Travis Coppin was appointed CEO of FLM’s Retail Division on 1 March. Having grown up in the business, he shares with us his journey, his passion and his vision for the future of the company.
An interview with Travis Coppin:
Travis tells us how and when he started at Food Lover’s Market:
I was 12 years old when I started work at the Epping Market (Now Cape Town Market) during my December school holidays. It was really hard work, but at the same time, I got to learn so much and really enjoyed it. Throughout the rest of my high school and university years, I would work at Food Lover’s Market Access Park or Willowbridge stores during December vacation time. So, my upbringing really consisted of studies and work…and I loved it.
Travis Coppin starts his career officially at Food Lover’s Market in 2014:
After high school, I studied and qualified as a Chartered Accountant and then completed my articles with Deloitte in 2014. The very next day, I started working at Food Lover’s Market in an official capacity as Fresh Produce Buyer – back at Epping Market. Since then, I have worked my way through the business – after being Fresh Produce Buyer, I worked on the Due Diligence side of the company’s private equity sale, and then I moved to Durban to run operations in that area, after which I returned to Cape Town to manage our marketing functions, and this then progressed to me running Buying, Marketing and Production nationally for the organisation.
Recently appointed to CEO, Travis tells us what his role entails and what he will be working towards:
I was appointed CEO of FLM’s Retail Division in March, and the role incorporates the management of 104 FLM stores, 10 DCs and about 8,000 corporate colleagues countrywide. I am extremely excited to be in this role and be able to grow a strong generational family business, and, of course, to continue seeing the same faces in higher places.
Out of all the jobs Travis has done in Food Lover’s Market, he tells us his favourite is Fruit & Veg buyer.
“The absolute best job in the world is being a fruit & veg buyer!”
What is your earliest memory of working at FLM?
My earliest memory is being at the opening of our very first store in Access Park – then Fruit & Veg City. It was 1993 and I was 5 at the time, I remember all the excitement and riding around in the store with my cousins (Mike Coppin, co-founder’s son and daughter), Dane Coppin and Terri Harris. And I also clearly remember, Terri accidentally smashing my finger with a pallet jack!
Food Lover’s Market hosted its annual corporate conference in May, with the theme, “Relentless”. Travis shares his thoughts on being “Relentless”:
Being relentless is so very much in our DNA – as a family and as a business. We are definitely one of the most competitive families on earth and I believe this culture of always trying to win has become a company culture. We are relentless at trying to be the best, to never stop fighting and to always persevere, and ultimately win. Perseverance pays off – our company culture proves that if you work hard and keep at it, it gets rewarded. Things don’t just fall out of the sky – our Same Faces Higher Places ethos proves this.
What do you do after hours when you’re not working?
Well, I am a husband and a father to twin eight-month-old girls, and family time is important to me. We are also soon moving to the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town, and in my spare time, I enjoy playing computer games and golf.
Travis shares his excitement for the future:
Food Lover’s Market means a lot to me, and it has been a dream come true to be able to be here, now. Through a lot of luck, a lot of faith, and a lot of miracles, we are in a very fortunate position. We have a fantastic brand and an amazing business, and I believe that being as highly competitive as we are, we will continue to outperform the market and create huge opportunities. We’ve always been the underdog and we have always come out on top.
I look forward to keeping that going!