IT’S very likely that Joycelyn Neve was one of those smart and beautiful girls who unintentionally instilled terror in feckless, spotty youths when she was younger.

Now, at 27, the hospitality entrepreneur is on a mission, and woe betide any “fat, balding corporate” who disrespects her on the grounds of age or sex.

One suspects the odd chancer from the bubbling cauldron of machismo that is the catering industry may have tried.

“If I don’t get respect, it’s from the middle-aged, fat, bald and corporate men of the brewing world. But they soon will respect me when I don’t order any beer from them,” she says, smiling sweetly. Wowzer, what a gal.

Joycelyn — named after her granny — comes from a long line of seadogs who fished the North and Irish Seas. The family’s seafaring traits are evident — tenacity, bravery, determination and a willingness to get stuck in and work damned hard. As she puts it: “If I’m not killing myself with work, I get bored.”

This dynamic young woman has recently opened her fourth dining pub, the Farmers Arms in Great Eccleston, after a £750,000 refurbishment.

Her Seafood Pub Company already runs the Oyster and Otter at Feniscowles, the famous Assheton Arms at Downham and the Fenwick in the Lune Valley at Claughton, the 250-year-old pub that featured in Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Kitchen Nightmares’.

Her great grandfather was skipper of the trawler Clotilde FD232, the first Fleetwood trawler to go minesweeping in the Great War. Her father Chris is the son of a trawler man and served in the Royal Navy before building, with brother Gerard, Fleetwood fish firm C & G Neve.

Chris retired in 2009 but fresh seafood arrives daily at his daughter’s eateries from his former firm. He has now joined the Seafood Pub Company with a third partner, chef Antony Shirley — Joycelyn’s live-in partner and formerly sous chef at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge, head chef at Panacea in Manchester and colleague of Andrew Nutter at Nutters in Rochdale.

Joycelyn was only 25 when she persuaded Thwaites to join her first project, a £600,000 revamp of the former Hordens pub in Feniscowles, which included a traditional fish and chip shop.

And although the Oyster and Otter had teething problems — “I employed the wrong team at first. That was a steep learning curve, and it took a while to engage with the locals” — this year’s sales show a 40 per cent increase on last year’s.

She outbid Marco Pierre White to take over the lease of the Assheton Arms at Downham and got to meet Lord and Lady Clitheroe at their agent’s offices.

“I was quite nervous and I’d purposely worn something quite grown up. It’s all well believing in what you do, but you have to sell yourself, and I didn’t want to sound big-headed.”

With her business mentor Andrew McLean, chairman of the Seafood Pub Company, by her side, the pair pulled off the deal. The Downham locals — Joycelyn and Antony both live in the village — have taken the eaterie to their hearts.

She has recently put an offer on a fifth venue and is looking at other rural, affluent locations in Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cheshire. She would one day like to try for a Michelin star.

“And that’s the place where Antony and I will settle,” she says. “I’d like to have children and get married. My mum and dad have a great relationship. I would love to think I could have the same,” she says.

Joycelyn studied Geography at Liverpool University and had planned to be a commodity analyst. But work with a London events company and six months studying coastal food in South America steered her in a different direction.

With her father an advisor to DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Joycelyn is only too aware of the problems facing the fishing industry and the effects of over-fishing.

“It has been fantastic having a celebrity like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall highlighting the issue of ridiculous quotas — the amount of fish that’s allowed to be landed, which causes so many dead fish to be thrown back.”

Her produce comes from sustainable stock and the mesh used in British nets is larger so small fish aren’t caught in them and their lobsters come from a North West conservation project.

Could she see herself joining Hugh in the fight to save the marine environment?

“Yes, I could see myself getting involved. My knowledge isn’t half of my dad’s, but I’d be willing to give my time to it.”

And anyone who knows this determined young lady knows top level politics could be a distinct possibility.