Our Sandpiper Stories 2024

To prepare for the Jersey Skills Show in May, we would like to highlight just some of our amazing colleagues and share their Sandpiper stories. Read on to find out more about seven colleagues from across the business and their personal accounts on how Sandpiper has impacted their careers for the better.

Tags: Burger King, Card Factory, Careers, Checkers Xpress, Costa Coffee, iQ Apple Premium Reseller, Jersey, Le Cocq's Stores, Marks & Spencer, Guernsey, Alderney, Isle of Man

Sandpiper stories

Claudia Balaban, Cash & Banking Assistant

2013 was the year I left my home country of Romania to start a new life in Jersey. I started my first job as a Customer Assistant at Checkers Xpress First Tower and was soon promoted to Supervisor and eventually Store Manager.

During my two years as a Store Manager, I applied everything I had learned from the previous Store Manager, and I was pleased with the results and my team.

Leaving Checkers Xpress after a decade at the store was hard for me as it felt like a second home, but when being given the opportunity to work in the Finance department as a Cash & Banking Assistant arose, I knew I had to accept this challenge – and I am so happy I did!

Since arriving in Jersey, there have been a lot of changes in my life from my accommodation to personal relationships and starting a family and having my now eight year old daughter. Sandpiper and my workplace has definitely helped me through all these changes and I am grateful for that!

Liza Brown, Assistant Manager M&S St Clement

I started working for SandpiperCI as a Customer Assistant at M&S King Street 20 years ago. Upon leaving the flagship store, I progressed further within the company initially taking up a Supervisor role at the M&S St John store before joining M&S St Martin as Assistant Manager. I stayed there until moving to my current store, M&S St Clement, where I joined as Assistant Manager in May 2023.

Throughout my career at Sandpiper, I have developed my customer service skills, worked with great people, and improved my knowledge of both the business and food retail industry.

As part of continuing my personal and professional development, I have undertaken the Retail Apprenticeship at Highlands College and I am currently undertaking the CMI Level 3 Diploma Course in Principles of Management and Leadership, supported by SandpiperCI.

William Baker, Junior Brand Marketing Manager

I have recently become a member of the Sandpiper family, after joining the Marketing team in February. Before this, I studied at Edge Hill university, undertaking a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature followed by a Master’s in Marketing, Communications & Branding – graduating with merit.

Upon graduating, I had the knowledge but lacked experience. I went for many interviews where the feedback was very similar; “you interviewed well, however, we are looking for someone with more experience”. However, Sandpiper offered me the role as Junior Brand Marketing Manager and I am grateful to them for seeing potential, taking me on and guiding me through the real-life aspects of business – understanding best-practice and effective marketing. I have learnt so much since starting my role and have kick-started my Marketing career. As well as supporting on various brands, I have taken on the role of copywriting our monthly community recap blog, which has helped me learn more about support Sandpiper offers to local charities and community initiatives.

I am enjoying my time at Sandpiper and look forward to learning more from the Marketing team and the other colleagues around the business.

Caroline Slowey–Dickinson, Operations Director

I started my career with SandpiperCI in October 2007 as an M&S Store Manager following a career with Tesco. My first appointment was St Brelade which at that point still had a Foodhall in the basement. This role involved running the Foodhall, managing operations and supporting and training the store team.

Following the opening of two new M&S Simply Food stores, St John and St Peter, I proceeded to move to St Peter as the Store Manager. Following a successful launch of this new store, I was promoted to M&S Flagship Food Manager in our King Street store; this role allowed me to expand my experience of the brand, working alongside several of the business key stakeholders.

In 2010, I was promoted to Area Manager supporting our M&S Simply Food stores which allowed me to develop my skills of managing multiple sites and working alongside the great teams in each of our stores. Over the next few years, I was promoted to Head of Foods for M&S Jersey (in 2015), then Brand Director, overseeing several of our brands including Costa Coffee, Burger King, iQ, and cardfactory in 2018.

In August of 2020 I moved to the Isle of Man, right in the middle of the COVID pandemic to open our cardfactory and iQ stores and this was the most challenging change I have had in my SandpiperCI career. Moving to a new location whilst the pandemic was in full flow meant that the new store developments were managed by myself, with local trades only. I quickly learned many new skills in relation to project management and store development, this was very rewarding and a great opportunity.

In April of 2022 I was promoted to Operations Director. Again, this role gave me an opportunity to develop my project management and contract negotiation skills. My career in SandpiperCI has been very rewarding and our business is keen to grow and support internal talent, allowing them to learn and develop on the job.

Jess Evans, Store Manager iQ Guernsey

Joining Sandpiper in January 2015, I worked in the iQ Guernsey store which, at that time, was based at Le Pollet. I started out as a Sales Assistant and continued in that role for about two years. During that time, we moved to a bigger premises in the centre town which allowed us to expand our range of products that we could offer to our customers.

Following the move to our location, I then was offered the Team Leader role which I took on – this was an exciting opportunity for me and I held this role for about four years. During this time, I learnt a lot of new skills, including the ability to lead a team. This was a great experience for me and gave me the opportunity to learn the tools that I would need to progress within my career.

In May 2021, I was successfully appointed to the role of Store Manager at iQ. This was a great professional achievement for me, having started my career as a Sales Assistant in the same store, only six years earlier. In this time, Sandpiper have given me many opportunities with a range of training such as; note-taking, employee lifecycle training and customer service training. Furthermore, since March 2023, I have been undertaking my Retail Apprenticeship Level 2 where I have learnt a lot about the world of business.

Anthony Burton, Alderney Operations Manager

Starting my career at Sandpiper in April 2022, I began my journey at Iceland New Era where I was training for a total of five weeks before I was fully equipped to run my own store.

In my initial role as Store Manager at Iceland Grouville, I swiftly adapted to the challenges and responsibilities of managing day-to-day operations, ensuring a seamless customer experience while optimising store performance. Simultaneously, I took on the additional responsibility of mentoring a promising Assistant Manager at the nearby Morrisons Daily Gorey store – guiding their professional development and instilling the desired work ethic needed to run a store.

In June 2023, I embraced a new challenge as the Store Manager for Alderney, where I assumed oversight of the two Le Cocq’s Stores sites on the island. In this role, I continued my commitment to mentorship, guiding another Assistant Manager through their training journey and empowering them to excel in their role which contributed to the success of both stores. After a number of successful milestones, I was honoured to be promoted to Alderney Operations Manager in February 2024. In this capacity, I have continued to leverage my experience and expertise to support store operations both in Alderney and in Jersey including; facilitating stock-takes, managing rotas and providing essential cover as needed, ensuring operational excellence across the board.

My journey at Sandpiper is a testament to the opportunities for growth and development within the company accompanied with the right level of support given to me by my Line Manager and all supportive teams within the company. I am proud to continue contributing to the success of Sandpiper as we strive for excellence in every aspect of our business and its operations.

Thomas Pickett, Stock Accountant

I started my journey at Sandpiper in June 2022, where I joined the Cash Office team. At the end of 2023, I moved across to the Stock department into the role of Stock Accountant. Multiple roles within the Shared Services team have enabled me to gain a greater understanding of business operations and how every aspect of Sandpiper interacts with one another. I have been fortunate enough to be supported in my professional development by undertaking a Bookkeeping course at Highlands College.

Away from the desk, working at Sandpiper has afforded me the opportunity to engage in community activities in aid of Jersey Hospice Care such as; The Dragon Boat Festival, Santa Dash and a charity football game. This has allowed me to not only have some fun with my colleagues, but also raise vital funds for local charities.

We hope these spotlights have inspired you to pursue a career with us. Come down to the Jersey Skills Show on 2nd May to have a chat with us about the roles available…you could even win some prizes along the way!

Can’t wait? Apply to one of our roles by visiting our Careers page below.