Monday 19th December 2011
A Chesterfield couple is to star in a recruitment campaign by Punch Taverns, aimed at stressing the benefits of a career in the pub trade.
Helen and Andrew Mason both left careers with supermarket giant Asda to run the Telmere Lodge in Hasland (above) after wanting to spend more time with their children.
Now Punch has chosen them to front an advert aimed at those currently working in the supermarket sector, but wanting to be their own boss. The feature will appear in the grocery industry bible, The Grocer.
Helen says: "I was brought up in the pub trade and swore I'd never take a pub. But then we thought about what we could do as an alternative career and where there were transferable skills - a career that allowed us to see our children every day."
When the couple spotted the Telmere Lodge, they knew it was a venue with a lot of potential - and it was close to family members.
"There's not a lot of venues in Chesterfield that cater for the family market - and I knew the Telmere would be a cracking place for families to bring their children. I phoned up the owner Punch Taverns and said, "I'd like to take it on."
Punch invested £40,000 in re-launching the Telmere and allowed the Masons to move into the pub in a way that didn't mean they had to come up with, in Helen's words, a "massive investment".
All that was four years ago and now Helen and Andrew have now taken a longer lease on the Telmere Lodge. "We've done a lot of work ourselves on the pub, looking to steadily build trade by re-investing." says Helen.
Helen's mum lives on site with them, helping in the business. Andrew focuses on front-of-house and the kitchen while Helen spends her time on marketing, recruitment, training and book-keeping. "I have the flexibility to do the VAT return any time I want," says Helen. "A business like this allows us to see our kids - it's a lifestyle choice."
Ironically, the couple's business relationship manager Matthew Gaunt from Punch has a fair bit in common with them - he had a ten-year career with Somerfield before deciding the pub trade offered more career opportunities. Matthew joined Punch four years ago at about the same time Helen and Andrew moved into the Telmere.
On Punch Taverns, Helen says: "I'd recommend them to anyone. It's a company that give you lots of back-up and support."
Mr Gaunt said: "Helen and Andrew are a terrific couple and I think all three of us are enjoying life in the pub trade."
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