General manager, the Duke of Wellington, Surrey (Peach Pubs)
Nominator Bev Berenger
Sian Lewis learned her basic hospitality skills in the family business and joined the pub industry as an assistant manager at the age of 17, impressing her team with enthusiasm, hard work and results. She has relaunched pubs, developed outside dining areas and modernised and reshaped menus to revitalise her properties.
Lewis earned the title of Peach general manager at the age of 21 and has helped transform sites including the Chequers in Hampshire and the Duke of Wellington in Leatherhead, Surrey. She has developed her skills concurrently, mastering cellar skills, stock management and GP controls. She is heavily involved in events planning, social media management and community engagement.
She is a focused and task-orientated Acorn winner who selflessly shares the skills she has learned during her time with Peach, coaching junior members of the Peach family, alongside managing director Hamish Stoddart.
In view of the recent time spent locked out of hospitality, what did you miss the most?
Working at the hub/eatery/watering hole of the village, what I truly missed was seeing all our guests, locals and regulars daily. Those returning faces that come to see you and the team – whether that's for a chat or coffee or a three-course lunch or dinner with friends and families. When we launched our takeaway pub hub over lockdown, a zero-profit organisation for charity, locals flocked to the cause: they'd missed us and our food. It was great to do something for the community as volunteers.
Who is your hospitality hero?
Lee Cash, the co-founder of Peach Pubs. Ever since I met Lee seven years ago, he has given me a real insight into what true hospitality means, after working for so many independent people himself from a young age.