Two minutes with Imogen Davis, Native

Published 4 December 2019

For our latest Careers Q&A we chatted to Imogen Davis, co-founder of Native. She told CODE about how her entry into hospitality was a complete accident, why Manchester is an exciting place for hospitality and who has been influential on her career.

When did you realise you wanted to work in hospitality? 

It was a complete accident. I never really thought about how much of my life revolved around food when growing up, from working in my Mum and Dad’s organic farm shop to my mum hosting huge dinners for birthdays, Christmas, Sundays – my mum is the epitome of the ‘hostess with the mostest’.  

Where and how did you get your start? 

At Native in 2016, I had to create my own opportunity. At 16 I worked for a well-known hotel chain that made me polish cutlery in the back because I ‘had a funny colour hair’…I wasn’t totally enamoured with my experience working for others. On the other hand, I am exceptionally good at polishing now! 

Sum up your current work life in one sentence.  

Everyone is winging it.  

Who has been really influential on your career and why? 

Ivan, my co-founder of Native. Having not trained in the industry, we’re learning everything for the first time and have to make really important decisions and choices every day and do what we think is best for Native.  

What’s next for you? 

That is a secret at the moment but I am really excited about 2020, let’s put it that way… 

What’s your one piece of advice to someone starting out? 

Be yourself. The industry is full of wonderful people, and it’s what makes us all different that make it so great. 

Where did you last have a great meal? 

Perilla – I loved everything about it. 

Are there any openings you are looking forward to? 

I have just read that Lee Westcott is coming back to London. I loved The Typing Room and didn’t make it to Pensons so this is great news! 

Where is the most exciting city for hospitality (aside from London)? 

I feel like Manchester has a real buzz at the moment. Unfortunately, I haven’t spent a great amount of time there but my sister does treat me to doughnut deliveries from Siop Shop when she visits and they are exceptional. 

Who would you identify as a rising star? 

Ivan, Billy, Angus, Jasper, Gimmy, Zac, Luka, Boris, Kim, Daniel, Henry, Rebecca, Guy, Matt… OK, our whole team at Native, can I say that? They’re motivated, passionate and totally wonderful, each and every one of them in their own way. 

This Q&A was first written for the Careers Q&A. To subscribe, click here

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