Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Linked In profile notes

April 2011; Now working on founding The People's Pub Partnership; designed to be the John Lewis of pub companies; a business which will own, operate and manage pubs under the auspices of an employee share ownership trust. Before taking a tied lease on The Sun and Doves, the contemporary local pub I set up in 1995, I had worked in and managed busy high end restaurants in London's West End and managed a high profile club and restaurant for the best part of a decade before turning to landscape and garden design for a radical career change.

Five years of designing and building gardens around London rather than working and socialising around the West End made me see for the first time that there were very few decent bars, restaurants or pubs outside the centre. This led me to want to combine all my life and work experience in one place and I set about finding a place where I could cater the needs of the community where I lived by setting up a restaurant in south east London. Eventually I found a dead pub, made inquiries, it was on the market and I made it my own...

Apart from catering I have broad background experience; with skills in photography and graphic design, which I studied at degree level, to design and production of clothing, landscapes and domestic and commercial gardens and interiors. I continue to take photography seriously and have exhibited and sold work and have two books underway.

I am interested in the development of competent local communities and in our living environment and helping create sustainable systems for people and the planet.

My goal is to establish a strong social enterprise (my business operates informally as one already in spite of its being compromised by the terms of my lease) which can grow with people and be an example, a model, to a wide range of others in business, particularly to the catering trade and even more specifically to the pub industry which by and large operates as a Feudal system of business.

This experience in the practical design and making of things has taught me problem solving skills and makes me able to create a lot out of very little by being creative with even unrealistically tight budgets. I have project managed several £200K + bar/restaurant refurbishments and in 2003 scoped detailed plans for a larger scheme which would have created the world's first Carbon Neutral pub.

I have a high profile in the pub industry for being involved in setting up the Fair Pint Campaign in 2008 which strives to end the archaic tied beer system in the UK. I write and blog for the Campaign and have a reputation for being highly critical of conventional pubco's who abused their position of power over their tenants to make themselves highly profitable while forcing individual pubs into bankruptcy and closure.

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