We catch up with one of the co-founders of The Wright Brothers.
The co-founders of sustainable seafood brand The Wright Brothers, Robin Hancock and his brother-in-law Ben Wright started off their journey 20 years ago when a stint in France yielded a chance meeting with an oyster farmer. They realised that the British concept of oysters — elitist, only served with expensive Champagne in stuffy restaurants — was ripe for a makeover.
They quit their jobs and bought a historic oyster farm on the Helford River. Today they supply some 500 of the UK’s top restaurants and Michelin-starred chefs and have opened three London restaurants, including in Borough Market and Battersea Power Station; while their depot in Brixham, Devon, has become quite a pilgrimage for seafood lovers.
We sat down with Robin Hancock to talk Sunday rituals, favourite scents and guilty pleasures.
What is your morning routine?
I generally wake at 6:15, have a cup of tea and feed the dogs. Next is my daily calm meditation followed by affirmations to set me up for the day. It’s then either a dog walk by the river or a Peloton before heading off to work.
What is your style signifier?
I am an AllSaints disciple and tend to dress head to foot in that brand.
What is your grooming essential?
I have a sensitive nose and love perfumes: Le Labo Santal 33 or Molecule 01.
What is your wellness mantra?
I never have my phone with me at night and I always fill in my gratitude journal before reading and then a good night’s sleep.
What do you always have in your fridge?
Seafood, oysters, in particular — the food of life.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Chocolate and my flight simulator.
Where do you mainly live and who with?
I live in Kew, West London, with my wife Susie, two of my sons Archie and Harry and our two dogs, Luna and Blue.
What would you save from your house if it was on fire (if pets and family were out already)?
A collection of letters from George Bernard Shaw, left to me by my granny, who was an actress. They are precious. Oh, and my guitar.
On a Sunday what is your favourite thing to do?
We cook a family roast and take the dogs for a walk in Richmond Park. Then we collapse in front of a movie with red wine and chocolate in the snug, where we have an open fire in winter and French doors onto the garden. It’s our space to find peace.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Maui in Hawaii. Or the Caribbean. To get away from the British winter.
What is the best advice you have been given and who from?
Endeavour to be the best version of yourself and be true to yourself.
Who would be your perfect dinner-party guests?
Madonna, Nelson Mandela and George Clooney.
What great gift have you received?
For Christmas, my sister gave me a gift called Coffee with a Book Seller at a bookshop in Bath: Topping & Company. I sat with a book seller having previously answered lots of questions about my favourite books and authors, and he suggested a wide range of books to read.
If you could return to one year of your life, what would it be and why?
That’s a hard one. Maybe 1991. I was a recording engineer and recorded Seal’s first album. It was a real buzz and so exciting knowing we were making a record that would touch so many hearts.
Is there anything you would like to achieve or do this year?
My biggest challenge is to make our Wright Brothers At Home business a big success and get more of our nation eating the fantastic seafood we land from the oceans that surround our country.
This article originally appeared in Billionaire's Savoir Faire issue, Spring 2023.