Shaper: Charlie Bigham

Show aired on 27th January 2018


Charlie Bigham

Charlie Bigham studied English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. After leaving university he was a consultant at Andersen Consulting, which subsequently became Accenture.

Charlie founded Bigham’s in 1996, a manufacturer of ready to cook foods which avoid artificial additives and using “chef led kitchen techniques” stocked in Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s, among other stores.

Bigham’s also prepares recipes for a number of retailers and restaurant chains.

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“It’s always quite easy with hindsight, but if I look back I think I was always destined to set up my own business and work for myself. The truth is I was pretty rubbish at working for anyone else and I didn’t really like being told what to do.”

“I love food. I love buying it, I love cooking it and I quite enjoy eating it as well. I am probably not alone in that.”

“The important thing is, we don’t make ready meals. Some people think we make ready meals. We don’t because ready meals are about compromise.”

“What I say to my kids or other young people now is just make sure you work somewhere where you are going to find excellence because it will stand you in good stead later on.”

“There is something exciting about having an impact on quite a large number of people. I find it exciting that two or three hundred thousand people sit down and eat our food every week.”

“I think I decided right from the outset I am not going to get stressed about it. That doesn’t mean there aren’t ups and downs and there aren’t moments of concern and moments of joy and elation when things go right. That’s great but yeah, I don’t really do stress.”

“I do believe, if you are in business, you’ve got to make a choice about whether you shrink or whether you grow. Standing still is never an option.”

“I took the tortoise route and I am glad now that I did because we are completely independent and we can make our own decisions.”