Chinzalée Sonami, Grocery Buyer, Head Office

What year did you start working at Planet Organic? 
I started working in January 2014, first as Associate Grocery Buyer and now as Grocery Buyer.

What made you apply for the role?
I visited the Planet Organic store on Westbourne Grove just after moving to London.  I enjoyed the friendly ambiance in the café and was impressed by the product selection. 

What do you like about your job?
I love working in fine foods as there are so many wonderful stories about each product and such an attention to detail and craft.  Despite my love for speciality foods, I was looking for a new challenge and found it in Planet Organic! Since being in the UK and working in the health food sector, it has been amazing learning the differences in buying approaches.   

What would you do on a typical day?
Although I am at my computer all day, things can get quite chaotic as there a lot to juggle in this role! Grocery is a big department with a wide spectrum of products.  I have a very large portfolio to look after which is both exciting and challenging.  On a typical day I am organising promotions, new product launches, catching up with suppliers, tasting samples, and analysing sales.

What is the team like and what is it like working with your colleagues?
We have a very hard-working team at Planet Organic.  We challenge each other to explore new possibilities in our departments and although there aren’t enough hours in the day to do them all, the opportunities are endless and exciting.

How would you describe the culture at Planet?
Planet Organic is a small and dynamic business. It’s a fast paced environment with everyone buzzing about and excited to share what they have just discovered. With a small business, each person carries a lot of responsibilities. This can keep you very busy and out of the 9-5 norm.  It also means we have very varied roles- we can be hard at work on a marketing plan one minute and tasting a range of raw chocolates the next. 

What type of development, training or supplier visits have you taken part in and which ones have you most enjoyed?
I had the pleasure of visiting Yeo Valley’s incredible farm and headquarters earlier this year.  It was inspiring to see the cows’ gorgeous green pastures and the farm’s many renewable energy projects. I never wanted to leave!

How have you grown personally during your time at Planet Organic?
This role teaches me something new every day whether big or small.  

What do you most enjoy about your job?
The best part of my job is finding a new product or trend that our customers will love.    

What do you like most about working at Planet Organic?
I enjoy the constant learning opportunities we are faced with every day.  There is never a dull moment!

How is Planet Organic different from other companies that you have worked for?
We are at the forefront of innovation and work hard to maintain this.  We have high standards for our products and our customers can trust our products are clean with no nasties!

If you were to recruit someone into your team, what qualities would you look for?
I would look for someone who is passionate about our products, excited about learning new things and of course, dedicated to the success of our business!

If you could describe in one word what it is like to work at Planet Organic, what would it be?