VENUES EXPERIENCES HOSPITALITY

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Founders and Executive Directors of Graffiti Spirits Group

Matt  Farrell

Matt Farrell

Worked in food and drink industry for over 15 years with a strong restaurant background. A Tourism graduate and now also a published travel writer, co-founder Matt Farrell manages the culinary and business aspects of Graffiti Spirits Group. Keen to elevate Liverpool as one of the UK’s leading hubs for gastronomic excitement and excellence, Matt is passionate about new trends, local produce, and offering locals and visitors the perfect balance between quality and cool.

Contact: matt@gsghospitality.co.uk

John Ennis

John Ennis

With a Masters in Fine Art as well as a world title for fastest bar tender, co-founder John Ennis is the drinks and design man at Graffiti Spirits Group. With a passion for rare spirits and an in-depth knowledge of drinks garnered from extensive research trips around the world, John oversees the innovative cocktails, enviable drinks collections, quirky trends and impeccable service that has become synonymous with Graffiti Spirits bars, both in Liverpool and London.

Contact: john@gsghospitality.co.uk

Nick Thomas

Nick Thomas

Working in hospitality since the age of 17, Nick has over 20 years of experience in the industry. After working as a head bartender at several multi award-winning bars, and winning multiple cocktail competitions in the UK and internationally, Nick became business partners with John and Matt in late 2010, opening Salt Dog Slims together in 2012.

What Nick loves about the industry is the people - Whether it be those you work with that inspire you everyday, the guests you meet or those driving the industry’s creativity and passion from other venues, he finds inspiration from the people that make hospitality so special.

Nick’s passions outside of work include travel, football, hiking, snowboarding, art and cooking.

Contact: nick@gsghospitality.co.uk

John Douglas (Dougie)

John Douglas (Dougie)

Dougie has been working in the hospitality industry for over 15 years, progressing from barback to where he is now as Operations Manager at Graffiti Spirits Group. His background in the industry is mainly bartending, until he progressed to a managerial role after learning about other aspects of hospitality by working on the floor and in the kitchen.

What made Dougie love the industry was meeting lots of new people day in and day out, and the challenges it can bring every day - no two days are ever the same in hospitality!

Outside of work, Dougie’s passion is Liverpool FC, and being kept busy by his young son.

Contact: dougie@gsghospitality.co.uk

Ian Hughes

Ian Hughes

Ian first joined Graffiti Spirits Group as a bartender in 2010, and worked his way up to his current position as Finance Director in 2016. He deals with everything from payroll to technical support, and managing supplier accounts to dealing with tax.

He first fell in love with hospitality when he was first introduced to a five dollar shake - some say it’s just a milkshake, but Ian thought it was pure genius and has been hooked ever since.

Ian loves to argue with himself, and play football and keep fit, as well as eating out at restaurants and going to Graffiti Spirits Group’s new site openings. According to Nick, Ian would “turn up to the opening of a crisp packet”.

Contact: ian@gsghospitality.co.uk

Brian Humphrey

Brian Humphrey

Following on from his studies at catering college, Brian started to work his way up from Commis Chef​​ to Sous Chef in the Derby Lodge hotel. When the owners then bought The Bell Tower hotel, he was asked to be the Head Chef.

After a short break away from the kitchens, Brian went to work in a gastropub in Rainhill before meeting his mentor, John Brannagan.

He then moved on to another hospitality group, working as an Operational Head Chef - opening and developing restaurants for 16 years - before joining Graffiti Spirits Group as the group’s Executive Chef.

Brian loves the feeling of going home at the end of the day, knowing that he did his best, and that he could do it all again the next day.

Contact: brian@gsghospitality.co.uk

Danny Cunningham

Danny Cunningham

Danny is a globe-trotter and true man of mystery. Danny is the General Manager of Salt Dog Slims and 81 Ltd. He was part of the opening team at Salt Dogs and grew into the Head Bartender position, and then Assistant General Manager role. His philosophy is to take life one sip at a time. Over the years Danny has travelled the world from Asia to the Caribbean opening Bars Breweries & Distilleries. Danny is now a qualified distiller and couldn't be happier to be back at Salt Dog Slims (his one true love). His passion for the industry and his creativity is an inspiration for the new wave of young Bartenders joining the team.

Contact: danny@gsghospitality.co.uk

Harry Mercer

Harry Mercer

Harry has worked for Graffiti Spirits Group since 2016, starting as a barista in Bold Street Coffee and then taking a side step to help with Duke Street Market. After this, he stepped into the General Manager position at Bold Street Coffee, heading up all group coffee operations.

His favourite thing about working in hospitality is the people you get to meet - both guests and colleagues. Everyone comes together from different walks of life, bringing together a strong sense of community - he thinks it great to hear everyone’s own personal story.

Harry’s biggest achievement is making coffee for the entire cast of the Greatest Showman (even though he did have to listen to the soundtrack for 5 days straight!).

Contact: harry@gsghospitality.co.uk

Lee Bannon Smith

Lee Bannon Smith

After finishing a degree in hospitality management, Lee spent 9 years honing his skills with Living Ventures, working his way up from Duty Manager to Senior General Manager where he worked in multiple sites. He joined Graffiti Spirits Group in 2018 in preparation for Duke Street Market opening, developing a new set of skills working for an independent company. Lee has been the General Manager at Duke Street Market since 2019.

Lee loves that no two days are the same in hospitality - every day brings new challenges, new guests to meet and speak to, and lots of opportunities to learn and develop.

Outside of work, Lee enjoys socialising and (trying to) play golf. Life is constantly changing and throwing new challenges towards Lee, especially with two dogs and a baby.

Contact: lee@gsghospitality.co.uk

Anne Murphy

Anne Murphy

Anne has worked within the hospitality sector for over 10 years, starting as a kitchen porter and working her way up to where she is now as Assistant General Manager at Duke Street Market. For Anne, it was a "no brainer" to start her journey with GSG.

Anne’s favourite thing about working in hospitality is making people happy. When people come together for food, memories are being made and she loves knowing that she can be part of that experience by going the extra mile or helping meet people’s expectations.

In her spare time, she loves to keep fit in the gym or going on walks, and being outdoors and enjoying nature. She also wouldn’t say no to a glass of vino!

Contact: anne@gsghospitality.co.uk

Jake Manning

Jake Manning

Jake started with Graffiti Spirits Group in October 2020 as Assistant General Manager at Slims, before filling the General Manager position at the end of November 2020.

He has always worked in hospitality - even at the young age of 12, working 9-5 for £5 pocket money in his family business. As well as always working in hospitality, he also has an obsession with the industry outside of work, with all of his holidays and trips based around restaurants he wants to visit.

Jake loves how hospitality is always a mix of staff - whether it's a musician or actor in between jobs, the student, or the person who dreams of having their own business one day and is soaking up all the experience that they can to perfect their dream!

Contact: jake@slimsboldstreet.co.uk

Tom Maxwell

Tom Maxwell

Tom started Graffiti Spirits Group in September 2020 as the General Manager at Maluco Pizzeria on the corner of Castle Street. With all the lockdowns, Tom missed out on quite a bit in his first few months, but now loves being able to meet all the guests that make their way through Maluco’s door.

He has worked in the hospitality industry for nearly 16 years and has a strong background in bars and events.

Tom’s favourite thing about working in hospitality is that you get to meet new people every day who come from different walks of life, all with their own stories and experiences. He also loves Maluco as he gets to eat pizza every day!

Contact: tom@gsghospitality.co.uk

Kristie Palmer

Kristie Palmer

Kristie has loved Graffiti Spirits Group ever since she moved to Liverpool - She said starting with the group who first captivated her has been a big ‘fan girl moment’!

No matter the environment, whether you’re crafting cocktails or putting together a fully orchestrated event, bringing your team together to deliver the best guest experience is what it’s all about for Kristie.

The hospitality industry influenced her so much she even named her cat after gin - make of that what you will!

When she’s not working, there’s nothing more that Kristie loves than to play hostess and have a full house, enjoying food and drinks with friends. Her only problem is having a flat when her Pinterest is full of dreamy kitchen / dining spaces. Next stop for Kristie - Georgian Quarter renovated townhouse!

Contact: kristie@gsghospitality.co.uk

Abby-Leigh Caulfield

Abby-Leigh Caulfield

Abby is an experienced sales and marketing professional with over 10 years in the industry and a passion for all things hospitality.

After graduating from The University of Brighton, she moved to London to pursue a career in hospitality sales and marketing. Since then, she has been a Sales Manager in venues across London, ran her own pop-up bar and events company, and operated two pubs before taking the plunge to become a sales and marketing consultant in 2019.

As one of the newest recruits for Graffiti Spirits Group, Abby is excited to see the group grow and develop over the coming years. She thinks that the best thing about hospitality is the constant development of trends and innovations, as well as the people!

Contact: abby@gsghospitality.co.uk