Excerpt from full article By David Tingley, p.10 Jun/July 2016 Cuckfield Life
When a pub changes hands, as they can be prone to do, it feels like a new dawn rising. The Chequers Inn, in nearby Slaugham, is no different since it came into new ownership three months ago, and it opened its doors once again (after a significant refurbishment) last month.
I met with General Manager Lukas Ackermann and Executive Head Chef Brett Duarte to find out what their plans were.
The pair are both part-owners in the business which has bought the pub - The Rare Breed Pub Company - and their vision is to create the best steakhouse in the country! Lukas is very clear about that: “We only want to be fantastic at what we do - just good isn’t an option,” he explained.
“Running a pub in a small village like this is a privilege and a responsibility,” Brett said, “and one that we take very seriously.” After signing contracts they attended a public meeting to meet the locals and explain what they were hoping to do with the historic inn. “For us it’s about being part of the community, so we are listening hard to the feedback we get every day.”
On this score the company has future plans to open a farm shop next door, selling meat and produce, milk, juice, eggs and newspapers.
The idea which became The Rare Breed Pub Co was formed while Lukas and Brett (and others) worked alongside each other at a pub in Esher, Surrey. In fact they are still running The Albert Arms, which they hope will become the training ground for chefs and waiting staf alike. “The Albert is a family business run for last 35 years and has become even more popular in the six years we’ve been involved,” Lukas explains. “Last year we began to look for a village pub which we could take on and apply the same theory to; The Chequers is in such an idyllic setting and rural community, we loved it straight away.”
(full article printed in Cuckfield Life magazine)