Chopped co-founder and managing director Brian Lee takes the Business & Finance 60 second challenge.
Q. What was your first job?
When I was 11 I set up a gardening company. I spent my pocket money on a lawnmower, printed some business cards and handed them out around my local area. Since then I’ve pretty much always been self-employed.
Q. What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?
Founding Chopped and getting us up to 11 stores is definitely our biggest achievement, but we’re not finished yet!
Q. If you could step into the shoes of one business person for the day, who would it be and why?
Richard Branson. I remember reading his autobiography, Losing My Virginity, at 17 and being able to tie aspects of his life to mine.
If I was able to replicate him for the rest of my life, I’d be doing very well. I admire him for being able to create a brand across multiple sectors, not just one.
Q. What’s your motto?
There’s always room for improvement.
Q. How do you relax?
I go to the gym a lot and I’m also into MMA. I have specific times in my diary every week for training and I never move these times.
Q. How do you motivate yourself and your staff?
I like to lead by example. I like to show my staff how much energy it is possible to put into their work by putting the most I can into mine.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
I got my passion for business from my dad. He was self-employed and I always looked up to him as a kid. He told me to always build relationships and treat people with respect.
Q. In three words or less, how do you define success?
Are you progressing?
Q. What are your aspirations for the future of your business?
My ultimate goal is to make Chopped as big as McDonald’s and a worldwide brand.
… always build relationships and treat people with respect
Founded by Dublin entrepreneurs Brian Lee and Andy Chen in 2012, Freshly Chopped now operates 11 outlets around Dublin providing ‘healthy fast food’, including chopped salads, soup and smoothies.
They signed partnerships this year with Maxol, resulting in Chopped’s presence at the M3 Mulhuddart service station, and Aramark, to roll out across education, business and industry sites.
Their eye is on the UK market for future expansion, with a plan to open company-owned and franchised stores there in early 2017, starting with a focus on London and Milton Keynes.