Steven J Garcia Perez was born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire in 1956 where his Spanish father, Santiago Garcia Perez, ran a pub and restaurant well known in the area.
Once he left school, Steve trained as a Chef in the family restaurant and trained in the hotel industry.
When his father died, the restaurant was sold and Steve spent some time working in the drinks industry where in 1986, Steve founded the Global Beer Company.
This pioneering business, sold imported beers to local pubs and clubs, initially from the back of a van.
Global Beers proved profitable until 1993, when a change in cross-border shopping laws allowed freer movement of stock. Steve was unable to compete with much larger breweries and the company folded in 1996, leaving Steve to reinvent his business.
In 1997 Steve formed GBL International, with a focus on owning his own brands. He noticed the popularity of Ready to Drink products such as Hooch and Bacardi Breezer, and spotted a gap in the market for a something different – a Vodka based product – and VK was born. VK proved to be a great success and the business grew rapidly.
Steve made the Sunday Times 3rd Fastest growing UK company in 2003, and in 2005, the renamed, ‘Global Brands’, turned over £72m. Steve was named CBI Entrepreneur of the Year, as well as winning the Northern Entrepreneur of the year.
In 2010 he was awarded the Derbyshire Times Entrepreneur of the Year Award and CASA Hotel won “Most Innovative building in Chesterfield”. Also in 2010, Global Brands acquired premium spirits agency, Inspirit Brands, as well as launching a premium wines division.
Today, Global Brands is a leading drinks brand development business with an impressive collection of premium spirits, wines, beers, RTDs and soft drinks, which are exported all over the world.
In late 2010 Steve’s dream of building Chesterfield’s first four star hotel came to fruition. The idea, from the outset, was to build a hotel which would be both luxurious and stylish, and which the local community and businesses would use for both pleasure and corporate functions.
Steve leads a busy and dynamic life with many interests outside his business. He is a successful rally driver, being the 2010 BTRDA Rally Champion, and he competes all over the world with his Kick Energy rally team.
In order to maximise his free time, Steve pilots his own Helicopter to and from Rallies all over the country. He also takes a personal interest in the running of his organic farm at Walton which produces most of the organically reared meat used in the restaurants at Casa.