Following a number of successful bar business ventures in London, Steve and Rachel retreated to their home county to develop a small but perfectly formed group of premium food driven pubs. Determined to enjoy the journey as much as the destination, they focused on finding beautiful old pubs in need of some TLC and bringing their stylistic approach to design – traditional meets contemporary; relaxed elegance with oodles of style.
From day one it was their aim and mission to encourage their employees to have a voice. As a company principle, this intimacy has been used to support and encourage Little Gem pub managers to run their sites with their own unique personalities. The Managers and their Head Chefs play a key role in menu development. The HQ team provide the functional help and marketing support to help make this all a success (so that they can enjoy the fun bits too!).
The first Little Gem, The Swan Inn in Milton Keynes Village, was purchased in October 2006 and subsequently underwent a significant refurbishment in February 2007. It quickly became a local landmark. Over the last 10 years, The Swan Inn has won a number of awards, culminating in the Pub & Bar ‘Best Pub in the South East in 2016’ and ‘County Winner’ in 2017.
Since 2007, Steve and Rachel have added (and occasionally sold!) a number of sites seeing the company grow to a glorious handful of cracking good pubs in and around Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Each boast that same ethos, design, operating principles and are driven by an overriding desire to offer fantastic food, delicious drinks and warm service in a proper pub environment.
Whilst remaining closely involved with all the detail that running this collection demands, they are always on the look out for new additions. You will often find them buried amongst the customers in one of their pubs, enjoying the fruits of their labour.