david hieatt

Wanted: Driver


Right now, you are looking for the project that will define you.

You want to do your life’s work. But you haven’t found a place that will let you.

And the clock is ticking.And you hear every tick.

You want to put all that experience learnt from over 10 years working in front of house and being restaurant manager in the best places in the world to good use.

You probably have a young family by now and returning home to Wales sure feels like the right thing to do. But you want a legacy project. In fact, the way you are wired, you need a legacy project. Well, we would love to talk to you.

You see, two years ago we started The 25 Mile. We took over a pub in the centre of our town in Cardigan, on the far West of Wales, and re-opened it.

Our idea was to source the main ingredients from a 25 Mile radius. We wanted to show the world that local is the future.

The first year, oh boy, the learning curve was almost vertical. And, trust me, there were times when we wondered what on earth we were doing. We knew our town had a small catchment area of just 4,000 people, of which we figured around 400 people would possibly be interested in dining with us. And that would make it hard for us to survive as a business. We knew that. So we went into it with our eyes wide open. But, what our town lacked in numbers it made up for in having some of the best ingredients in the world. The dolphins, as good as the views are, come here for the fish.

Another one of those key ingredients was persuading Scott Davis to join the team and become a partner in the business. He had learnt from some of the best Chefs in the world: Gordon Ramsey, Marco Pierre White and all the chefs at the legendry Japanese Restaurant Nobu. But for Scott, like the salmon from our rivers, it was time to return home so he could practice what he had learnt.

And the business is beginning to find its feet. It has grown 20% this year. We are forecasting it will grow another 20% next year. And yet, we have not written a single press release. Nor placed a single advert. Rather than spend time hyping ourselves, we spent time on getting good at what we do.

Over the last two years we have built an amazingly talented young team. The growers have learnt that we will support them come rain or shine. And like them, we are growing. And our customers are learning that they can rely on us to have a great time in a relaxed environment. Consistently.

So right now, we are thinking about the future. We always knew if we could make it in our town, we could make it in bigger towns too. And we could take The 25 Mile idea to towns up and down the West Coast of Wales. And then Devon and Cornwall. And, one day, over to the West Coast of Ireland.

We want to celebrate local, to support growers and to show that the providence of food does matter to an ever-growing band of customers. And we want to show to everyone that all these empty town pubs can thrive again and become an important part of the community.

At some point we will have to go and talk to potential investors about taking this idea to other towns. In our favour, we have a strong idea with a narrow focus, we have the start of a powerful brand, we have an international book publisher already interested in doing The 25 Mile book, but, more importantly, we have shown that it can work in a small town like ours.

One of the most important questions a potential investor will ask of us is 'who is on the team?' We have a strong team for sure, but we are one person short on the team. And that person is you.

I have no doubt we can go and raise money for The 25 Mile Group. But I am also pretty certain we will not raise a penny without you on the team. As you already know, it is not easy to take an idea and roll it out. The attention to detail is insane, building teams is a dark art, and managing a business that will be growing fast takes a steady pair of hands.

So if you are interesting in driving this business forward, if you care about the food that your customers eat, if you believe in the growers, if you believe in these small towns, and if you believe in the power of small communities to come together over food, we’d love to talk to you.


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