How did your faith influence your decision to start Bankuet?
When I reached my late thirties, I started to wonder and pray with friends about what might be next in my career. Often in church we talk about ‘being called’, but it can sometimes be loaded language and we can assume it means being called to ordained ministry. I wanted to make a difference but I knew it didn’t look like becoming a vicar.
Looking back, I can see God’s hand on the jobs and experiences that I’ve had in the past. I loved working for the creative industries: it taught me the importance of innovation and how technology can change the shape of an industry. When I was at Island Records, we broke Amy Winehouse as one of the most influential artists of her generation, and Stevie Wonder, McFly and the Sugababes were on our books. I remember being there the night Amy Winehouse won five Grammys against the odds in 2008. These things shaped who we are at Bankuet – creativity, energy and innovation are part of our DNA.
I often doubted that I could be an entrepreneur or if it was a wise decision to start something completely new – I would compare myself to my friends who had settled down or held senior positions. I didn’t know where the idea of Bankuet would end up, but eventually I had to trust God and step out into the unknown. I would walk about Victoria Park praying, ‘If this is your idea God, I’ll do it.’ As I look at what’s happened over the past couple of years, I realise that God’s been very present guiding us. Last year Bankuet helped over 100 food banks, shipped over half a million items and fed around 20,000 people in 2020 – we definitely couldn’t have achieved this without God, even with the greatest team.