Fraser Doherty set up Superjam at 14, using his Gran's jam recipes. After selling his produce at farmers' markets and to delicatessens, he developed a method of producing jam 100% from fruits. After setting up production, creating a brand and perfecting his recipes, Fraser became the youngest ever supplier to a major supermarket chain when Waitrose launched the range in March 2007. SuperJam now supplies over 2,000 supermarkets around the world (incl. Tesco, Asda Wal-Mart, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Waitrose) in countries including Australia, Russia, Denmark, Finland and Ireland.
FLORIAN DAVID: As the CEO what do you consider to be your most important mission?
FRASER DOHERTY: I see my job as getting other people as excited about SuperJam as I am - customers, partners and our team.
DAVID: How often are you traveling abroad on business ?
DOHERTY: I’m traveling all the time, I think SuperJam has taken me to almost 30 countries - speaking at events, visiting companies that inspire me and looking for retailers and distributors. I love visiting other countries and I am always wondering where my adventure will take me next. I’m not loyal to any particular airline - I think they’re all about the same!
DAVID: When selecting your team of Advisors to run the business, what essential qualities are you looking for? Who do you consider being your single most important business advisor today ?
DOHERTY: I’m always excited to meet people who have a different perspective on business and life than my own - people who aren’t afraid to challenge my ways of thinking. I have a couple of mentors, people who have been there and done it before. One of them used to be marketing director at a very large food company and so he has an amazing range of contacts and ideas that are really helping to take SuperJam to the next level.
DAVID: What’s your biggest challenge in managing growth for SuperJam ?
DOHERTY: We’re launching in lots of countries around the world so there’s definitely a challenge around spinning so many plates all at once!
'I AM ALWAYS EXCITED TO MEET PEOPLE WHO HAVE A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ON BUSINESS AND LIFE THAN MY OWN
- PEOPLE WHO AREN'T AFRAID TO CHALLENGE MY WAY OF THINKING.'
DAVID: Are you planning to take SuperJam Public ?
DOHERTY: I know some guys who run a brewery called Brewdog in Scotland - they recently sold shares in their business to the people who drink their beer. They’ve raised about £1.6m to build a new brewery - and signed up a whole army of people who’re going to do a great job of coming up with ideas and telling people about the brand. I’d love to do something like that one day!
DAVID: What are your views on our Capitalist system ? Optimist about the Economy ?
DOHERTY: I think entrepreneurs have the opportunity to change the world - by coming up with new ways of doing things they can create products that people love, create jobs and hopefully do some good in their community through charity work.
DAVID: You wrote a book called « Super Business » - How I started SuperJam from my Gran’s kitchen – We found it not just funny but packed with myriads of incredibly enlightning tips for anyone willing to take the plunge, start their venture and chase their Dreams. What prompted you to write that book ?
DOHERTY: Glad you liked it! Ever since SuperJam took off, people have been emailing me from all over the world to ask for advice on how to get their ideas off the ground. I realised that I’ve learned a huge amount from taking SuperJam from my Gran’s kitchen to the supermarket shelves and I wanted to share everything I’ve learned.
DAVID: Who has been the single most important person in your life? Why ?
DOHERTY: It would have to be my Gran! Not only did she inspire me to start making jam in the first place but she inspired the work that I do with the elderly. When I was a kid, she would make jam and scones and drag my little brother and I around all of the retirement homes in Glasgow - she would have afternoon tea with the elderly people, my brother would play his guitar and I would tell them stories. I was something that my Gran felt strongly about and I wanted to do something like that on a bigger scale.
DAVID: Where did you last go on holiday ? Your Dream place to go on holiday ?
DOHERTY: I just got back from a sunshine holiday in Ibiza with some friends. I’d love to travel all around South America at some point - Brazil especially.
DAVID: Your favorite Museum ?
DOHERTY: The Packaging Museum in Notting Hill. A must-see for anyone interested in vintage packaging!
DAVID: What music are you listening to right now ?
DOHERTY: Mostly electronic music, like Azari & III, but at the moment I also like Jamie Woon and The Whitest Boy Alive.
DAVID: The must read book you’d recommend to our readers ?
DOHERTY: Just finished « How To Be Free » by Tom Hodgkinson - he’s an anarchist and the book is about the absurdity of modern life and the idea of freeing ourselves from it by living a simpler, less stressful life.
DAVID: Your favorite Hobby ? The one crazy thing you’d like to try that you have never done ?
DOHERTY: I’ve got a 40-year old VW camper van that I love driving round the countryside. I’ve also just bought a beehive because i’ve always wanted to keep bees.
DAVID: The ONE thing you will NEVER do ?
DOHERTY: Get a 9-5 job!
DAVID: The favorite quote that’s sitting on your desk ?
DOHERTY: If you can dream it - you can do it, by Walt Disney.
DAVID: The last time you got angry ?
DOHERTY: I always get angry trying to use online banking - I think you have to be a robot to remember all the passwords!
DAVID: Your Best Childhood memory ?
DOHERTY: My Gran taking us to the Scottish seaside on the train for the first time, we had chips and 99’s.
DAVID: What are you dreaming to achieve next ?
DOHERTY: Success for SuperJam and The SuperJam Tea Parties in the USA!