FNB Wines2Whales: Q&A with Food Lover’s Market Co-Founder MIKE COPPIN

It’s been almost 25 years since Food Lover’s Market first opened a fresh produce store in Access Park – since then the brand has grown phenomenally. From its origins as a single Fruit & Veg City store, Food Lover’s Market has become South Africa’s largest specialist fresh produce retailer, with over 120 Food Lover’s Market stores in South Africa and another 19 stores in 10 Sub-Saharan countries and Mauritius. With an emphasis in fresh, the retailer caters to the discerning health-conscious customer, the connoisseur, the professional ‘foodie’ and regular customers who are used to the exceptional quality and variety that has always been part of the Food Lover’s offering.

Forming part of the Food Lover’s Market family is FVC International – the largest importer of fresh produce into South Africa – as well as Freshstop at Caltex with over 255 convenience stores, Market Liquors and Seattle Coffee.

Mike Coppin – co-founder of Food Lover’s Market – is an avid MTB enthusiast and participant. Despite the fact that Mike travels constantly, he still finds time for the bike. Not content for Food Lover’s Market just to be the headline food sponsor, Mike has once again entered a team of intrepid MTB fanatics into the race event. Between travels, we caught up with Mike to ask him how the training is going…

Q&A with Mike Coppin

Before we begin…Rock, paper, scissors or pumpkin?
MC: Rock

Food Lover’s Market is the headline food sponsor for Wine2Whales – why did you decide to partner with Wines2Whales for the fifth consecutive year?
MC: We had a great response and a fantastic experience being part of this event for the last four years. It’s also a natural alignment for us as a brand because people associate us with a healthy lifestyle and obviously W2W fits that bill!

What does your training regime look like?
MC: At the moment I’m training for the EPIC, so my training is quite heavy. I’m on the bike for between eight to ten hours a week.

What is your favourite part of the Wines 2 Whales MTB trail?
MC: It’s always been when I reach the halfway mark on the last day!

You grew up in retail, did you ever consider doing anything else – like being a racing pigeon helmet manufacturer?
MC: I always wanted to be a pilot, but things don’t always end up the way you want it. I am, however, very happy I stayed in retail (although I could have chosen an easier career).

Bike, car or bike – which do you clean first?
MC: Car, then bike

What do you do when you are not plotting retail world domination?
MC: At the moment my life revolves around work-ride-work (maybe a bit more ride if possible!)

If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be?
MC: James Bond

What excites you most about the Food Lover’s Market business?
MC: It would probably the fast pace that our business moves at – everything has to happen yesterday and I think we have all gotten used to that and adapted to its pace.

What do you enjoy most about doing what you do?
MC: Definitely dealing with the people in our business. Every day is different and there is so much to learn and pass on to the youngsters around us.

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