« Back to posts


When Mars is just too far away.........

by Claire Martinsen on Tue 26th May 2009 08:29

Breckland Orchard Claire MartinsenWelcome to my blog!  My name is Claire Martinsen and I have recently set up a soft drinks company called Breckland Orchard.  Its a world away from my previous job with Mars, the chocolate company.  I was an Account Director looking after a portfolio of some of our top supermarket customers and also some of the chocolate in-store strategy. I suppose you are wondering [because everyone does…] if I got lots and lots of chocolate.  The answer is yes, quality controlling the previous days production was the job of everyone.  Its a fabulous company with fabulous people…..but when my second child arrived, I knew it was time to go and do something else.

For five years I had been commuting between Cambridge and Slough – and that meant a 4.50am alarm call, and 5.10am on the road.  Tried to hit the A1 around 5.35, the M25 just before 6am……and if things worked out I was in the office just after 6.30am.  It sounds crazy I know but that was the only way I could get there for a meeting that started at 8.30am.  Anyone who has commuted the A1/M25 anticlockwise knows that it turns into a car park…….leave at 6.00am and I wouldn’t get there until 9.30am.  I even used to give my address as ‘the grey car, on the M25’.  I used to get back about 8pm, just in time to see my kids before they went to bed, and then back up again the next day

My two little ones are now 3 and 18 months……….If I had have stayed doing the same thing there was a real danger that I would hardly have seen them.  Its that dilemma that every working mum goes through – what to do for the best, and the difficulties of juggling work and home.  My commute on top of a long day, probably nudged it into being unfeasible. Leaving Mars after 12 years was a real wrench, but I knew in my heart it was the right decision

So instead….I decided to follow my dream and set up Breckland Orchard!  Making sparkling soft drinks…..with spring water as their base.  And how did I do that?  Aha…that’s for another posting.


Posted in: About Me Starting out The Magic of Mars Women and Business


Tue 26th May 2009 09:23
What a brave, and sensible, decision. I made a similar decision years ago when I worked for the British Museum, but I didn't have to take into account any children as I didn't have any at the time. Sometimes it's just time to close a chapter and start a new one. Life is full of surprises. Good luck!

Tue 26th May 2009 09:52
Thank you Penny for your kind comment - I really think it will be the right decision in the long term! Fingers crossed at least

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *