Seeing all our team together totally blows my mind. It only happens once a year, at our summer party, 400 people or so, in a field, in a big top, with bars, BBQ, circus acts, dodgems (this year), band, DJ. Wow! Long way from sitting in front of my desktop, in my flat on the Hagley Rd in Birmingham, writing the Peach Pubs business plan…
That plan was for three pubs. It started as a fairly free flowing document – the way I tend to write, and one of my first memories of the embryo of Peach was Hamish coaching me into making it a more recognisable business plan, one we could take out and present to potential investors. By chance this week, I was in TGI Fridays on the same Hagley Rd with some of our team, I suddenly remembered that I secured one of our investments at a window table there. £10k from Emma Wilkinson. £5k in cash, and £5k of graphic design from her agency – the Peach logo (now consigned to history), The Rose & Crown and The One Elm logo’s and type faces (very much not consigned to history!).
Like many of life’s great experiences, you can repeat them, but you can never repeat the first. Writing the plan, raising the money, putting the wine list together with Hamish, Jo, Victoria, scouring Warwickshire for the first pub, setting it up, walking the town telling everyone to come, and the first lunch nearly sinking like a stone as 40 people arrived when I was expecting 10. Very, very good memories.
Wilf – the son of Hamish and Jo was barely a toddler then, he’s worked at The Fishes, and doing a degree at Bristol now. Lorcan, the son of Gwen, (our first ‘yummy mummy’ to work at The Rose – who still does) did his first glass collecting shift a few weeks ago. The kids of colleagues, friends and family is another marker of time – quite a scary one when those little babies pass 6ft tall!
Peach is a journey of people. Being Peachy has always been about how we treat each other, the team, the guests and the suppliers. We’ve made many great friends along the way, and made partners of 12 of our team, and we’ve thrown a hell of a lot of cracking parties! That was our goal from day one – to build a shared ownership business, with a big helping of fun along the way.
You just can’t beat a pub as a place to meet, and eat, and drink and talk. It’s a buzz to see one of our pubs packed with people having a brilliant time. Cafe culture has gone wild since we started, but you can’t have a dinner party in a cafe like you can in a pub, and if you can think of a cafe where supper has ended with the music up, and the locals dancing on the tables, then I’d like to hear about it!
So Cheers! Keep the love for the local pub!