Kate Rumsey, Director of Rumsey’s Handmade Chocolates
Expanding and continuing the legacy of her family’s artisan handmade chocolate company
I’m often asked what it’s like to be surrounded by chocolate all the time and if it’s impossible to resist the temptation; I love chocolate, but apart from the occasional ‘taste test’ you soon get used to it!
I joined Rumsey’s in 2016 when I was pregnant with my youngest child, Grace – actively choosing to leave behind what had been a highly successful career in the corporate world. For six years I was a senior brand manager for a leading consumer goods company – responsible for a global team and a €1bn portfolio. My professional highlights included being featured in ‘Campaign’ magazine’s ‘Power 100’ list for up-and-coming marketers in 2011 and officially creating ‘World Baking Day’ a year later! It’s so surreal when 17 May comes around and I see the day trending online and people from all over the world taking part in lots of baking-based activities.
When I became a first-time mum to Jimmy in 2015, I re-evaluated everything, as so many of us do. I knew I wanted a more flexible working set-up so I could be there for my son as much as possible, but I had to make sure I was calling time on my career for something I was truly passionate about. With Rumsey’s, I could bring all my marketing expertise to the fore and help to modernise and galvanise a business that my own family had been building for the last 15 years; it was a perfect fit on so many levels.
At the beginning I worked remotely, as I was suffering with hyperemesis gravidarum (extreme morning sickness) during my pregnancy. Nonetheless, I hit the ground running – creating a new ecommerce website; maximising our social media potential; and handling in-store marketing and product launches across our two chocolateries.
Now heading up a team of 54 people, it’s been a steep learning curve but I really relish the day-to-day responsibility.
My mother and father-in-law have worked so hard establishing their business and I’m honoured to be playing such a significant part in a venture that has been created by people I love, as well as gradually giving them the ability to forge a safe and happy path into eventual retirement.