Rupert co-founded Geronimo Inns limited in 1995 with his wife Jo Clevely.
In 1981, he joined H Parrot & Co Wine Shippers, a wholly owned subsidiary of Veuve Clicquot SA as Sales Manager for Central London.
By 1987, he was a Sales Director and was sent by Veuve Clicquot SA to establish an Asia Pacific regional office in Sydney, Australia. Between January 1988 and December
1990, he developed the sales and image in Australasia, opening new distribution channels in Asia and creating a sales and distribution structure in Japan in association with Louis Vuitton. Whilst with Veuve Clicquot SA he also identified and managed the purchase of Cloudy Bay and Cape Mentelle wineries in New Zealand and Australia, respectively.
In 1990, he returned to the UK to be Managing Director of Veuve Clicquot (UK) Limited.
In 1994, in addition to his UK responsibilities, he again became the Asia Pacific Regional Director and 1996 took the role as International Marketing Director as well as his other duties.
Rupert and Jo acquired their first pub, the Chelsea Ram, in Chelsea in 1995. Modelling it on the pubs they had seen in Sydney, which combined high quality food with stylish yet comfortable interiors, the pub was an instant hit with customers and two more opened shortly thereafter – Geronimo Inns was born. Since then, Geronimo Inns has continued to grow as one of the most successful independent pub groups in recent years.
It was in 2000 that Rupert, who had remained part-time with Veuve Clicquot, finally gave up his job and devoted all his time to the pub business. In December 2010 Geronimo Inns was acquired by Young’s Brewery PLC for £60m.
Rupert is now an Angel investor in the food and drinks sector, as well as Chief Executive of Hippo Inns, a 10 strong pub company. Hippo Inns is a joint venture between Rupert Clevely and the Ei Group Plc.