Peach Pub Company, the 14-strong Oxfordshire-based group, vowed to reach its goal of operating 22 pubs by 2013, as it reported a 7% rise in sales for the year so far, writes Lesley Foottit.

Co-founder Lee Cash told PubChef that the company expected to reach its goal of 22 sites by 2013 and that it was hoping to secure some of the potential new sites in London, if the right venues can be sourced.

Due to the way that Peach works, with one partner looking after “pods” of up to four or five pubs, the new sites will not be far from existing pubs.

To reach the goal of 22, the group is aiming to open three sites a year. By the time that is achieved, Cash expects to have six or seven partners, up from the current five.

“The most important part is sourcing the right people. In the end I want there to be six or seven people who can all sit around a table and get on.”

The group’s 14th site, an Enterprise Inns pub the White Horse in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, opened in May following a minor refurbishment and is already serving 1,000 covers a week. Peach took over from previous owners Urban Country Leisure.

“I think there’s another 10% in the business,” said Cash, who is working with the on-site team to boost business during the week.

Freehold the Richard Onslow in Cranleigh, Surrey, launched last year under new partner John Taylor, an old school friend of Cash. It reopened at the beginning of July with 10 newly refurbished letting bedrooms and an extended kitchen after an investment of £80,000. It is the first venture south of London and Cash says if the partnership goes well, there could be more Peach pubs opening in the Surrey area.

At the same time, former senior head chef at the Almanack in Kenilworth Corin Earland has been promoted to group senior head chef and now works with suppliers and on menu ideas across the company. The kitchen team at each pub are still in control over the menu.