Matt Farrell

Co-founder & Executive Director

With more than 15 years of experience in the food and beverage industry and a solid restaurant background, I hold a degree in Tourism and have extended my portfolio to become a published travel writer. As a co-founder of Graffiti Spirits Group, I oversee the culinary and business facets of our ventures. My mission is to position Liverpool as a leading UK hub for gastronomic innovation and excellence. I am deeply passionate about staying at the forefront of new trends, promoting local produce, and ensuring that both locals and visitors enjoy a perfect blend of quality and cutting-edge experiences.

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John Ennis

Co-founder & Executive Director

Holding a Masters in Fine Art and the prestigious title of world's fastest bartender, co-founder John Ennis serves as the creative force and beverage connoisseur at Graffiti Spirits Group. His fervor for unique spirits and extensive insights into the world of beverages, acquired through research voyages worldwide, make John the driving force behind the imaginative cocktails, remarkable drink selections, distinctive trends, and exceptional service that have become synonymous with Graffiti Spirits' bars in Liverpool and London.

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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.

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Daniel Heffy

Executive Chef

Born and bred in Liverpool, Executive Chef Daniel Heffy's culinary journey has weaved through the city's vibrant food scene. His impressive career includes co-founding The Art School Restaurant alongside Paul Askew, establishing the beloved Secret Diners Club supper club.

In 2017, he made an international leap to Stockholm, where he contributed his culinary prowess to Frantzén, a three Michelin Star restaurant, celebrated as one of the world's finest. With a wealth of experience and a newfound global perspective, Daniel made a triumphant return to Liverpool to collaborate with GSG Hospitality. The fruit of this partnership is NORD, a restaurant inspired by Daniel's diverse culinary journey, dedicated to showcasing Northern heritage and hospitality.

Daniel's greatest passion revolves around his two daughters, who are keen to follow daddy’s footsteps with their own kitchen, albeit adorned in pink!

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John Douglas

Group Operation Manager

John, fondly known as Dougie, boasts a rich history in the hospitality sector that spans over 15 years. He embarked on his journey as a barback and steadily climbed the ladder to his current position as the Operations Manager at GSG. While he primarily started as a bartender, his insatiable curiosity and dedication led him to explore various facets of the industry, working on the floor and in the kitchen.

What truly captivated Dougie and nurtured his love for the industry was the opportunity to connect with diverse individuals day in and day out. The ever-changing landscape of hospitality presented him with daily challenges, ensuring that no two days are alike in this dynamic field. Beyond the realm of work, Dougie's heart beats for Liverpool FC, and he finds joy in the company of his young son, with another one the way!

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Ian Hughes

Finance Director

Ian initially joined GSG as a bartender back in 2010 and steadily climbed the ranks to his present role as Finance Director in 2016. His responsibilities encompass a wide range, from overseeing payroll and technical support to managing supplier accounts and handling tax-related matters. Ian's fondness for the hospitality industry ignited when he had his first encounter with a five-dollar shake. Many might view it as just a milkshake, but Ian perceived it as pure brilliance and has been captivated by the industry ever since.

Outside of the office, Ian relishes self-debates, takes part in football and fitness activities, and boasts an undefeated tennis record against Dougie. Ian is also confident in his football general knowledge, although the consensus among his colleagues might not entirely align with his acclaimed knowledge.

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Kristie Palmer

Bold Street Coffee Operations Manager

Kristie's fondness for GSG Hospitality began when she relocated to Liverpool. She describes joining the group that initially captured her as a significant 'fan girl moment.' Regardless of the setting, whether it involves crafting coffees (our very own Picaso with the Latte art) or coordinating elaborate events, Kristie's primary focus is bringing her team together to deliver the finest guest experience.

Outside of work, there's nothing Kristie enjoys more than playing the role of a hostess, filling her home with friends and relishing good food and drinks (with an unrivaled knowledge of Rose).

Her sole dilemma is living in a terrace while her Pinterest boards are brimming with images of dreamy kitchen and dining spaces for her Georgian Quarter townhouse, although pretty sure she’d also take a traditional red brick townhouse in Brooklyn too!

Kristie's future aspiration? The list is ongoing.

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Sam Cooper

Head of Coffee

Meet Sam, a seasoned coffee aficionado with over a decade of experience in hospitality and specialty coffee. He's our go-to expert for everything caffeinated, dedicated to sourcing and brewing delicious coffees from around the world, enhancing the coffee experience at our GSG sites.

Sam joined us on the back of 10 years overseas, making wine in Australia and running businesses in Romania before entering the world of specialty coffee. Working with award-winning coffee roasteries, his coffee journey has taken him around some of the most innovative farms in Central America as well as opening a specialty coffee shop in Antigua, Guatemala.

Beyond his professional life, he’s an avid traveler with a passion for exploring the world through food and drink and a lifelong Manchester United fan, keen on health and fitness.

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Ruth Sherlock

Senior Sales manager

Meet Ruth, a dynamic professional whose journey began with the Duke Street Market team. Ruth's background in events and sales has proven to be a valuable asset, propelling her career forward. Starting as sales support for the Duke Street Market sales team, Ruth quickly rose through the ranks to become the senior sales manager within just two years for the group.

Outside of the office, Ruth finds joy in spending time with her beautiful daughter. When she's not busy being a dedicated mum, you can often find Ruth indulging in one of her favorite pastimes—shopping until she can't possibly carry any more bags! Of course, there's a glass of wine or two involved!

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Kaya Mercer

Head of Sales and Marketing

Meet Kaya, our Head of Sales and Marketing, who joined our team just over a year ago. Kaya is educated to Masters degree level in Marketing, Management and PR. She has over ten years experience which includes working in New York, London and the North West for exclusive brands.

Kaya is passionate about the industry, and constantly explores new innovative ways to drive our business forward and stay at the forefront of excellence and innovation in the North . . with the vision for global recognition.

But it's not all business for Kaya, she's equally passionate about food, wine, and cocktails, bringing a delightful twist to her role with her infectious enthusiasm for all things culinary.

Kaya's long-term dream? Owning her very own vineyard, complete with an everlasting flow of rosé (although its safe to say she'd settle for white!).

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Lee Bannon Smith

General Manager at Duke Street Market

Upon completing his degree in Hospitality Management, Lee dedicated nine years to refining his skills with Living Ventures. He climbed the ranks from Duty Manager to Senior General Manager, overseeing operations in various locations. His journey with GSG began in 2018 in preparation for the Duke Street Market launch, and since 2019, he has been the General Manager at Duke Street Market.

Lee finds the dynamic nature of the hospitality industry thrilling; every day presents new challenges, opportunities to meet and engage with different guests, and chances for personal growth. Beyond work, Lee enjoys socializing and making valiant attempts at playing golf. Life constantly presents him with new challenges, especially with two dogs and a daughter in the mix. If you love a good cuppa and listening to Steps, you're guaranteed to get on with Lee!

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Anne Murphy

Assistant Manager at Duke Street Market

Anne has dedicated over a decade to the hospitality industry, commencing her journey as a kitchen porter and ascending to her current role as Assistant Manager at Duke Street Market. Anne's greatest joy is bringing joy to others. She takes pleasure in contributing to the creation of cherished memories when people gather for meals, striving to exceed expectations and make every experience exceptional.

During her free hours, Anne maintains her fitness through gym workouts and leisurely walks, revelling in the great outdoors and the beauty of nature. And of course, she wouldn't turn down a glass of wine! Actually, we are pretty confident she’d become a long-term guest at Kaya’s mythical vineyard.

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