…women are now running all of our pubs (officially).
With the departure on Sunday night of young Mr Alistair Shaw, who is leaving us for the heady highs of Canada on a totally new adventure, my four fabulous pubs are in the hands of women; young, driven, charismatic, women. Its a frightening thought.
Ally leaves with a HUGE thank you from us, personally from me, I am so proud of him.
He has turned from a scruffy young man, interviewed in a crap coffee shop in Kettering, given a chance or ‘punt’ as I think I called it at the time, into a scruffy (still), talented young GM who has transformed himself into a manager capable of taking a multi million pound site to new growth, month in, month out & fronted every challenge with renewed enthusiasm & drive. Looking back I know he is glad that I refused (unconditionally) to accept his resignation 12 months ago when things were really tough, he leaves a site in tip top shape for Tonya to really put the gas on & for that I will always be grateful. A place remains here in Yummy for him, whenever he returns, probably pot wash, maybe as Ginger Santa Part 2, but its his fault for wanting to get life experience & live his dreams, fool.
So, the women are now in charge. We will now see if it is true; can women really multitask better than men? Women already know the answer (apparently) I’m looking forward to the results.
The start of 2014 has been pretty eventful, we saved the Wiremill from being destroyed, the army used the Grove as base camp for a number of days & all out Monopoly war broke out at the Gorringe. Cosy is getting rave reviews across the journalistic stratosphere in blog sites, magazines & from new fans to the Somers Town, apart from one old git, but we’re just not his cup of tea.
We’ve also produced the best sales results from the past 6 years with site sales up +18% in Jan, with the Grove under water since Christmas Eve, that’s not bad going. The star of the sites is once again the Somers Town, trading at +29% & it will smash that number to pieces as Feb comes to a close. Obviously last year it was snowing right now, with the Wiremill & Grove having to close for a number of days so Feb is looking to match those numbers & we intend to deliver big time in March with a fast start on the month as I think the danger of snow has now passed.
We have a lot of new people joining the business as we lumber up for summer & make some management changes, I’m looking forward to see the impact of new eyes & experience.
We were ‘news worthy’ just after the summer this year. We hired a local chap to dredge the mill race, you’re probably sick of that word now, so are the people in the Somerset Levels. Anyway, with one thing or another (bloody great big bits of tree in the run) they needed to use heavy machinery to do the job. It is also a little known fact that you can’t remove silt from a dredged river location, you must leave it to naturally degrade on the river banks. After much expense, doing as we were told by the environment agency – a job that needed to have been done for quite some years to stop the entire area from flooding if god forbid we had a bad winter, we found ourselves at the end of a bad situation. As we do, we found a resolution, but not before people said how nasty we were & how could we have done such a thing.
Well, by luck or fortune if we hadn’t have dredged said river this year, our beautiful mill would have been totally flooded & a number of houses around us. Do the papers want to run a really positive story like that? Of course they don’t, positive stories, what are they?
….then the army came & boy did Lucy have some fun…
…Oh & so did Tara…
…..our free hugs with every cuppa were warmly redeemed, Hugh tried to make some impressions on various soldiers with his ambition to sign up, but the army have a freeze on goat recruitment, apparently & we watered down a few kegs….
Has it been horrific for the guys on site & beyond any of our controls? Yep. Would the Grove still be trading had we been an independent, one site operator? No way. Is that the end of a run of bad luck for that site? Probably not, but hell, keep throwing it at us, it would be boring to have a strait forward, profitable, warm pub, wouldn’t it?
Monopoly warfare has broken out at the Gorringe, which just proves we are learning how to run a beautiful locals boozer, well, we think thats proof. I love going there now, we really have created something fab in that site & I’m very excited to see it blossom under the guidance of the geeky chic….
As for Cosy Kettle, well we’re thrilled to bits with it. Our first toe dipping into something new & its working…
So, the women are in charge.
I’m now ‘grounded’ at home waiting for the next little arrival to lighten up my life, make me feel emotions which are simply impossible to articulate & keep me up with lack of sleep, puke smelling clothes, as tired as I was four years ago, almost to the day, can’t wait. The only downside, its going to be a few weeks until I see what the women have been doing in person, lucky for me ‘the cloud’ exists, time to get updating websites & marketing strategies.