Young couple’s gamble on struggling pub hailed success
PUBLISHED: 13:59 28 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:27 29 September 2019
A young couple who left their Midlands home town to take over a struggling Norfolk pub have shared the story behind its dramatic turn around.
It has only been six months since Keiron Bullen, 24, and partner Caitlin Quinn, 23, took over the White Hart pub in Wymondham, but the young publicans have already made a big impression.
Their business plan, which Norwich University of the Arts graduate Caitlin worked on alongside her graphics degree, has "community" at its centre, a word which features heavily in their plans for the pub, which is owned by the Ei Group.
Following the sudden closure of the town's post office, the couple pledged to take over the service, a move which has won them widespread praise from locals.
And with charity coffee mornings, live music nights and rolling art exhibitions on the calendar, the pair's dream of turning the spacious venue into a social hub appears to be becoming a reality.
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Kieron, a former head chef at the White Lion Inn in his hometown of Whissendine, said: "The pub was closed for three months before we took over and people would walk past without even noticing it was there. We were blown away by the turn out to our opening night party and its been steadily picking up since then."
Last year saw a spate of Ei Group pub closures and complaints about the company increasing rent, but despite reading the stories, the couple said they felt optimistic about working with the group.
This confidence is shared by the young couple's family, who live in Rutland.
Caitlin said: "I think they were shocked by how quickly we found a place, but they know what Keiron's work ethic is like and they've been very supportive. Keiron's sister has been down to visit and has even hopped on bar to help us out when we've been overwhelmed."
The publican's vision of a family venue comes through in the changes they have made.
The toilets have a baby changing facility, a new children's menu has been introduced and a toy box can be found in the restaurant area.
Keiron added: "Wymondham is a fantastic place to do this. When we first arrived we were almost suspicious of how nice everyone was. It feels like home."
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