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Issue 44 - Feet firmly on the ground (Mary O'Shea - Heathrow)

Whisky Magazine Issue 44
November 2004


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Feet firmly on the ground (Mary O'Shea - Heathrow)

In the latest in his series, Richard Jones talks to Mary O'Shea, who is a whisky consultant at Heathrow Airport

My day varies according to the time of year and the different flights that are scheduled at the airport,” begins Mary O'Shea, whisky consultant at Heathrow Airport.

“At the moment my shift starts at six o'clock because we have some early morning flights to Norway, then throughout the day we have passengers travelling elsewhere in the EU, as well as Asia, Australia and the east coast of America. There are five of us in the team and we provide cover until nine o'clock in the evening.“

Mary O'Shea is based in The Ultimate World Duty Free Liquor Store in Heathrow Airport terminal four.

“I spend most of my time in the Whisky Zone which specialises in single malt whiskies. We stock around 80 different expressions covering all the major distilleries in Scotland ranging in price from £7.99 to £225.

“It's my job to promote the Scotch whisky category in its entirety within the store. Heathrow Airport is a huge window on the world and we have such a great product that we can sell.

“People arrive in the store in all sorts of states, particularly with all the additional security at Heathrow. They might be busy, stressed out or just not their normal selves. “It's my job to put them at ease, to approach them and ask if they need any help. They might be looking for a bottle for themselves or for a gift. I always try to build up a picture, to get an idea what they or the recipient likes or dislikes, or what they've enjoyed before.

“We'll normally have plenty of whiski...

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