Its been 3 years in the making, 15 months in the creating and 2 weeks since opening. Another Yummy one hits London town…..
The reviews are coming in thick & fast & appears everyone is LOVING our new little boozer.
“East London? Are you sure?” That was the first question.
“Have we got any money?” That was the second question.
“Sod it, we’ve only got everything to lose” was the answer,”Lets do it”.
Can the boys from the countryside do something with a boozer in the “East End Geezer?” Well it appears the answer is Yes! The East End has changed and so have the boys from the countryside. Time to give an old girl another lease of life.
Surrounded by closed sites boasting Truman & Toby branding, beautiful pubs, pubs before I joined the industry, now pubs that are flats or boarded up dinosaurs waiting to become flats, not that they need to be, but money talks & in London, a pub, that is not a pub, is a cracking way to make some serious dosh, short term. However, long term, theres no future in it.
Our lady has had a good dollop of slap, a hefty nose job, a nip & a tuck & she’s back on the circuit. To give Charles Wells all due credit, they’ve let us play with another of their beautiful pubs & together we’ve created another one of the future. This time we’ve done it together, without designers, but just us, well, in reality just Anthony, David, Anna & Malcolm in the main. My input “I want a stand alone coffee shop, not a two group in a pub, but a coffee shop, with fridges with lots of beers to take away”. I got 70% of what I requested, my beer concept will have to wait for the next one, or maybe the one after that, but it will happen.
I’ve only been waiting for an open kitchen for 6 years, got one now…patience is a virtue as I keep telling young Finn on a daily basis as he bolts for the cookie tin first thing in the morning.
Its also brilliant to see the passion Charles Wells have retained as a business in their people. I meet different people everyday who complain about being part of the ‘big organisation’ or ‘just a number’. I know the business is not huge, but its big enough. To have an entire property team, sales team, one of the fellas in change of it all, mucking in at the last minute to get everything looking ship shape as we opened the doors was not done because they were told too, it was done because they genuinely care.
We are still the ‘client’ on all the paperwork, but away from the contracts & the forms, people like David & Richard are the lifeblood of the company. The reason we ran on for over two weeks, wasn’t down to planning, or poor management of a project, it was simply down to people & we over looked it. Malcolm has a cracking team, some of the most talented craftsmen you could find, they’re not just chippies or painters, they’re true craftsmen (not lumbering great pillocks dressed in high vis vest found in the emergency kits of car boots).
But take just two key people out of ‘the team’ & replace them with two contractors to cover holidays & the result, the two people can’t replace them, you actually need six. I love insight when its real, not the normal crap of 1000 people from 60 million said ‘this’, the insight I have taken from the development of The Vic – people make a company, the company doesn’t make the people. Sure you learn, you can develop in a different business, but unless you have the raw talent & a desire to drive yourself, no training or development can help you. In my view, passion, thats a quality I’ll employ everyday of the week. Malcolm thought he could ‘Alfie Moon’ his way out in week four of the build, somehow it always comes together, it always has before, but this time, it didn’t. The end result, exceptional, true craft, not the IKEA we are seeing spring up all over the shop lately.
Would I do it all again for what we have to play with today, absolutely.
So, little Yummy Pub Co. have arrived in the East End & its lovely to be there. Being driven by the shiny shoed & dashingly braced young Danny, we’re confident we’ve got another run away success on our hands. If the past two weeks are anything to go by, its going to be a fab community boozer in the normal Yummy way. Just this week we’ve had some amazing reviews come in, which are brilliant to see;
Danny is another super star in Yummy. I couldn’t have asked for more energy, passion, drive or effort from him, when we say someone is ‘Yummy’ in my company, after just a few short months I know we’re getting it right with our people. The girls like him, which means a lot. Currently I’m on the hunt for another one, Sarah is off to experience a little of what the South Pacific has to offer leaving a ruddy great hole in my team, she will be sorely missed, but I’m sure we’ll have plenty of updates on what she’s doing; having fun, creating mischief, causing a wake of broken hearts in her wake….
And we’ve still got plenty to do at The Vic, it wasn’t all plain sailing, she was / is built to last. The flat roof gardens are next, prep obviously, no point planting as we head into the middle of Autumn, but this time next year, the view from Google Earth (or maybe one of those little drone things) will be a green oasis of veggies, salads, chickens & flowers, I’ve got five flat roves to fill, its going to give a whole new meaning to the ‘kitchen garden’ but it will be locally sourced, thats for sure!
So, the GB’s next…the Yummy adventures continue….