Stroud Times sat down with passionate Stroudie James Horwood to delve into his innermost thoughts.
Where did your working life in Stroud start?
My first job was at Halfords in Stroud. I then fell into sales & negotiation – I don’t know how because I always wanted to be a paramedic.
I’m now a director & joint owner of Kitchen Garden Foods who make porridge, artisan chutneys, pickles, sauces, jams & marmalades under our own label for some other very prestigious brands. The company started in 1989 and we’ve now got more than 100 awards for what we do. We’re also the brains behind Wolfys porridge and a couple of other things.
When were you happiest?
I was probably happiest when I finally had no boss to report to and realised that I am in complete control of my own destiny – that’s still very true right now. But also when I’m eating. I absolutely love food and I’m always thinking about my next meal. That moment of excitement you get a few seconds before you start your meal is fantastic! But there’s lots that make me happy – including my amazing children. Happy, content, grateful, are all words I use interchangeably.
What has been your biggest disappointment?
Disappointment isn’t a word I use often. I tend to try and pull a positive out of everything. But, If I had to pick something, then I guess it would be the times when I’ve cared too much about what others think about me – although that doesn’t tend to happen very often.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Girls Aloud. Next question.
What is your favourite smell?
Despite being vegetarian, the smell of bacon still gets me going, and I love the smell of petrol.
Who would play you in a film about your life?
Well, im not much of a movie-buff so my actor knowledge is limited. But probably someone who larks about a bit. The bearded dude from The Hangover comes to mind – Zach Galifianakis.
What do you like the most about living in the Stroud district?
I love many things about Stroud! It’s really easy to get to the cities and only a few minutes from vast open space and cows. Also a short drive from some of the most beautiful places in the country! I like the nice quirky shops and I know lots of people here who I’m always pleased to see when I bump into them in town.
What would you improve about our locality?
Our amazing town has so much going for it, although I’m starting to feel like the town centre has become “Protest City” in recent years. We also need to drastically improve the way we report local news (I’m not just saying this for the purpose of the ST, either). I have benefited from lots of local news coverage over the years, for which I really am very grateful for but I strongly feel there is so much newsworthy stuff going on in our amazing little town, and so many little awesome things happening that it’s getting over-looked. And trust me, people really do care about those little awesome things.
What is top of your bucket list?
To not write a bucket list.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Ask questions. Ask, ask, ask and always learn. Keep learning and don’t stop. I left school at 16 with a few GCSE’s and no A-levels, ever since then, I have continually asked questions to keep learning. “How does that work? But why does it work like that? But won’t that affect this?” I have no doubt I’ve irritated many people in the past from asking questions, but I’ve learned so much.
Don’t stop until you get the answer and keep learning – because one day you’ll be able to pass that knowledge on and it really might change someone’s life. Life has always taught me that ‘It’ll be OK’. It might not seem it at the time, but it’ll be OK in the end.
What book and song would you take on your desert island?
What everybody is saying – Joe Navaro. This is an excellent book written by an ex FBI agent, an expert in body language and nonverbal behaviour!
My song would be probably something really long! Perhaps an epic classic song or a super big Pink Floyd piece.