WM – What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

The most exciting thing about our job is trying to do something that really makes a difference to consumer lives. Consumers are sweet enough already (the impact on the nation’s health of sugar is huge) and no longer want to drink sugary or sweetened carbonated fizzy drinks. The big beverage brands have been making the same promises to consumers for too long… and we think it’s time for change. We’re ready to take on the Goliaths, and that’s an exciting challenge!

Hugh Thomas, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Ugly Drinks

WM –Who’s inspired you most in your career?

There are a number of people who have inspired me along the way, but one of my first managers in an early role at Heinz, Ian McCarthy, was a huge inspiration. Ian’s strong work ethic partnered with his creative eye, were awesome to watch whilst the way he built and developed a team (with a sense of fun at it’s core), is always something I’ve aspired to do.

WM – If you were an item in a cash ‘n’ carry, what would you be?

I’d probably be a tin of Heinz Baked Beanz. It’s where I started my career (at Heinz) and a product with fantastic, iconic packaging that reminds me of home and growing up.

WM – If you had to do it all over again, what would you do different?

If I was going to do it all over again, I’d certainly approach things with a renewed sense of patience. Finding and polishing propositions for consumers takes time and development. Sometimes entrepreneurs (quite rightly) need to move fast and get things to market quickly, but you need to be patient and understand that the journey is a long one!

WM– What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you at work?

There aren’t too many moments that spring to mind. I’ve certainly had a few greeting hugs and handshakes that haven’t gone to plan!

WM – Who or what makes you laugh?

The Office (UK). It’s been a huge influence on me and my friends growing up. I can watch it on repeat.

WM – Do you have any hidden talents?

Nothing that hidden but I am quite sportingly ambidextrous.

WM – Who would be your favourite party guest?

Ricky Gervais (for the above reasons). I love his sense of humour.

WM – What is the greatest luxury in your life?

I don’t have too many. My wireless headphones are pretty good!

WM – What is your favourite guilty pleasure?

Cheese and pickle sandwiches! Always.

WM – Do you have any secret ambitions?

I want to write a book about the Ugly experience (not so secret anymore!).

WM – What’s your dream holiday destination?

There are too many to choose from, but I’ve always wanted to go to Peru.

WM – What are your three favourite movies of all time?

Lost in Translation, Old School and Napoleon Dynamite.

WM –What is your favourite book of all time?

Probably ‘The Obstacle Is The Way’ by Ryan Holiday.

WM –What’s your favourite pastime?

Restaurants with friends. I love the whole vibe and experience.

WM – If you won the Lottery, what would you do?

I wouldn’t change anything!

WM – What would be your advice to someone thinking about coming into this industry (apart from “don’t do it”)?

You need to be tough. The road is full of obstacles and you’ll be defined by how you deal with them and overcome them.


Ugly Drinks produce a range of 100% natural fruit flavoured sparkling waters. Currently available in 4 flavours; Lemon & Lime, Triple Berry, Tropical and Orange, we’re here to expose The Ugly Truth of the traditionally sugary or sweetened fizzy drinks industry. Ugly drinks have no sugar, no sweeteners, no calories and nothing artificial inside, just ice cold can refreshment without the guilt.

To take part in Quote Unquote please call: 01923 272960 or email: mail@wholesalemanager.co.uk

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