Published On: Mon, Jun 17th, 2024

Mick Stewart, Operations Director at SupaLite


First job: I was brought up in a village dominated by the cotton industry. As this declined in the 60’s/70’s, all mills were taken over by a furniture company supplying major superstores. I joined as an apprentice upholsterer straight from school. Eventually, my career evolved into management where I became responsible for all warehouse activities. The company ceased trading in 1986 and I moved into construction chemical manufacturing, setting the scene for a long career in construction related companies.

When did you join SupaLite: August 2014.

What is your most useful/favourite gadget: My Apple 14 Pro Max – it does everything.

What is your favourite/most useful website:  LinkedIn, it’s a great platform for gaining industry insights and connecting with peers in the same market. It’s fantastic to see people’s professional journeys and achievements. Engaging with fellow professionals helps me keep up to date with the latest market trends and emerging technologies, greatly benefitting my role.

What is your favourite restaurant: The Rum Fox, which opened over 12 months ago in the village where I live. It has excellent food and a fantastic atmosphere with a real personal touch.

What businessperson do you admire: Elon Musk. His futuristic aspirations and determination to succeed, no matter the challenge, is truly inspiring.

What lesson have you learnt about the business over the last 12 months: That due to hard work and dedication from all staff, the business is in a very strong position. The market is tough, and we’re faced with different challenges every day, but each person in the business is dedicated to tackling these obstacles head on, taking the business forward, whatever the situation.

What is your best business decision:  To enroll all company managers on a management training course. As businesses grow, barriers can develop. This helps break them down and create more of a team ethic, enabling us to build constructive working relationships.

What other interests do you have: I am an avid motorcyclist who has travelled Europe, Ireland and frequented Scotland numerous times. Additionally, I’m passionate about hiking and love adventuring with my Golden Retriever, Keira, in the fells near my home. I hope to venture much further once I retire.

Working Day: A typical working day begins in the office at 07:15. The first order of business is reaching out to my team across various sites to ensure they’re prepared and equipped for their upcoming projects. Following this, we conduct an early morning management meeting on the main manufacturing site, where I support managers with any issues they may encounter throughout the day. However, we also encourage them to exercise autonomy within their roles.

Additionally, my fellow directors and I regularly engage in discussions regarding business activities. The office is always a dynamic and creative environment. Throughout the day, I dedicate time to forward planning, whether it’s regarding staffing, machinery, acquiring new vehicles, or overseeing site management. You will also find me dealing and liaising with suppliers. Every day brings a unique set of tasks, all crucial in steering the business towards growth and success.



My SupaLite journey began 10 years ago. Managing Director, Steve Hacking and I, had worked together in previous companies and remained in touch. He called me when I was on holiday in Scotland in June 2014, mentioning a promising opportunity for someone interested in expanding their business. It looked an exciting prospect, and he was after an experienced management team to help facilitate the growth.

The question was, would I be interested in joining him?

Steve and I met Group Chairman, Dave Watters, and he explained his vision for the business. Immediately, I knew it felt right, and I joined what was then Celtic Vista. We began the SupaLite journey on 11th August 2014, where I initially started as Production Manager, becoming Production Director in December 2015 and Operations Director in 2022.

I am responsible for the production across two sites, ensuring all roofs and related products are manufactured as per the production plan.  Additionally, I also oversee warehouse operations and stock control across our three sites.

A key aspect of my role involves managing transport, including a fleet of 10 vehicles plus trailers, to ensure all roofs are delivered as scheduled.

I work closely alongside our Managing Director and Purchasing Manager to secure the best deals for raw materials.

How you determine success

Success is determined by how your areas of responsibility perform under your leadership.

It’s particularly pleasing when you see how your managers rise to challenges meaning success begets success.

What drives you?

A very good question. I’m from farming stock, so I have always had a strong work ethic and natural drive. I left school with no qualifications and took the view many years ago that if I had to work for 50 or so years, I would make the best of it. I’ve ridden a few wild horses, had a few falls, but also lots of successes. Perseverance is key.

The Growth of SupaLite Over the Years

SupaLite began as Celtic Vista in 2012, becoming SupaLite Tiled Roof Systems Ltd in 2015. We have grown from the original site, acquiring what is now the main site and head office in January 2016 and a further site as a Warehouse in 2021, now employing over 60 staff.

Our core product is the SupaLite Tiled Roof System. Over the years, we have added the ILite, a timber-based orangery roof system prebuilt during production, to ensure ease of installation on site. We have also introduced the S1 Sheerline Lantern System, and S2 Sheerline Conservatory Roof system, supplied with either glass or polycarbonate.

We attend trade events such as the Fit Show, UK Construction, Home Renovation, and this year plan to attend Grand Designs. We also run more localised seminars where customers in those areas are invited to attend, receive product or system updates, and can have general or more personal discussions with our expert SupaLite sales team.

SupaLite has grown substantially over the nearly 10 years I’ve been with the company. Acquiring more sites means additional staff, as does increased sales and adding to the product range.  We’ve employed additional specialists, production operatives, warehouse operatives and drivers to fulfill demand for our excellent products.

SupaLite has had great success over the last 12 years. Prior to COVID, we had 15% growth year on year. Our plan is to build on the current performance and get back to sustainable growth. The current economic climate, affected by wars and looming elections here and abroad, makes for much tougher conditions, but the team has everything in place to help the business achieve its ambitions.

Becoming more sustainable

We recycle 85% of general waste and 100% of EPS insulation, timber, metal, cardboard, and plastic.  We work extremely hard to create a sustainable business by cutting out waste, involving staff in managing production processes and working closely with suppliers to improve efficiency and reduce the need for packaging wherever possible.

Premium Installer Schemes

Since 2012, SupaLite has offered homeowners a range of local installers who offer The SupaLite Tiled Roof System, sold, and installed to high standards, with great customer service and back up.

Our Registered Installer Scheme is now moving forward and has developed into a tiered scheme to ensure it meets customer requirements.

The SupaLite Plus Installer Scheme is being developed for launch in mid-Summer 2024.

Challenges Faced Along the Way

The cost of living crisis is one challenge many businesses have had to face. We took the view it was better to look after and help staff instead of letting them struggle in what was becoming a very negative environment across the UK. This had a cost which we had to absorb, but it was felt in the long term we’d reap the benefits.

COVID and lockdown was an experience like no other. We went home 24th March 2020, not returning to work for 6 weeks. We didn’t have great expectations for the rest of that year, but we were proved wrong. Although we didn’t achieve budgeted sales in 2020, the following year, the COVID bounce gave us the best year to date. Unfortunately, it didn’t last and 2022 dipped.

As a company, we’ve all worked hard to recover from this and feel we’ve turned a corner. The future is looking bright.

Retirement Plans

I plan to retire on Friday 31st May 2024.

I have experienced many career highlights during my time at SupaLite. Among them, three stand out the most. Firstly, I am so proud of being part of something special. I was made to feel part of the SupaLite team from the get-go.

Secondly, I’ve been so lucky to work with a brilliant team of directors, managers, and staff. Lastly, seeing the company grow and expanding the operation from one to three sites is truly gratifying.

I can’t wait to see SupaLite continue to flourish for many more years to come.