Laura Clarke, Partner who heads up the Food & Drink Team at WBW Solicitors, recently met with her client, Steve Williams, one half of Good Game, to talk about their new exciting venture The Globe Inn, a traditional pub in Lympstone.
L: What inspired you to take over The Globe Inn?
S: We like the idea of a Good Game pub and wanted to test the concept out. It’s a pub – a proper boozer, not a gastropub. We don’t want to make it all fancy pants as we love ham egg and chips, pies and bangers. We do, however, want to keep to our food integrity. Our meat and ingredients are not cheap so neither are our prices, but we want to give value. I am expecting us to get a lot of flak in the early days because there is no money in selling beer cheap (unless you’re doing it as the volume of Wetherspoons). I hope people support us and don’t mind paying £2 more for an ethically sourced steak or 20p more for a Cornish larger. Time will tell.
L: How did this opportunity to take over The Globe Inn come about?
S: Like all our decisions, Pete and I just stumbled into it and thought, let’s give it a go. We were talking to Heavitree Brewery about another project and someone mentioned The Globe. I have drunk in there for 15 years and like it so Pete and I just went for it there and then.
L: Have you always been involved in the hospitality sector?
S: No, I spent 20 years in corporate recruitment and Pete was a commercial sailor for 15 years!
L: Which mistake have you learned the most from?
S: I learn from every mistake – success is made from a whole string of fails in my experience. What have I learned most from though? I ended up on the board of a tech company a number of years ago and I was pushed into it, with other directors I didn’t choose. The business failed and I lost some money. I said then I will never be in a position again where I own a company with people I didn’t elect to work with and I haven’t! Then I worked for a family corporate company for about 8 years. They claimed to have family values and driven culture but it was all smoke and mirrors, sadly, the senior managers were out for themselves and always covering their own backside. I vowed never to work for a company that didn’t live to its values and never to own shares in a company that I can’t control.
L: What do you feel your biggest challenge will be in this new venture?
S: Trying to make a profi t out of selling beer. It’s all duty and brewery payments. If people actually knew the true cost of a pint to a pub they wouldn’t moan about a £4 pint!
L: What’s the biggest success you’ve had in terms of drawing attention to your business?
S: We managed to get in a TV show with Kate Humble on the BBC. It was brilliant.
L: What distinguishes your pub from your competitors?
S: Our integrity. By visiting our pub, you know you are backing a business that supports other local farmers and suppliers. We are crystal clear about that. Some people don’t care what about what they eat or where it comes from and if it has suffered or not. We are not the place for those people.
L: What advice do you have for someone thinking about going into hospitality?
S: Know what you are doing, read lots, talk to people who are in it and get some knowledge. Don’t go in blind. I have a history in it from a while ago
and also a degree in it. My family are in the business so that helps.
L: And lastly, what’s your favourite dish on the menu?
S: At the pub, I just love our steaks. They are a little more expensive than others but they are proper dry aged beef or wild venison. We could tell you who shot the deer, what breed it is and where it was shot. That’s food with integrity and worth paying for in my opinion.
L: Thanks for your time Steve, I can’t wait to sample the Good Game menu.
WBW Solicitors have a specialist team, dedicated to the food and drink industry.
To arrange a free initial consultation please contact Laura Clarke on 01626 202404.