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30 Minutes With….



…Ginny James, owner, The Pelican, Barnstaple, Devon


What would you like to change about the industry?
The margins, for one! Two further important things spring to mind; firstly that sustainability should be a standard throughout the whole industry and, secondly, that there’d be more innovation for the creation and manufacture of reusable takeaway packaging. What a huge difference that would make. Come on Burton Road Chippy!

How did you get into the industry?
My husband, Martin, has been running the shops for about 30 years and I was only very part-time. It wasn’t until our children finally left us for the bigger, wider world that I found rather than having a life of girls’ lunches and yoga ahead of me I had a Pelican waiting in the wings! What a charmed life I lead!

If you could change jobs with anyone else for the day who would it be?
I’d swap for a stint in the International Space Station for a glimpse of how beautiful and precious the planet is that we call home and for a reminder of just how insignificant all our personal problems really are!

What was the first music single you bought?

The Court Jester by A Country Mile! ‘‘The pellet with the poison’s in the chalice from the palace, the vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true…they broke the chalice from the palace... the pellet with the poison’s in the flagon with the dragon…” Just brilliant!

Do you have a nickname?
Probably not that I’d want to hear!

What did you want to be as a child?
I always wanted to work for the VSO or be a missionary until I found that working for BA offered an alternative way of seeing the world and with less danger of cannibalism!

If you could have anyone join your team who would it be?
I’m having Tinkerbell! Fairy dust all over the shop and everything just perfect!

What’s your favourite food?
Anything served in a five star restaurant in the Maldives!

What sports team do you support?
Hmm, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed freezing in the winters on the sidelines of exposed Exmoor rugby pitches (always our secret weapon against visiting teams) and sweltering preparing copious amounts of scones with jam and cream (jam first!) for cricket teas and hauling car loads of children across the county for away games. Job done now!

If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Ronald McDonald and ask him “What the f@#k?”.  What? He’s not a real person? But then it’s not real food.

If you were Prime Minister for a day what’s the first thing you would do?
I’d sort out the reusable takeaway packaging and then twin the UK with the Maldives and visit a lot!

If you could go back in time what year would you choose?
Back to when the grass was greener, the birds sang more sweetly, there was world peace and probably universal veganism. Tinkerbell time!

Do you have any hobbies?
Yes, planning my escape to the Maldives!

What question would you like to ask our next “30 minutes with”? 
Is the glass half full or half empty?