Alexander Graham Bell once said, “When one door closes, another opens”. This was certainly the case for Lewis Spreadbury and Amanda J’Bair.

Having worked in ‘the trade’ for 15 years, Lewis and Amanda decided 2016 would be the year they would go it alone and open their own pub. They’d just spent two years successfully building a business from launch at The Bunk Inn, Newbury, and the time seemed right to put all their skills to the test.

The duo had a clear idea of what they wanted to achieve. A homely and inviting destination pub serving the best drinks and outstanding food crafted from locally sourced ingredients. They would spend time getting to understand the local community and then build a hand picked management team who truly understood their ethos before stepping back and repeating the process at a new location.

This partnership is not one that aims to stop at a single pub.

Lewis and Amanda were quite well advanced in lease negotiations with the landlord of different pub before they found The Crown. But that deal fell through due to some pretty stiff restrictions that would be placed on the new tenants.

“It just wasn’t right for us,” recalled Amanda, “we knew that we wanted to grow beyond a single pub, and that landlord wanted us to stay with just the one.”

“We started to search for other pub opportunities in Hampshire and the surrounding area and we came across The Crown Inn on the Wellington Pub Company website.”

“We organised a viewing and fell in love with the pub. It’s pretty remote; there are just 34 houses in Upton, so we knew we’d need a strong food offer to draw from the surrounding regions. But we also knew that there wasn’t much competition so we were confident that we could build a loyal customer base.”

Lewis and Amanda developed a business plan for The Wellington Pub Company and began negotiating the lease.

“The Wellington Pub Company is really great to deal with. They had plenty of advice and gave us a rent-free period while we were refurbishing the pub. They really foster an entrepreneurial spirit, which was just the sort of landlord Lewis and I were looking for.

“It took us three months to create the perfect pub for us. We’ve now been open for three months and sales are exceeding our expectations.

“We’re planning to open more pubs in the future and would definitely work with The Wellington Pub Company again.”