One-to-One Interview with Lloyd Hewson, HR Manager – Part 2


Q. Why is Nourish different and why do staff like working here?

A big part of the enjoyment of working at Nourish is the satisfaction you get from helping people. While it is retail at the core, it’s just so much more than that. We really can help improve people’s lives in a dramatic way, and I guess that is the most common reasons people get into this industry generally.

Another big reason would be the learning we get from being on the job each day.  It really is a place of continuous learning. It is also for the community of Nourish, I myself have just met so many wonderful people from all over the world in Nourish. We also organize regular staff events with anything from yoga nights, hiking and walks, games nights, pub quizzes and much more.

Q. Have you seen the impact of helping customers in this way yourself?

Yes, I have. I remember back when I first started having a customer come in and hug me because the recommendation I had given her had worked so well. You don’t generally always get that in other lines of retail. For me, that was the huge difference in working in a Health Food store. We tend to have a real connection with our customers.

Q. When you are actively recruiting new staff what do you look out for in terms of fit with the Nourish ethos?

Definitely, we look for people with high empathy levels and high emotional intelligence. We look for people who would treat customers as they would their family members. We like people to be themselves and that are good communicators. We like people to be very customer orientated and, where needed, perhaps share their personal experiences. They need to be able to listen to the customers’ issue and then ask further questions to clarify before making a recommendation. We look for that openness and willingness to help people. It is also important though that they really enjoy working in retail.

Q. Do they need to have a lot of prior knowledge before coming to work at Nourish?

It depends. Obviously, if you have that prior knowledge it is an advantage. We don’t always get that prior knowledge as our industry is a relatively small one. Sometimes we meet people looking to make a move for various different reasons from a similar business and sometimes we are approached by people who are just interested in the area. They really love the thought of working in a Health Food store. Perhaps they are vegan or vegetarian (although they don’t have to be). They could be into a supplement or organic skincare or whatever it is. You just have to have that willingness to learn and that passion and interest. You don’t necessarily have to have all that prior knowledge. Again no one will have everything. If you do have some that’s helpful. Ultimately it’s that empathy and willingness to learn that we look out for.

Q. Is there anything you would advise them to read in advance of coming for an interview with Nourish?

Obviously, they should try to understand our business. So they definitely should check the Nourish website. We won’t be doing a quiz with candidates. It is more about the motivation behind why they are looking to be hired by Nourish. Expect to be asked what are your own favourite products? What you yourself use. If you use certain products tell us about it. Let us know how you got on with them; what worked and perhaps what didn’t work.

A big one will be to think about your own previous experiences in similar work. What stands out in the past if you were dealing with customers? How did you resolve the issue that customer had at a given moment in time that you managed to address? How may you have had to deal with a difficult situation with a customer? Obviously, you need to be able to explain – why you want to work at Nourish? Really do think about this last question. There’s no point in taking a job that you don’t feel happy in.  Life is too short. We want our staff to be satisfied working with us. 

Q. What do you most like about your job? 

There is a lot that I like. Today I am less involved with the customers directly and I do miss that part of it. So now it is more of a support role and being able to help the team that is on the shop floor. I enjoy sharing the knowledge about what has worked in my own experience throughout the years. I love to hear back from the staff about their own experiences and we do look for that feedback during training etc. It is important during the settling in period that our staff share experiences so that new staff come up to speed. Any Store Manager should want to see their team get better and better. They should want to see progress and that their staff are always growing.

Whereas in the past my role was all about our customers; now my role is more about helping the Nourish team who are dealing directly with customers.

Q. What are your Top 3 Products in Nourish that you could not live without?

There’s a lot to choose from…I think I’d absolutely have to say Apple Cider Vinegar. AVC just has so many uses, it really is a must-have in everyone’s cupboard. It is so alkalizing, helps balance PH and lowerblood sugar levels, it is a great anti-microbial as well. It is a really good tonic overall.

My second choice would have to be the fantastic Oatly Barista Oat Milk. I had been searching for an alternative milk that foamed really well for so long and the Oatly Barista is just so tasty, it has a lovely natural sweetness and it really is absolutely foam-tastic! I often combine it with the Prewett’s Organic Chicory powder and a pinch of cinnamon for a delicious gut-friendly drink.

Thinking about the third item. I’d have to say Probiotics. I am a huge fan of probiotics as I can see the benefit of how they have helped me. I could go without for a short period but not too long! My favourite probiotics would be between Optibac and Super 8. I would vary it between those two.

Q. What is your favourite country and why?

My favourite country is definitely Ireland. I suppose it is the one I know the most about. It is the one I have lived in all my life. I do think Ireland has so much to offer. You see that most when you have people visiting from other countries and you are showing them around. So that’s when you see it through other people’s eyes – almost like a tourist. It is the people, the culture, and the landscape. It is all combined. The folklore even. Again you can get that in other countries and each culture is exciting to find out about but Ireland is the place I am most familiar with. I have had great experiences abroad but definitely, it is always nice to come back home.

Q. Before travelling to a hot climate such as Greece or Morocco what can Nourish offer in terms of a Travel Kit

It’s trickier now with the 100ml liquid restriction. First I would take a Probiotic and probably the one to go with would be the Optibac Travel. That one is particularly good if you are eating different types of food and you might pick up a bug or something disagreeable. So a probiotic would be essential.

The Incognito Mosquito Spray is a great one for bringing to hot climates and it’s a handy 100ml. This will help avoid mosquitos or other insects biting at you. We have had great customer feedback for this brand. 

Obviously sun cream…natural sun cream; Green People Organic Sun cream. They do a 50ml which is ideal for travelling. So the probiotics, the spray, and the sun cream are probably the essentials that I personally would bring.

Q. Where would you like Nourish to be in 3 years’ time; where do you see the future?

Obviously, the Nourish Mission and goal is to spread the word about the benefits of what we carry in-store. It is also about the lifestyle or way of life that focuses on looking after everyone on the planet. That’s the environment, animals, and the people. So it is very much a philosophy about respect and taking a holistic approach.

We are always looking for more solutions to help our staff with training needs also. We see a benefit to doing it much more regularly than we have in the past. We feel that the Nourish standard is very high but it can always be higher. We are always trying to do more as well.

This is part 1 of a 2-part series of our Q & A sessions with Lloyd. Click here for Part 1!

*Please note that while we’re knowledgeable about our products & nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention. You should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication