Caverswall pub landlords are youngest licensees in North Staffordshire- at just 22
AN AMBITIOUS couple might just have become the youngest licensees in North Staffordshire after taking over a country pub at the age of just 22.
Charlotte Symons and Russel Allen have taken the reins at the Auctioneers Arms in Caverswall.
And they have hired Charlotte's sister, Alison Hankey, as the resident chef.
And Charlotte has taken on his sister-in-law Kelly Symons, aged 30, to work as a waitress at the pub.
The couple, both aged 22, took over the pub after giving up their day jobs to take on a new challenge.
Charlotte, from Weston Coyney, had been running her own dance teaching company for the past four years while Russel, from Meir, was working at the Park Inn in Dresden.
Charlotte said: "With our combined experience of me managing a business and Russel working in a pub, we put two and two together and decided that we should run our own.
"Then we drove past the Auctioneers Arms one day and saw the 'to let' sign."
The pair have been granted a five-year lease from the Brewery, Enterprise Inns, and now live above the pub with their four-year-old son, Connor.
They are joint managers, although Charlotte, who is eight months pregnant, has decided to let her partner take on the more physical side of the job.
And it seems to be a formula that works, with the pub becoming more and more popular by the week.
In their first three weeks in charge, Sunday lunch orders have gone from 19 on the first weekend to 25 on the second and 35 on the third. Chef Alison, aged 41, has never cooked previously and recently left her job as a B&Q Manager.
She serves up traditional English favourites such as Sunday roasts, steak and Guinness pie, or fish and chips.
Alison said: "I have always enjoyed cooking but have never done it on this scale. I loved the idea of putting a menu together and get so much satisfaction from the customers, which makes it all worthwhile.
"When I hit 40 I made a pact that I would only do what I wanted to make me happy and I have gone from a stressful job to doing this, which I love."
Charlotte said: "I have a lot of faith in Alison. She is the cook in the family and has a natural talent. Everyone is very complimentary about the food."
The news of the quality of her homemade food has been spreading across the area.
Charlotte said: "It has been hectic. It is never empty. The pub has had that many owners and was looking tired so we redecorated as soon as we moved in."