Meet the Burford Team

Our Team

Nigel Johnson
The company founder and chairman, Nigel lists his interests as fine art, wine and classic motorcycles. An Arts graduate with a Masters in Art History, he previously lived and worked in Australia and has been a franchise operator for Harley Davidson. Nigel has a particular passion for sourcing affordable antique furniture and original art for Burford's Vintage department, much of which is restored and renovated in our own workshops. Nigel is also the Chairman for the Social Enterprise charity Aspire Oxford, an organisation which assists in the rehabilitation of former homeless people through work, particularly gardening.
Paul Gingell
Managing Director
Prior to joining Burford, Paul lived and worked in France, before developing his retail career with Harrods and working as a buyer for a national department store. A graduate in Modern Languages with a Masters in Business Studies, Paul has a particular passion for contemporary design, the arts and good food (he is always out foraging at farmers’ markets for new products for our Food Hall). In his spare time he is often seen treading the boards with Amateur Dramatic groups, and always seemes to be undertaking epic fundraising charity challenges. He lives locally with his wife and young family.
Louise Johnson
Instrumental in developing the ‘Burford Homes’ ranges, from early in the company’s development, Louise likes to source products on her family trips to France, aiming to find individual and unusual items which are not mass produced. In the future she plans to develop a craft designers gallery, dedicated to promoting British talent. Her interests encompass the arts, literature, textiles, fashion and the garden. She originally trained as a nurse in Oxford and has since graduated in English Literature, renovated several old properties in France and raised her three children.
Meike Cassens
Buying Director Home Interiors and Food
Meike (pronounced ‘Mike-ah’) oversees the buying for Interiors, Food, Little Burford, Clothing and Books. She has considerable buying experience, developed during her earlier retail career in her native Germany, as a fashion buyer with Harrods and with the eco clothing supplier ‘Greensleeves’. In her spare time Meike is very active in her village community, enjoys cooking for (and entertaining) her young family and is busy with the on-going renovation of her Cotswold home.
Elaine Day
Retail Director
Elaine has more than 15 years store management experience, gained at Selfridges and other department stores prior to joining Burford. She heads up the running of our store and 'shop floor' at Burford. Having been formally trained in visual merchandising, Elaine’s interest in fashion and colour is instrumental in forming the ‘Burford Look’ in our store. She lists her key interests as art (she is an adept painter), cinema and ‘anything French, but particularly handbags’. She lives in a quintessential Cotswold village.
Glen Sheldrake
Operations Director
Glen has worked in the garden centre industry for over 20 years and is a very experienced and knowledgeable plantsman. As our Operations Director, Glen handles all our infrastructure, logistics and development projects, alongside heading up our horticultural offer. He enjoys world travel, with a particular love of Asia. Glen lives amongst the dreaming spires, in Oxford.
Nico Luca
Café Manager
Nico is the organising force behind Burford’s award-winning café. Prior to Burford, Nico ran the flagship for a boutique hotel group, and managed restaurants in both Australia and the U.K. Despite his exotic Mediterranean heritage, Nico is a dog-loving Englishman who lives in the heart of the Cotswolds with his wife and Bassett Hound.
Susie Eagle
Susie Eagle
HR Manager
Susie heads up our personnel, recruitment and training functions, harnessing the very best talent locally and regionally to complement our 150 strong team. Susie has over 20 years experience in Human Resources management, in some fairly far flung places too - Kazakhstan, California and... Essex! She is currently building her own home locally to Burford.