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Case Study - Erin Sulley-Norris

Erin Sulley-Norris, Head of Commercial, Epicurium Ltd.

Please could you describe what your business does?

Erin Sulley-Norris headshotEpicurium is an SME, based in the Northeast. We aim to be the UK’s first-choice premium snacking wholesaler, delivering better snacking for everyone – from independent retailers to multi-site corporate clients.

We specialise in products that are either, better for you, better for the planet or an all-around better version of the original.

Our mission is to continue to build a great company that uses innovation, trend, excellence, and partnership to make sure we return a significant positive impact to all our stakeholders.

What would you say were the key business challenges that you were facing before joining the Help to Grow programme?

As a business that continues to grow at a rapid rate, the challenges we face are how to successfully lead our teams through these periods of change whilst understanding where we are in the life cycle of our business and what we need to do next to maintain our growth trajectory.   

This is my first experience at a senior management level, so I needed a greater understanding of the other areas of the business that I had not experienced at a more critical level. Gaining more in-depth knowledge is crucial so I can add value to my peers in other departments such as financial management, digital, operational management etc.

What have been the best aspects of the Help to Grow experience for you personally?

I have benefited hugely from the mentoring scheme. As part of the course, you get one-to-one coaching sessions with a mentor which you can use in any way that supports you or your business. I am fortunate that I found a phenomenal mentor in Julian Roberts who is an executive coach and he’s helped me to explore different leadership styles. We also work on building resilience, culture, and coaching strategies. It’s something I have always had an interest in and working with Julian happened just at the right time of my leadership journey.  

I have also found the peer groups to be very valuable. Hearing real-life examples makes you understand that you are not the only one going through various challenges during your growth journey. It adds value from others' experiences and allows you to help, which is always rewarding.

The way the lectures were structured in addition to the content being well laid out and presented in a digestible format has enabled insightful conversations with my peers. These three points combined have been the best aspects of my experience with Help to Grow.

What is your one take away from the programme?

I don’t think I could choose one as I took so much away from the whole programme. There is value added in every module for all different types of businesses and senior leaders.

What would you say to another business considering the Help to Grow programme?

Do it! Don’t hesitate and invest the time. I know how demanding the day to day of running a business can be and that sometimes when you are a small business, you’ll most likely be wearing a lot of hats. But my advice is to not hesitate. Sign up and make the time to do it because it will change your business.

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