Junior Meets… Alex Mezger, 36, joint Managing Director of Jude’s Ice Cream. He lives with his wife Kate and their son Jesse who is eight months old.
What is your family’s morning routine?
I’m woken up by Jesse somewhere between 6.30am and 7am. Jesse and I have breakfast together – this normally involves porridge and bananas – while Kate potters about. Jesse and I then have our play time, at the moment we practice his rolling! I try to be at work by 9am – long gone are the days of being in the office at 7.30am.
What is your office environment like?
Jude’s Dairy is set right in the middle of the countryside, in the rolling South Downs. Sometimes I have to pinch myself as to how lucky I am.
Do you have such a thing as a ‘typical’ day?
Definitely not! As Jude’s is a small, family business we all have to turn our hands to all sorts of tasks, from developing flavours to meeting chefs and delivering ice cream. Although the highlight has to be our weekly family ice cream tasting session. My Dad, Theo, (who founded Jude’s) gives the final seal of approval on any new flavour. He’s brilliant at knowing what will work.
Did you always want to do what you do now, for a job?
I never could have dreamt I’d be making ice cream with my family, no!
What was the first thing you wanted to be ‘when you grew up’?
What is the best thing about your job?
Everybody loves ice cream; so I make a lot of friends through my job! I also love working with a team of family and friends on the adventure that is seeing a small business grow and develop.
Are there any downsides to your job?
As Jude’s is a family business, it can be hard to switch off. Having a young family doesn’t give me much time to dwell on things at work, though. Once I’ve walked through the door at home, it’s all hands to the pump!
How do you come up with creative, original ideas?
I think I’m a bit of nightmare to go to the supermarket with. I’m naturally curious so am constantly picking up all sorts of weird and wonderful products to try. I’m also inspired by travelling and reading, and you’d be amazed by how many ideas for flavours friends have.
How do you juggle family life with work life?
I try to be strict with myself and with my time, though, inevitably, there is some cross over. We do have a rule though that there can be no ice cream discussions at family gatherings.
What do you do outside of work, with your family?
We love being outside, so lots of country walks and bike rides. Though Jesse isn’t particularly keen on long car journeys, so nothing too far afield.
What is coming up, work-wise, for you and your business? Any new ventures?
We’ve just launched our Dairy Free Chocolate ice cream into Waitrose. We’re particularly excited about this one because we believe we may have created an exciting new way of making a creamy, dairy free ice cream using raw cacao butter in place of any dairy or nut milks.
Would you want your children to follow in your footsteps?
I’d encourage my children to do what they love and enjoy. I’m so lucky to be doing that.
If you had superhero skills, what would be your dream job?
It would be pretty useful to be able to freeze things on the spot. I think I’ve just created a Jude’s Superhero!
Visit Jude’s Ice Cream’s website to check out their flavours and where to buy.