International Women’s Day – Mrs Unis Spicy Foods

Celebrating the influential women across convenience

Mrs Unis, managing director at Mrs Unis Spicy Foods.

This post was written in collaboration with Mrs Unis Spicy Foods.

Mrs Unis, managing director at Mrs Unis Spicy Foods

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

Mrs Unis Spicy Foods is a diverse organisation, with minority representation at its core. I feel it’s important to mix with the mainstream, our aim is to work with all diverse communities across the trade. 

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

I believe, it is very important to have skilled people from all backgrounds, there should be no discrimination against race, religion or of any kind in any business.  

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

My family background is in business, and I feel I have grown as a businessperson.  When I arrived in the UK, I saw lots of opportunities, and with the encouragement from my husband, it made it easy for me to work and communicate with people to get things done.

One of the most positive experiences I had was when I needed money from the bank to grow my business.  This was back in the 1970s, I called the bank and made a deal over the phone.  This marked the first experience of my professional career.

Coming from an ethnic background myself, speaking to the bank and getting a loan was a great achievement for me. Before my business was established, I used to leave my products with shops and asked them to sell them and pay me later, this was how I managed to establish my business.

What opportunities are there for career evolution within your company?

Some individuals at Mrs Unis Spicy Foods are not from educated backgrounds but are very skilled in their own fields.  They have worked in the production area and have done extremely well for themselves.

I am always keen to give opportunities to individuals who struggle to secure a job in the mainstream.  I work to provide them with the skills to make them financially independent within the world.

There are multiple opportunities within the company and as individuals gain more experience and skills on the factory floor, they are given the opportunity to become supervisors or managers within their areas.

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

It hasn’t been an easy journey as a woman, I have had to run a business, a household and look after children, all at the same time. Though, I have enjoyed it all.

Coming from an ethnic minority background to open a business in Scotland has had its difficulties however, communication and dealing with people gave me the confidence to face any further challenges that came my way and to grow further.

This has enabled us to increase our workforce with skilled people who have the expertise to deal with the big retailers and the wholesale market.

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

The biggest challenge was when the business caught fire and we were not able to produce for 15 months.  I was overwhelmed when people and businesses who were our competitors actually supported us through the difficult time by supplying us with the food which kept our business afloat.

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

Whenever I meet female counterparts, they are always very positive towards me, and I have never experienced any negative feedback. I have empowered women from vulnerable backgrounds, such as victims of domestic abuse, single mums, divorced and widowed women and ladies suffering from mental health.

I have always encouraged and supported them to become independent and confident. I give inspirational talks at events to encourage women to fulfil their dreams and it gives me great satisfaction to make a change the lives of women. I take great pride in empowering women from vulnerable backgrounds.


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