Meet the Worksmithers: Matt Follent, Sweet&Chilli

Meet Matti Follent, Melbourne Account Manager for Boutique Drinks Agency Sweet&Chilli

By: Wordsmith

Sweet&Chilli is a specialist drinks agency, but can you tell us a little bit more about what that means? How big is the team? What does an average day look like for you?
It is still the hardest question to answer as there is so much that goes on in Sweet&Chilli!

There is a team of approximately 100 across UK, Australia & America that work on Drinks Consultancy, Brand Advocacy, Brand Ambassadors, Events and everything in between. I personally spend a good chunk of my time managing tasting campaigns in Dan Murphy’s & Coles Liquor Group stores on behalf of Diageo. I have a team of 40 ambassadors across the country that assist me in rolling out hundreds of in-store tasting experiences a year.

Every day at Sweet&Chilli is different. During Spring Carnival, Sweet&Chilli supplied logistics and staffing for all beverage service in the G.H. Mumm, Furphy, Bumble & Croc Media Marquees in the Birdcage at Flemington Racecourse. Definitely one of the busier weeks out there, but it’s brilliant to see it all pulled off and meet some amazing people along the way.

The week before that we were pouring delicious Estrella pints that were paired with amazing food from Joan Roca (El Celler de Can Roca), Dave Verheul (Lesa, Embla), Peter Gunn (Ides) and Monique Fiso (Hiakai, NZ) at the Estrella Damm Gastronomy Congress in South Melbourne. It’s fair to say I love my job.

How and when did you first become involved with Sweet & Chilli?
I started working with the team in 2014 as an event manager for their Melbourne based events. I worked with them on and off as a Diageo Bar Academy Trainer & Events manager up until the end of 2018 when I joined the company full time as the Melbourne Account Manager.

What's been something that's surprised you the most about working in the F&B industry?
My role is more on the consumer side of things, but I'm constantly surprised by the industry's ability to continuously evolve and adapt to what the customer is looking for. The shift towards Low ABV, high-quality and small-batch drinks has been huge, and I think we're only going to see more of those things in 2020.

Favourite place to go for a drink on a Friday?
Paradise Alley – good vibes, pool table and close to home

What's your usual order at the bar?
I'm not shy of ordering a Negroni or two, otherwise, a cheeky draught beer will keep me satisfied.

Favourite under-the-radar spot for a bite to eat? Slamwich (up the road from Worksmith Collingwood) for lunch on the regular.

Describe Sweet & Chilli in five words. Dynamic, Global, Events, Cocktails, Experiences

You've been a Worksmith member for a while now. What's your favourite thing about being a part of the Worksmith community? The people, the events, and the coffee will keep me coming back every day!

Get in touch with Matt to find out more about Sweet&Chilli here.