Graham Roberts [oldsmoky]
What is your profession? What is your title printed on your business card?
Graham Roberts owner of Connemara Smokehouse
What did you study and why did you choose to study that field?
It was relevant to what I wanted to do
What is expected of you in your job, and how do you accomplish it?
To produce high quality products.
I accomplish this by always looking for perfection.
What links do you have on the Internet: website, blog, social networks?
We have a online shop for our Smoked Products
We have a blog with news, events and recipes.
We also have a facebook page www.facebook.com/OldSmoky
Twitter @OldSmoky, Buzz-Connemara Smokehouse
Are you satisfied with the education that you received?
In which areas have you thought of building upon your education?
Everything in that you are always learning.
In which tasks are you good at, and in which could you better yourself?
I'm great with the fish and production. I could do better with admin and paperwork.
Do you usually attended seminars or coursework to advance your professional work or would you consider yourself a more self-taught person?
I do consider myself more self-taught but do occasionally attend seminars.
When did you realise that your work was being considered important and that it could possibly take you places?
I have always strived for perfection, but realised it could take me placed when people started coming to me for advice.
Who have been the most influential people in your career?
There are lots of people who I respect and admire, but I have always tried to be the best that I can be.
With which types of persons do you feel you work well with as a team?
People who take pride in what they do and enjoy good food and fun!
Which goals have you focused on in your professional career?
To create a sustainable living for me and my family and also to create something positive in our community.
Which publications associated with your field do you regularly read?
Which languages do you speak, and how have you learned them?
I speak a little French which I have learned at the smokehouse through many French visiting with their own translators.
Do you have a website or blog? How was the process in making it? Does it accomplish the purpose for which it was created?
We do have a website and blog which was a lot of hard work, it works well and customers like it for ordering products and for information.
How do you feel about speaking in front of an audience? What experience have you had in this arena?
No problem speaking in front of an audience. I have spoken at varies shows and exhibitions and have been asked to speak on a few panels to work towards forming a better future for the food industry.
Do you attend cocktail parties, presentations, fairs or conventions related to your profession?
Occasionally attend presentations, fairs and conventions when time permits.
Have you explored the social networks for professionals online? Are you member of any of them?
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Buzz enough to keep me busy!
How are you different from others in your professional sector?
Nothing but the best will do. I have a huge amount of experience in the fish industry through my own knowledge and my father's experience and this makes a huge difference when sourcing the rare materials.
How is the Interent changing the way you work?
Through the social media it has increased our profile and people are more aware of who we are.
Do you do telecommuting?
Do you feel your hobbies serve to elevate your career?
Do your hobbies aide in professional networking?
Would you relenquish some of your income in exchange for more free time?
What are the things you least like about your job?
Paperwork & Admin!
Besides your current profession, what other things would you have liked to have been?
What is the most important thing you have learned from experience?
There are no short-cuts, the time required has to be honoured.
When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A fish processor.
Save some excpetions, do you believe professional and personal relationships should not be mixed?
Nothing wrong with mixing as long as boundaries are respected.
List any credits, publications, competitions, etc.
One of Rick Stein's Super Food Heroes, Bridgestone Guide Award Winner, BIM Seafood Circle Winner, Good Food Ireland-Best use of Sustainable Local Fish Award, Numerous Great Taste Awards, Favourite Speciality Producer at the BBC Good Food Show. Featured on Lyndey Milan Austrialian's Womans Weekly show, Clodagh McKenna's Fresh From the Farmers Market Food Show, featured on Ireland Nationwide News show, featured in a couple of French musican/gourmet Pierre Perrets life in Connemara and more...
Follow your heart!
How do you handle customer complaints?
We take them very seriously and try to get the bottom of it on where things went wrong. Feedback is so important.
Someone wants to ask for a pay rise and they ask you for advice in how to approach the matter with their boss. What do you tell them?
Explain their case that their are a valuable and dedicated employee and ask if the company can afford to give a rise.
What do you do to manage stress?
Try and get a round of golf or get out on sea.
What are the most common mistakes clients make when they judge your work?
They look at price first before understanding what our products are about.
Galway - Ireland