Age: 24

Growing up around Speyside, Shannon has always been fascinated by the food and drink industry, particularly whisky. Now, with a master’s degree in International Business and Modern Languages, Shannon works as a project manager and marketing specialist for The Drink Cabinet UK, a creative agency specialising in the drinks industry and licensed trade.

After getting a taste of the industry during a work experience placement at high school, Shannon went on to intern at The Drink Cabinet while studying at university.

“With the company’s clear expertise in whisky, I knew it would be a great fit for some work experience while studying. I was immediately thrown into the planning of a whisky festival onboard Glasgow’s Tall Ship and that was it; I’ve been hooked by the industry ever since.”

While studying, The Drink Cabinet offered Shannon a part-time job and following graduation, Shannon was made a full-time member of the team.

“Every day is different at The Drink Cabinet. Day-to-day, my role can involve event management; social media management; strategy and brand development; research, analysis and reporting; account management; and working closely with my marketing, trade and design colleagues to offer a specialist one-stop-shop service for businesses in the industry.”

Shannon believes that Scottish food and drink industry offers endless career possibilities for all skillsets and backgrounds.

“Everyone in the industry has their own story about how they got here and that’s what makes the food and drink community diverse and interesting. Some of my marketing colleagues have come from fashion or English literature studies and their skills and experiences have brought completely fresh ideas and approaches to the way we do things and think about projects at The Drink Cabinet.

“I’ve also met people who have lost their jobs in oil and gas and have subsequently turned a passion for food or drink into a business. It’s great to hear when stories like this bring new employment opportunities into communities around Scotland, especially in those areas suffering most from the oil and gas downturn.”

Shannon’s #ScotFoodGoals are to help promote and support food and drink businesses around Scotland.

“For as long as I can remember, all I’ve ever seriously wanted to do is promote how brilliant Scotland is. Historically, we’re not good at self-praise but we NEED to shout louder about the great things happening in the Scottish food and drink sector.”

“It’s a tough industry – particularly for start-ups and smaller businesses – but as industry peers and consumers ourselves, we share the power of word of mouth. That’s a valuable tool for a business without money for costly marketing campaigns and expansive distribution.”

“If we support our Scottish food and drink producers and businesses, the greater growth they can achieve, the more jobs they can create and the more success they can achieve in an increasingly challenging and competitive environment. If everyone in Scotland took one small step towards taking more personal or professional responsibility for supporting Scottish food and drink, we’d be more than five million small steps closer to achieving the Ambition 2030 mission.”