Tom Hewer is no slouch when it comes to the catering trade.

With nine catering trailers, five restaurants and a butcher’s under his belt at the tender age of 34, he’s not exactly been hanging around.

So why get in to the pub trade? Simple, there was an opportunity.

With his catering trailers providing sustenance to hungry sports fans across the country, including Southampton Football Club, Edgbaston and the Blenheim Horse Trials, launching a full restaurant in his home town was never far away. And it wasn’t long before there were five!

The Wellington Pub Company gave Tom the opportunity to take control of a new opportunity. To mould it to what he knew his customers wanted with virtually no interference.

“I started washing up in a pub from the age of 15,” says Tom “I learnt how to cook at 6th form and that was it, I was hooked.

“I’m a big believer in giving people what they want. It has to be good quality and not over complicated. Choice is key.

“However, a restaurant is very often just the first stop on a customer’s evening. Diners were leaving us and asking where they could go for a drink. The Artizan was local, so we used to send people there.

“The opportunity came to take over the lease and I jumped at the chance. I completely refurbished it and added a food offer. People need to understand what you are about, so I decided good quality, traditional pizzas. One of my chefs developed our own pizza sauce and we were away.

“Of course, The Artizan is primarily a pub. Being free of tie means that we can offer the customer what they want in terms of wet sales. Local beers and ciders accompany well-known lagers like San Miguel, Tuborg Corona and Becks. We also stock beers for the more discerning, including Leffe and Erdinger.

“Our pour spirits are very popular. We have a wide range of Vodkas, Whiskeys and Rums alongside some pretty special Gins.

“The opportunity The Wellington Pub Company gave me has enabled me to continue to control my business, to provide locals with the pub they want and to make it profitable.

“What does the future hold? Simple, more free of tie pubs!