Behind every great pub, there is a great Pub Manager keeping the cogs turning. We’ve recently welcomed a new manager to The Exchequer and we’re delighted to take this opportunity to introduce you all to her…
Mawa joined us in early April, but is a familiar face in our Red Mist Leisure pubs, having worked at our sister pub, The Wheatsheaf, for the past few years. She is also no newbie to The Exchequer, as she managed the pub previously, before Red Mist purchased the pub.
For those of you who knew our previous manager Ben, do not fear, he has not gone far! Ben has moved to manage our sister pub in Godalming, The Stag on the River, but he will still be popping his head in now and then to say hello. Mawa takes over from Ben with the same ethos and aims; to work closely with the chefs to develop the pub’s menus, using fresh, seasonal ingredients and to make The Exchequer an enjoyable location for all to enjoy.
We took the time to ask Mawa some questions, so you can get to know a little more about her…
Tell us about your ‘career journey’ so far…
Where do I start? I came to the UK in 2006 and the whole idea was to just stay for a year or two to practise my English and then go back to my home country, Poland, to finish my studies and get a master’s Degree. It’s 2018 now and I’m still here!
I started my career in a very busy restaurant called Lobster Pot in Farnham, which was run by a very professional French man called Bruno, who taught me pretty much everything I know about high standards of customer service. Still to this day, many of his tips I very often use when training my team of staff.
In 2011, I was offered the Pub Manager position at The Exchequer, with the previous owners of the pub.
The following year brought many changes; The Exchequer was taken over by Red Mist and I joined their fantastic team in May and then in December, I gave birth to our first baby girl, Kornelia. In 2015, I moved to The Wheatsheaf in Farnham and a year later, had my second baby girl, Izabela. When I returned from Maternity Leave in 2017, I was promoted to Deputy Manager.
Fast forward a year and I’m back at The Exchequer, working alongside my husband, Marcin, who is Head Chef. It’s fantastic and so great to see the same people I met many years ago. I’m amazed how good some people’s memories are. The friendly welcome I have received has been so lovely.
What was your dream job when you were growing up? And why?
When I was little, I wanted to be a teacher. I remember playing school with my friends, pretending to be a teacher, reading to my friends and writing on the chalk board. I also loved to pretend I worked at a post office… I remember playing with stamps was so much fun!
Where did you grow up? What was it like?
I was born in Poland and grew up in a beautiful region called Masuria; the Land of a Thousand Lakes. It’s an amazing place as no matter what direction you take, it will always lead you to a beautiful, natural lake.
During the winter it would get to about -30°C, where the snow makes that crunchy sound with every footstep you take. Then in the summer, it would be lovely and hot, where we would spend our days by the lakes cooling off in the 30°C heat. There were no mobiles, no computers, and we were outside all the time – that was my childhood and I wouldn’t change it at all!
What’s your favourite thing about British Pubs?
The tradition. Every British pub serves fish & chips, a classic pie or bangers & mash, and of course beer! Most British pubs have history of some kind and a story within its walls. I like how they’re all unique with their own character.
What is your favourite classic pub dish and why is it your favourite?
My favourite is definitely fish & chips, with fresh flaky fish and crispy beer batter. Perfect with a chilled ½ pint of lager!
If you could invite anyone in the world to come and dine at The Exchequer, who would you invite and why?
I think it would be nice to gather all the children in need together and serve them tasty, nutritious food while they enjoy a great time. To see that smile on their faces, to get that lovely hug from them would be so rewarding. I love children and its heart-breaking for me to see how many of them suffer every day.
What’s your signature drink that your close friends/family know to order for you?
Prosecco. Not doubt about that!
What is your favourite movie of all time?
The “Bodyguard” with Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. I love Whitney and I could watch and listen to her all the time!
What is your favourite dish at The Exchequer?
Grilled salmon with mixed leaves, cherry tomatoes, olives, feta, red peppers and tossed with lemon dill vinaigrette. It’s so light and tasty; perfect for the summer months.
Do you have any hobbies/passions outside of work?
To be honest, there isn’t a lot of spare time for hobbies with being a full-time working mum of 2 little girls, but the time spent with them and my husband is the most precious. I wouldn’t change it for anything, although I guess you could say drinking prosecco after a long day could be a hobby?!
If you haven’t already done so, come and pay us a visit and meet Mawa, whilst enjoying a delicious meal at The Exchequer.