Social hub: Village takeaway and kiosk offers much-needed service to support locals and suppliers.
The Kings Head is a 17th Century pub nestled in the picturesque village of Bawburgh, on the outskirts of Norwich, close to the Norfolk Showground.
Anton Wimmer and his family have owned the historic pub for over 40 years and have won many accolades during that time.
The pub has held 2 AA rosettes for culinary excellence since 2014, has been awarded a AA 4 Star for its accommodation and is also featured in the Good Pub Guide. It was winner of the South Norfolk Community Pub of The Year in 2019 and more recently in 2023 won Pub of the Year at the Norfolk Food & Drink Awards.
As well as winning a raft of accolades the pub continues to be an important part of the village and a focus point for the community.
The village also has a school, church, village hall and golf course but no other amenities and it is five miles to the city of Norwich.
When the Kings Head installed a new alfresco dining area, it gave Anton the idea of creating a kiosk takeaway adjacent to the area. It was decided to adapt an outside building to provide the villagers, and wider community, with locally sourced produce and a takeaway service as well as providing an outdoor space where people can get together.
The new kiosk was opened as part of the celebrations for 40 years of ownership of the pub by the Wimmers. It opens daily during the Spring and Summer months serving a range of pizzas, dirty fries and chicken wings and but in the winter focuses on opening as an outside food and social hub opening for groups and events.
The new facility has been a great success with the expansion offering a valuable service to the village as well as increasing direct employment
The kiosk has helped to bolster the Kings Head sustainable credentials. It uses and supports local suppliers and as there are no shops or takeaway facilities in the village its saves time and money for those living locally as they do not have to travel. This is also environmentally better as there is less car use.
Reach out to the community
The kiosk has also allowed the pub to reach out to more elderly residents in the village who pop along to the pub for their takeaway treat. As it is the only major facility in the village this new kiosk is helping to futureproof the Kings Head and ensure it stays as the hub of the community.
Anton Wimmer said: “This kiosk has been so popular with people living locally enabling them to pick up items such as takeaway food. It also brings people into the pub, especially elderly residents, who can pop in for a chat or a get together.”
Pub is The Hub regional advisor Terry Stork said: “This pub is truly at the heart of Bawburgh and its local community. The kiosk is providing a much-needed service to those living in this rural community.”
How to open your own village kiosk
(Advice from regional advisor Terry Stork)
The village pub is the focal centre of the community, then second to that in status is the village shop-takeaway. Not only does it provide easy and convenient access to basic staple foods and commodities, it also provides a social meeting place for local residents, especially the elderly and less mobile.
Many small villages cannot sustain a shop as a standalone business as there would not be enough trade. However, combining a village store and takeaway with an existing business i.e. a pub, it can reduce overheads and running costs, whilst producing an extra small income that may help a pub be more profitable. It also reinforces position of the pub as the centre of community amenities and activities.
- Always contact the local Planning Authority and have a chat with them about your proposed project.
- Make sure there are no other similar facilities nearby (the last thing you want to do is to put someone’s business in jeopardy).
- The Village Store-takeaway should be from an easily accessible location possibly within the pub, if space allows or an outbuilding.
- Provide basic convenience and essential goods with as many as possible sourced locally thereby helping local businesses. Offer customers a takeaway service hot dogs beef burgers pizzas etc. and all their pantry needs, snacks drinks and tasty treats. Plus in the store provide bread, milk, dairy products, bacon, sausage, and cooked meats, chilled convenience food, tinned foods, dry goods (such as flour, sugar rice etc) confectionery, household cleaning products and washing pods/powder, toiletries.
- By providing a Village Store-Takeaway you will strengthen ties between the villagers who will generally use the pub more because of your commitment. The villagers and the wider community would all benefit especially the elderly and less mobile, and there will be an environmental saving with less car use in the area.
- Try to be Eco conscious – encourage customers to bring their own bags- bottles/boxes for refilling and if possible have a pre-order service.
- Regularly review what customers want and check prices against similar outlets to remain competitive.
- While the village store-takeaway wouldn’t generate a large profit, it is sustainable as part as a whole and would generate a new income stream that would make the pub more likely to endure.
- Increased earning potential. Both the village store takeaway and the pub have potential for cross over trade. It will also introduce new customers to the pub and the store and is more likely to attract passing trade.