15 April, 2016

Baking is in the blood

For as long as he can remember, baking has been a part of Davide’s life. His parents owned a big bakery in the centre of Turin and then opened a pizzeria as well. Young Davide helped create the products and also worked front of house. He was instantly hooked – but what brought him to M&S?

“Part of my university course at the University of Turin focused on English culture and M&S came up as a big British brand and a real retail institution,” he explains. “My dream was always to live in England – I love the country’s history and the monarchy – and M&S was the first company I applied to when I came over.”
It’s not easy getting to grips with products, customers and business policies in an unfamiliar language, so how did Davide get on?

“I was a bit nervous at first, my confidence wasn’t exactly sky high, but everyone made a real effort to help me settle in. You live and learn. In my first week, a customer came to me and I thought she wanted a sandwich. I took her to Food on the Move, but it turned out she was after a toothbrush! I explained I was new to England and she saw the funny side.”

Davide has been with M&S in Brighton for just over a year now and his career and language skills have come on leaps and bounds. He’s absolutely passionate about baking and we’ve supported his development so he can now pass on that passion to others. He’s a ‘high performer’ who goes above and beyond his job description by setting up weekly meetings and training and coaching a number of Customer Assistants within our In Store Bakery. 

“I love working in the bakery, being creative with displays and the finished product, and seeing a smile spread across a customer’s face when they buy some of our goodies. I’m a naturally happy person and I’ve used my personality to inspire other team members. I enjoy working with people from different cultures and my aim is make sure everyone in the bakery is at the top of their game.”

Davide lives our values every day. He’s always searching for new ways to excite customers and, as you might imagine, an In Store Bakery is a place where innovation can shine. But Davide has taken innovation to a new level.

“I use Yammer to keep up to date with what’s going on in the business and see what other bakeries are doing. I’ve also set up a WhatsApp group so colleagues in the bakery can stay in touch and keep abreast of rosters, products and standards.”

The last year has been a constant learning experience for Davide which he’s found exciting and fulfilling. He’s also delivered where it matters – the bakery has recently been awarded a 5* rating for Food Safety. So does Davide have time for anything else?

“I love dancing and going to the gym – that’s why I don’t feel guilty about enjoying my favourite M&S product: the berry smoothie. And I’m a big Madonna fan, having seen her in concert 10 times in as many years!”

Inside M&S