Team Talk Tuesdays are going to be a regular part of our blog. Each week we intend to interview a team member and post their responses in our blog. Check back each week to get to know our team a little better!
Todays first Team Tuesday interview will be with our Director and company founder Stuart Hallard.
Q: When did you purchase the golden fleece & what bought you to Tremadog?
A: I was working freelance in film & television production based at the time in London. As I was a freelancer my work wasn’t constant and I feared the end of each contract! I decided I would purchase a seasonal pub close to my family home in Barmouth thus giving me a steady income and allowing me to continue my film work over the winter months. I found the Golden Fleece and the moment I walked in I knew I wanted it! There was a feel about the building that I loved, it had great potential but most of all it had atmosphere! Of course the Fleece wasn’t seasonal and so I’ve been here since the age of 22 in 2002.
Q: Do you regret leaving the film industry?
A: No not at all, although film is considered glamorous, working in production most defiantly isn’t! It involves very long hours and being away from home for long periods of time. I still take on the odd bit of film work if fits in with the running of the business.
Q: Did you find taking on the business a lot for a 22 yr old?
A: To be honest it was quite straight forward, the business was very different in 2002. Accommodation was a tiny part of the business, we only had 3 bedrooms which weren’t particularly well utilised compared to the 15 we currently have. The business model was essentially just the pub and bistro and I’ve been brought up in the hospitality trade as my parents had a holiday park which had a pub and restaurant on. In fact my sister now runs the park.
Q: What is your average day like at the Golden Fleece
A: It can vary greatly. Currently I’m chef quite a lot so it can be getting up at 7am to go in and cook breakfast, followed by prepping for lunch and then working the lunch shift. I’ll try and get to the gym in the afternoon but that doesn’t always happen because often there is a lot going on in the background of the business, meetings with the accounts team, suppliers etc. I currently cover 2 full days in the kitchen so thats the evening shift too and that normally takes me to around 10pm and to be honest I generally then just go home and watch TV or come back for a beer before bed time! If I’m not in the kitchen cooking there is always plenty to do from creating new menus, to having the website redesigned, keeping the content on it up to date. Theres always plenty of paper work piled up on my desk, and then we are always renovating or adding a new bedroom. We have 2 maintenance guys who work full-time renovating rooms and opening new ones, I tend to project manage the renovations my self so that takes time especially sourcing materials and furniture.
Q: After almost 14 years here what keeps you motivated?
A: I think the thing that keeps me motivated after so long is the way the business is constantly evolving & growing. We started off with just the Fleece and its 3 bedrooms now there is 15 and another 4 that will to be renovated before the end of 2016. I really enjoy the process of renovating the rooms, when we bought the Fleece that was one of the first things I did. No day is the same and our team really make the work place fun!
Q: What are your plans for the Fleece’s future?
A: Well we are currently planning a refurbishment in the bar and lounge, it’s one of the few places that I haven’t done much major work in. Other than that I’ll keep my cards close to my chest… You never know who’s reading! Certainly I’d like to look at expanding by purchasing another site in the next year or two.
Q. When your not at the Fleece what do you most enjoy doing?
A. I don’t get much time away from the business but I have 2 beautiful nieces who pop over to see me regularly I really enjoy spending time with them, they are growing up so fast! I do like to travel and I have a passion for old buildings so I enjoy days out to see beautiful old stately homes, I love looking at the craftsmanship thats gone into the buildings, we don’t make things like that any more! I’m currently spending most of my free time planning our wedding which will be in just over a years time, I never appreciated how much planning goes into a wedding from the customers side, the choices are just endless and making a decision on something as simple as flowers can become very complicated.