Who We Are

Janet Sawyer Managing Director

Janet – Managing Director

I was a very inquisitive child. My favourite lesson of the week in the small rural primary school I attended was a lesson that must have been history, geography and science all rolled into one. We would examine the nature of things: asking ‘Where does this come from’? I would be able to look at my pencil and images of its journey would come to me: India, a tree, an elephant carrying a log in its trunk! Therefore it is no surprise to find myself, today, exploring the whole world of vanilla.It is a joy for me, as I develop LittlePod, to be involved with a group of dynamic, energetic and creative people both here in the West Country and beyond.

Favourite recipe: It's hard to choose just one! I can often be found whipping up a batch of vanilla scones for afternoon tea at LittlePod HQ, but I think I'm well-known for my vanilla shortbread and vanilla and champagne chocolate truffles, which I make for the shows - people love them! And now I even have my own recipe book!

I was asked to sum up LittlePod in 50 seconds, see what I had to say, here.


Joe – Operations Manager

My name is Joe Mann and I am very proud to be part of the team here in East Devon, UK. My love of LittlePod began several years ago when I started using LittlePod Madagascan Vanilla Pods, Paste and Extract in my own cookery school business, and telling the real vanilla bean story at events and demonstrations around the country. I became enthused with the many uses of this magic ingredient, experimenting with it in a whole host of sweet and savoury dishes. I am now delighted to be stepping into this new role at a time when the company has just celebrated 5 years of success, testament to the hard work of the LittlePod Team. 


Sam – Operations and Finance Manager

Having been a visitor to LittlePod HQ on a number of occasions and a friend of Tom, I have been able to watch from afar as LittlePod has grown from an initial concept to the exciting and international brand that it is today. In early January 2013 I was given the opportunity to take up a more active role in the business, when Janet offered me the position of Production Coordinator. My favourite recipe would be chocolate brownies using LittlePod chocolate and vanilla extract: by adding around a teaspoon of chocolate and vanilla extract into melted chocolate when making a brownie mix, you get brownies that taste a whole lot better than the traditional cocoa powder recipes.

Peter management accountant

Peter – Management Accountant

My favourite LittlePod product is the natural vanilla paste, but I also use the chocolate and coffee extracts a lot too. My most frequently made recipes include my chocolate and cherry bread (the LittlePod team can vouch for this one!), my brother's chocolate muffins and my wife's cappuccino gelato.

Tom Edwards

Tom – Brand Manager

The first time I heard about the company that would go on to become LittlePod was the summer of 2009. Having just finished a shift at work, I popped over to Janet’s house to say hello and have a cuppa. With trademark enthusiasm, she told me of her plans to start a company selling vanilla products in the UK and showed me some samples. I was very impressed by the idea, and asked whether she needed any help with branding or advertising. After a few sketches and brainstorming sessions, I came up with a company name, brand ethos and logo, which got Janet’s stamp of approval. Now, LittlePod has grown into an expanding, exciting and, most importantly, ethical company. My best LittlePod memory is the time when Janet gifted me, Sam and a couple of our mates some early versions of LittlePod Vanilla Beer for "testing" at a festival. Needless to say: the results were overwhelmingly positive. My favourite LittlePod product is (unsurprisingly) the beer!

Will film maker

Will - Film Producer

I've been working in the moving image sector for the past 10 years across a variety of broadcast programmes, online documentaries and corporate communication. I enjoy producing vivid imagery combined with good story telling to get the message to my audience. My passion is to work with people creatively to produce engaging and memorable work. 

My favourite LittlePod product has to be the shortbread, delicious with a cup of afternoon tea or morning coffee.

Will has enhanced the LittlePod website with his short films. Watch our launch of National Real Vanilla Day. See more of Will's work here.

Liz & John_who we are
Liz & John -Production Assistants

I am happily semi-retired after a background working in horticulture (I met Janet over a potting bench!), and love my one morning a week assisting in the production room, alongside Sam, Charly and my husband John. This Christmas, I made Janet’s Beery Bake Cake, which went down so well with the family that there wasn’t enough left to bring back to Littlepod HQ for a taster session!


Paul Gilder - Social Media

As an experienced newspaper journalist and busy social media manager, I'm used to meeting interesting people but there's something about working with Janet and the LittlePod team that has really captured my imagination. The products are great and the story behind them even better. I like that reminder that the small decisions that we make in our own lives can make such a big difference to others, many miles away, and it's pleasure to be involved with the Campaign for Real Vanilla.


Samantha Wise - Production Assistant

Hello my name is Sam, I am LittlePod's Production  Assistant which is also part Of an NVQ in customer/office support , I have been working here for 4 months  and it's been a lovely journey, lots to learn, and have the best team teaching me all I need to know. Every day Is different working with lots of friendly happy faces, working at LittlePod with it s lovely natural  surroundings is a pleasure, it's not like going to work, I have met lots of new people and I enjoyed helping Joe at the Cathedral at Christmas with our LittlePod stall selling all our products and enjoyed helping to celebrate National Vanilla Day at the Exeter Cookery school. My day can start with making up boxes, printing off labels, putting on our white coats, blue hair net and gloves, washing down the production room, setting up the machine, watching Sam pour paste/extract in the the hopper, to filling tubes of paste or filling bottles of extract, to labelling and tamper proofing, boxing up ready to send once booked a courier , its great to see everything despatched and going off to our customers, the end result to a lot of effort made by the whole LittlePod team. It's then lovely to see our products in various local farm shops knowing that I played a part in its journey.