Mark Palmer has an American dream and it is one that is rapidly becoming a reality. “It’s a nonsense that British brands can’t succeed in America,” he says. It is the fastest growing part of Pret’s business, with a strong presence in New York. He has form in this regard – as a former marketer at Green & Black’s, he notes that the chocolate brand is now the market leader in the natural and speciality food store market in the US. He also co-founded soft drinks brand Cawston Press, which he is about to launch in the US too. It is evident that you do not have to work big to think big and his light-bulb moment is “realising I could be more effective and much happier in smaller entrepreneurial businesses rather than big corporates”.
Best advice: “Behave like the managing director of your brand. Be profit &amp; loss accountable and worry about everything that matters to the customer.”