A good Rep isn’t hard to find: Ed Baird


Here’s the sixth in our latest round of ten Brand Reps.

Ed Baird
National Sales Manager
Emporia Brands

Ed, 44, originally from Berkshire and has been in Scotland for 26 years. Shortly after graduating from Edinburgh, his parents also relocated their wine merchant business to Scotland and this was his gateway to working with Emporia Brands.  “My parents moved up and set up Baird’s Wines, servicing the on-trade for both wines and spirits. But wine was becoming increasingly a commodity at the time, in terms of the core business, whereas my passion was with winemaker wines and the personality, craft and stories behind them. At the same time I was starting to find these qualities in spirits, with the new and exciting brands appearing in the UK, bolstered by a cocktail renaissance circa 2008.
“We were the exclusive distributer for Emporia in Scotland, and we took over representing his brands officially rather than as a distribution default.”
Does he see the pandemic reshaping his role?
“I don’t think it will change things too much in the long run. There have always been lots of challenges in hospitality, albeit none like the last twelve months, and the days of lots of cold calls are currently not viable. Everything’s got to be more structured and scheduled than pre-pandemic.  This has been a new challenge and I’m doing less physical sales call in a day as a result. The flip side is that this has normalised remote meetings, which I’m sure will remain a legacy of the pandemic, with regards to the role of a brand rep. I am still out there covering the bars and looking after territories and this is why we love to do this job after all. But the future I’m sure will be a healthy mix of both virtual and face to face engagement.”
He’s passionate about all aspects of this industry. “The producers, techniques, diversity and above all the people behind it. The creativity of bartenders, activations – I love all of it. But aside from the great drinks and banter, I love my role as trainer and drinks educator, and have been fortunate to visit many different distilleries around the world doing this job and pass on my knowledge and experience to younger hospitality workers.”
How will the hospitality industry fare post pandemic?
“I think hospitality sector will come back stronger from this. Operators have learned how to work more efficiently and effectively and in a leaner sense from top to toe. There’s a huge appetite out there among consumers to return to a new normal close to the old normal. Premiumisation and experience-led trends are continually evolving.”

Category: News
Tags: Ed Baird, Ed Baird National Sales Manager Emporia Brands, SCOTLAND