International Women’s Day – Aldomak

Celebrating the influential women across convenience

Joan Craig, technical manager at Aldomak (left) and Marion McCormick, commercial director at Aldomak (right).

This post was written in collaboration with Aldomak.

Marion McCormick, commercial director at Aldomak

How is diversity & inclusion a key foundation at your own organisation?

Aldomak’s origins as a family business set the path for a very inclusive business. The whole Riccomini family has been at the heart of the business for the last 30 years.  Our business has a happy and diverse mix of staff as the Scottish food industry draws from a wide pool of people.

Our weekly work pattern attracts woman and men alike as we do offer flexibility where we can for families, and sport alike, and the varied roles handling confectionery, and oat-based products makes for a pleasant, if sticky, working environment. As a business, we have found this approach aids staff retention, and our flat structure makes everyone aware of the importance of their contribution and how valued they are.

Do you feel a positive culture being in place helps you cement business relationships?

Aldomak has a small management team and a very flat structure so we all work closely to ensure all decisions are discussed and thought through before implementation.  This cohesive approach applies to our suppliers and customers too.

We like to think this makes for better business relationships from both sides, for planning ahead and securing the best contracted costs, and ultimately anticipating or avoiding any bumps in the road.

Tell us about your own success story, positive experiences, etc?

My five years as a director at Aldomak has not been without its challenges, We have seen a pandemic, followed by global commodity pressures, Brexit and a retraction in ranging opportunities in the retailers.

We have however come out the other side by looking ahead, ensuring every product we manufacture hits the right margin and is contributing to the bottom-line year on year, or is delisted, all the while investing in new efficiencies and training staff.

We have also tried to address the weaknesses in our range and order book, working with our customers to rationalise ranges but continue to focus on making top quality product. We also keep our price formula right to encourage buoyant sales, despite a cost-of-living crisis.

Even with this rocky back drop, we are very proud to have managed to invest in a solar array which was a vital investment both from a climate perspective but also to insulate us from any further energy hikes.


Joan Craig, technical manager at Aldomak

What opportunities are there for career evolution within your company?

I am the technical manager in this SME so there is not much headroom for career progression, but having come here from a larger multinational, I appreciate the wide array of skills I have had the opportunity to try.

I have been able embrace new NPD and a broader range of skills which means no day is the same – so you could say, there is no room for boredom!

What has your experience been like as a woman working in your field?

I have had challenging moments in my career, often with male colleagues in a variety of food companies, because food safety can conflict with cost. 

I have often had to strive to push decisions on legalities and the quality of product through the business, as my goal is fundamentally to keep the consumer safe and this has to be the golden chalice.

The commitment required to work in the food industry and supply chain cannot be underestimated. I have been involved in endless product launches with strict launch datesinto retail, which have involved numerous trials in readiness for the scaling up of new recipes and processes.

This often requires a commitment to long hours, embracing new systems or implementing fixes when projects don’t quite go to plan. I think you have to be 100% committed and enjoy precision, as retail can be a very unforgiving place but, the show must always go on.

What challenges have you overcome in the past in this regard?

The market has been challenging in recent years for procuring ingredients and packaging, and then verifying the authenticity of these. I have learned with the team here, in light of current market conditions, to plan well, always communicate clearly and build in a bit of slack – and to date, touch wood, we have not missed a launch.

What experiences have your female clients had (positive or negative) within retail, if this is something you can share with us?

 There are some great job opportunities in the food industry and, perhaps, education and schools should be making more of the story of where our food comes from, because, if anything, I don’t see enough young women coming through.

Quality management in food is a serious business and I am not sure if young women are aware of how interesting food science and data, when rolled in to large scale production, can be.  Ultimately the role can be very satisfying when products are launched.


Click here to read more about the inspiring and influential women working across the convenience retail sector.