Profile Piece: Harry Dobson
Harry Dobson is Masons’ Technical and Quality Control Manager. He manages busy teams in both the office and the warehouse and probably has the highest step count in the business as he walks between the two.
A Bedale local, Harry loves being between the Moors and the Dales and where he has easy access to the great food and beer (Theakston’s for sure) that Yorkshire has to offer.
As it’s Father’s Day, we also wanted to hear about Harry’s experiences of being a dad whilst managing a busy team.
Harry, you’re one of longest serving employees, how have you seen Masons change over the (nearly) 6 years you’ve been here?
“Masons has pretty much entirely changed since I started. The quantity of staff has increased by over 400%, the brand has transformed, the bottle has changed twice, our distillery location 3 times and we have increased in size drastically. Our production capability has gone from bottling 64 Masons bottles per hour to 400. We used to handle each bottle 10+ times when bottling and packaging, but now it’s just when we put the bottle on the bottling line and when we take it off.”
What’s are your memories of the early days?
“I remember walking into the distillery on my first day and seeing three members of the team working on their laptops around a picnic table in a makeshift office. Within five minutes, Cathy called out what would become a regular question: ‘Who wants a bacon sandwich?’
We were originally cramped into a tiny space where in order to move one pallet you had to move three other pallets to reach it. We would sometimes have to pull everything outside just to get to access to something.”
Sadly, the old Masons Distillery was completely destroyed in a fire in April 2019. What were your initial thoughts when you heard about the fire?
“I was worried about the staff who were on site at the time, but fortunately everyone was safe. There wasn’t much time to think about it to be honest; the Masons family and the staff rallied together, and it was just working out what the next steps were and how we could keep producing gin.
We have been incredibly lucky to have such dedicated and hardworking staff – everyone will roll their sleeves up and help out wherever needed in busy times.”
What are you working on at the moment?
“I am currently reviewing our Food Hygiene and Safety Management systems and policies in order to tie them in with our daily processes. This will ensure that we can meet our customer’s expectations time after time.”
You’re the father of 2 children under the age of 6, how do you find a balance between a busy work life and home life?
“You have to leave your work behind at the end of the day. This is something I have learnt over the years; at the beginning I would often be thinking about what I need to do the next day when I’m home. Writing everything down at the end of the day helps.”
And do you know if there is anything planned for Father’s Day?
“I’m not sure if there is anything specific planned, but we are going camping, so no doubt it will be fun!”
What do you like to do with your spare time?
“I spend a lot of time with the kids, but I like to go hiking as often as I can. On the rare occasion we are child-free, I enjoy going out for food and drinks with my better half.”
And lastly, how do you drink your Masons at home?
“A double measure with Fever-Tree tonic and just a little orange zest.”
Thanks for telling us about yourself Harry!