Meet the MDs: Owen and Nicola Hazel

Meet the MDs: Owen and Nicola Hazel

Owen and Nicola Hazel are the fourth generation of her family to run Jannettas Gelateria in St Andrews. With over 100 years of history and experience, they tell us how they’re preparing the business for generation five.

Owen Hazel


Q1. Describe your role in no more than 100 words.

Since 1994 having married Nicola De Angelis (Jannetta), together, we are responsible for the management and operation of Jannettas Gelateria. My role is incredibly varied because as it’s a family run business I have to be able to cover all aspects, this includes production of ice cream, procurement, training and development, marketing, staff management to name but a few.

My role is one that I can honestly say I have a passion for and enjoy. No two days are ever the same. I am my own boss and driver. I relish the diversity and challenges of keeping our business successful for the fifth generation.

Q2. What is it the company does?

Our company is a Gelateria and Café with all food being produced on site in the families original home in St Andrews. Our core business for over 100 years has been to produce gelato. We have over 54 flavours available daily. We also have a café where we source as much as possible from local food providers ensuring our customers are getting the very finest in Scottish food. We make all our food fresh daily and to customers demand and try as much as possible to have a seasonal food to choose from because customer satisfaction is at the heart of what we continuously strive to ensure. As well as our retail business we also have a successful wholesale business and outside event catering department.

Q3. Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?

My employment timeline:

1980: Oratava Hotel, Edinburgh – Waiter
1982: Forth Bridge Hotel – Waiter
1982 – 1985: University
1985 – 1988: Pizzaland, London – Trainee Manager
1988 – 1990: Luigi Malone, Chelsea, South Kensington, Leicester Square and Munich – Manager
1990: Pizza Gallery, Dundee – Manager
20 February 1994: Jannettas Gelateria

Q4. What do you believe makes a great leader?

I believe a great leader is someone who has a passion and drive for what they believe in and has the ability to listen and communicate effectively involving others wherever possible. Key to this is also having the ability to form a core team who have the same beliefs, goals and drive. As well as this, I believe you also need the ability to recognise the strengths of yourself and your team. A complete understanding and knowledge of the market you are operating in is also essential.

Q5. What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?

The biggest challenge for me was learning how to come into a well-established fourth generation family ice cream business, which had such a high profile in a close knit community. It was something I had underestimated initially, but was determined to embrace it and succeed.

Q6. How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?

Generally I don’t find my role to be too stressful but the one way I do like to relax and get the work life balance right is by spending time with my family outwith the family business.

Q7. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always had aspirations to be a hotel manager. This became my drive following a family holiday abroad where I realised there was an opportunity both to travel and manage a hotel, meeting people from all walks of life and parts of the globe.

Q8. Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about then?

My major pet hate is someone showing a lack of enthusiasm particularly when they have chosen to come into the customer service field of work which is core to our businesses success.

Q9. Where do you see the company in five years time?

In five years time I hope to see the fifth generation more involved in developing the business. We will have a new state of the art production and storage centre and our wholesale will have doubled in size. Exciting times but life always is at Jannettas there are always plenty of opportunities afforded to us.

Q10. What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?

Always have a clear strategy as to which direction you wish your business to go in whilst ensuring the core team around you have the same belief and commitment to it.