Our General Managers are the exceptional individuals in charge of each attraction. They have busy but rewarding jobs making sure everything and everyone in our attractions is working smoothly and ensuring our guests leave with the best memories of their visit.
To find out more about what the role entails, we talked to the latest addition to the General Management team, Andrew Turner, who joined York’s Chocolate Story in October.
“I think I have joined Continuum at a very exciting time. I think the business has a great future. The company is certainly in growth and its partnerships with iconic partners such as ITV shows that the business is a major player in the attraction industry. I am excited to be working within one of the attractions and I am already looking forward to what may be the next acquisition to the portfolio.
“Before working at York’s Chocolate Story I was working as Head of Operations for Merlin Entertainments. During this time I worked at various sites including Scarborough SEALIFE Centre, The National SEALIFE Centre and most recently The York Dungeon. My working career actually started just down the road at Flamingo Land Theme Park where I undertook the role of Food and Beverage Manager.
“The biggest difference about working at York’s Chocolate Story is seeing daylight! The Dungeon was a challenging place to work as the lighting is dark and there is no natural light within the actual attraction. The fact that at York’s Chocolate Story I have the opportunity to walk around the attraction and engage with guests is something that I have missed. Another big difference is taking the role of GM, having the responsibility to develop the vision for success and drive this through the team is a huge responsibility and very challenging.
“My ambition for York’s Chocolate Story is simple, to make it the number one paid for visitor attraction in York. A big statement for a business that is not even five years old, however the growth seen year on year proves that over the next three years this is achievable. York has an amazing history and its heritage proves this is the City of Chocolate, I want York’s Chocolate Story to be the driving force behind telling this unique and exceptional story to the people of York and tourists to the city.
“I think the fact that our offering fits so well with the City is one of the best things about working at York’s Chocolate Story. When we have guests visiting the attraction who then go on to tell us about their work history in one of the factories – that’s amazing. Every week there is someone willing to share a story or tell a tale of their experience, we have even re-worked our scripts to incorporate some of the stories as they have been so interesting.
“It hasn’t all been plain sailing though… my most embarrassing moment so far happened when I tried to perform the chocolate demonstration to a group of guests, I thought it would be easy for me to hand temper some chocolate and “assist” in the demonstration. There is a good reason why people attend patisserie and chocolate making courses – it is a skill! While I didn’t help in any way, shape or form the group had a good giggle at my expense.
“Whilst I’m not sick of chocolate yet, I am sick of my family sending me in to work with a shopping list every week, high street chocolate just does not compare in my house anymore!”
Andy is proving to be an excellent addition to the Continuum family and we look forward to seeing where York’s Chocolate Story will go under his leadership.
Stay tuned for more posts in our ‘Introducing…’ series, as we find out more from the people driving our business.