Jo Discombe

Jo Discombe
Business Development Director

Food and my passion for it all started in 1984. With a clip around the ear from my lovely Mum, not too long after my Dad had passed away, telling me to “go out and get a bloody Saturday job.” So off I stumbled into town, 13 years old, and found myself in Baxter’s the butchers (later Dewhurst), in their main branch in Abington Street, Northampton, broom in hand, mop bucket in tow, cleaning the shop.

It wasn’t very long after this that I got my hands on some knives, and started to learn how to butcher, I loved it. This was it, career chosen by default. Creating a shop window display that I could be proud of, that would make customers just want to buy our meat. Great, I had made it.

I stayed in the shop until I was 16, then my sister convinced me to go and get some qualifications and found me a lab technician’s job working for the largest beef processor in Europe, at this time I did some science based day release courses at college but was never one for academia.

Over the next 12 years, I worked my way up the technical management ladder – loving working with retail customers, enjoying leading meat eating quality projects and challenging the industry norm by leading the implementation of one of the first major DNA testing programme in Europe on beef. Then in 1999, I moved to Shropshire and had the opportunity to be Technical Account Manager for a major retail customer, this involved developing exciting new packaging, product concepts and becoming the custodian of meat quality for the business. Making every pack eat brilliantly, delighting the consumer with beef that was tasty, succulent and tender every time.

So, 21 years in beef and a big desire to try something new I moved to pork! Joining one of the UK’s largest processors as Technical and Innovation Director. Pork was exciting, lots of opportunities to add value and delight the consumer even more with my creative gene! The only thing was, I felt lost in such a huge business, I wanted to make more of a difference. I wanted to be a bigger fish in a littler pond. So in 2011, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Denis Lynn, and Finnebrogue Artisan. Wow, this man had real values.

Innovation was clearly at the centre of his universe and we seemed to get along. So we have spent the last 5 years, creating, consumer testing, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in ¬†food. But never ever forgetting our roots that you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, and I for one, am so proud of the butchery credentials we uphold, even today in the world of automation and madness.

Now, I can honestly say that Denis Lynn is one of my food heroes…and I just love my job and the team at the fab Finnebrogue Artisan.

In my free time I enjoy clay and game shooting, real ale, cars and motorbikes, and best of all travelling to new countries to experience the food culture. Spoken from my heart.