You know the name, now get to know the person. Frank Jheinga, managing director at Absolute Apparel, discusses his love of wine, being described as grumpy, and opening a tavern in the Med

When did you start in the industry?
I started in this business in the early 90s when I opened a small wholesale business called BTC Midlands in Birmingham. This grew slowly over the next decade and became part of the BTC Activewear organisation. I left the group in 2005 to concentrate on my own solo adventure at Absolute Apparel.

What’s your most over-used word or phrase?
“It takes just as long to do it right as it takes to do it wrong.”

What three words would your friends use to describe you?
Probably ‘grumpy’, ‘demanding’ and ‘overbearing’.

What is your favourite radio station?
While it’s not really a radio station, I like to listen to the GTA [Grand Theft Auto] Vice City radio tubes; those tunes take me right back to my younger days.

Tomato ketchup or brown sauce?
It has to be tomato ketchup, I need copious amounts of bacon with it though.

What was the last book you read?
I’m trying to re-read Tacitus’s The Annals of Imperial Rome; I had to read it when studying classics at school. Remembering it after a recent sightseeing trip to Rome, I downloaded it onto the phone for the flight back. It’s like the National Enquirer of the old Roman days.

What‘s your party trick?
I’ve got a cheeky way of managing to get everyone around me drunk on Fireball shots! The best I managed recently was at a party where I think I got 200 people good and proper. I might have been seeing double though!

What‘s your greatest ambition?
I’d love to travel the old silk route before all of it becomes modernised. I’ve been trying for years and never got around to it. I bet there will be a McDonald‘s there though when I do!

What’s your guilty pleasure?
Coffee, cigarettes and wine – not in any particular order.

Is there another job that you‘ve always wanted to do?
As I’ve always worked for myself, I don’t know if I could get into a job working for someone else (is that another guilty pleasure?). I suppose if I wanted a career change it would probably be opening a small tavern in the remote Mediterranean. I’d only cook what I felt like on the day, and I would only serve who I wanted to! I would call it Grumpy Frank’s.

If you could be anywhere on earth right now, where would you be?
Mendoza in Argentina, sampling exquisite malbecs with grilled meat in one of the bodegas.

Which gadget or app couldn’t you live without?
The Victorinox Swiss Champ army knife. It comes with a corkscrew too!

If you could ask one person (living or dead) one question, what would you ask?
I would ask the powers that be: “Why is a cup of coffee costlier than a T-shirt, but a T-shirt is never cheap enough?”

Couldn’t live without it!

The Old Silk Route

Frank is partial to the odd glass of Argentinian malbec