the day the way that suits me. Of course, I have specific people that need to be called to on specific days but I get to decide what area of Cork I go to and when I go into the office. This allows me to not only plan my day in the most efficient way possible but it allows me to cater for my family also - which I really do appreciate about this job.

3. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

“Why pay for the bus and walk after it” - A quote Barra commonly points out.

“be kind, and kindness will come back to you”

4. Your Role Model

My wife (Magda) - She looks after the whole family. Especially during lockdown I was still working but she was at home with out two kids. She has transformed our new house into a home and that is very important to me. She is truly an inspiration to me and I am very lucky to have her.

 

Noel Ryan 

Next we introduce the one and only Noel Ryan(Noelie), our resident Northsider. Noel has worked in the fruit and veg industry all his life and from a very young age he accompanied his father, who also worked in the industry, on deliveries learning all the tips and tricks of the trade. Noel has worked with Allfresh for the past 5 years and his knowledge of the industry has been hugely beneficial to us. A notoriously popular character blessed with the gift of the gab, his customers are hugely important to him. The loyalty shown and the strength of Noel’s relationships with our customers is proof of that. He is at the other end of the phone for his customers day and night and will do his best to make sure all their orders are met (even if they call in late for prep!). Noel is a key part of our team here and I was very happy to be able to interview him.

Current Role in Allfresh

I currently work as a sales rep for Allfresh – most often I cater to customers in the City, Kinsale, Fermoy, Michelstown and all areas in between.

I spend my days meeting existing customers, checking in on them as often as I can and thanking them for their loyalty with us. It is hugely important to me that our customers are 100% satisfied with our quality, range and prices. I completely appreciate the stresses and pressure of running a kitchen and my goal is to make the ordering and sourcing process as stress free as possible. I’m passionate about quality and I’m more than happy to sit down with our Chefs and discuss seasonality and availability so that they can structure their menus around this.

The second part of my day involves ~Cold Calling” where I call into new businesses we don’t supply to pitch our prices and quality to them. As we are the last remaining Cork Fruit and Vegetable wholesaler left in Cork I think it is very important for local businesses to support each other , especially now. Being locally based is a unique selling point for us and matched with our excellent quality and competitive prices, I am very confident walking into any business and pitching Allfresh to them.

What is your favourite part about working in Allfresh

I love being on the road and meeting all the Customers. I like to check up on them and make sure they are happy with the service. Also, I like to hear any feedback they may have on how we can improve. My customers are very important to me and I am at the end of the phone to assist them 24/7, no matter what the issue. That is what Allfresh is all about – looking after our customers every way we can .

Best Advice you’ve ever received

I was self-employed for nearly 30 years but I’ve learned so much in the last 5 working for Allfresh. One of the best pieces of advice I have picked up from Allfresh is that:

“A bad pen is better than a good memory”

That is why I carry my diary and pen with me everywhere I go. We are a bustling and busy team, there are always multiple things going on and taking notes is crucial!

Who is your Role Model

It has to be my Father, Denis Ryan. He also worked in the fruit and vegetable industry all his life and I learned everything I know from him. As a young boy I would work with him every Summer, Christmas and any other day I had free. At 16 he taught me how to drive a truck and definitely one of the most important lessons he every past on to me was the utmost importance of satisfied customers and building strong, loyal relationships. I’d like to think I’ve done him proud

 

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