Brasserie Bar Co becomes Heartwood Collection

Brasserie Bar Co will re-brand as part of a new strategy and evolution for the business.

Brasserie Bar Co has announced it will re-brand as the Heartwood Collection, as part of a new strategy and evolution for the business.

The aim for the Mark Derry-led operation is to become a freehold pub company underpinned by a premium brasserie division.

Heartwood says it see the on-trade as a market with significant opportunity for growth, but which currently remains significantly underserved.

The group currently operates 20 premium pubs and 14 Brasserie Blanc restaurants across the UK. Under its new title, it expects to grow significantly as a freehold business in the years ahead. As a result of this move, White Brasserie Company, one of the group’s brands, will become Heartwood Inns on 6 July.

Its leadership team will remain in place, with Mark Derry as chairman and Richard Ferrier as managing director. Raymond Blanc will continue his role of directing the menu evolution, the quality of sourcing and the development of people.

"As Heartwood Collection, our offer will be grounded in a winning combination of serving premium quality food in atmospheric pubs," says Derry. "More than this, we see real opportunity to leverage our hospitality expertise and become a significant operator of pubs with rooms, filling that current gap in the market for memorable boutique stays – at the right price.

"This is the right time for us to make this change. Our new name reflects not only the business we are today, but it underlines the ambition we have to become a leading freehold pub business of real scale. With the ongoing support of our new owners Alchemy, we will continue to target the opening of new sites, and I look forward to bringing Heartwood’s pub offer to new towns and local communities throughout the UK."

Pub chairman and pub managing director
Mark Derry and Richard Ferrier

The story so far

Under its owners Alchemy, the group has accelerated its growth plans and has already completed the acquisition of 11 freehold sites over the past 12 months and is close to completing on a further five in the summer of 2023.

Heartwood will continue to focus on acquiring freehold pubs and pubs with rooms with the aim of growing to 61 sites by June 2027.

The group’s next site – The Black Swan in Henley in Arden, Warwickshire – is due to open in August. The inn will have 120 restaurant covers, 60 in the bar and a 100-cover garden.

In addition, Heartwood has acquired the former George Evelyn pub in Long Ditton, Surrey. This is currently in planning and is due to open before the end of 2023.

As part of Heartwood’s move into rooms, the business has exchanged on a 16th century coaching inn, The White Hart in Lewes, East Sussex. The group intends to fully refurbish the property with a new orangery overlooking the South Downs.

"Having experienced a difficult period of not being able to visit their favourite pubs and restaurants during the pandemic, the British public has emerged with a strong desire to eat, drink and take time away in ways that offer quality, reliability and value," says Ferrier. "It is against this backdrop that we are becoming Heartwood Collection. We have a proven and attractive pub offer underpinned by skilled-chefs and warm hospitality. It is an offer that our guests love, and in Heartwood Collection, we have a clear platform to achieve accelerated growth in the years ahead. We are already making good progress on growing our pipeline of new sites and we look forward to welcoming regular and new guests through our doors – as well as welcoming new colleagues to the pubs we open."

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