The Cholmeley Arms is located in the rural village of Burton Coggles, approximately 8 miles south of Grantham. The pub is owned by the Easton Estates and in recent years has struggled, including a period when it was closed. However, in February 2009 John and Lesley Berry took over the tenancy and moved into the pub.With the help of Easton Estates, the pub was completely refurbished and re-opened on 28th March 2009. John is the chef and Lesley is very much front of house and mine host. The business also employs other members of their family, and together they have already achieved a great deal in the eighteen months since re-opening and have established a very successful food-led business. From the moment they took over the pub, John and Lesley have received great support not only from the owner of Easton Estates, Sir Fred Cholmeley, but also from the Parish Council and the community in general.
The project has transformed a single storey barn adjoining the pub into a perfect village farm shop, supplying local meat, game, fruit and vegetables and other food from local suppliers. In addition to John’s skills as a chef he is also a trained butcher. The shop therefore includes a meat preparation and wash-up area and has a large walk in-fridge, which adjoins the shop counter, and the main shop is very attractively laid out and well lit. Adding to the overall quality of the project is the sympathetic and imaginative restoration of the barn. John and Lesley have also created an outside patio which will be laid out with tables in the summer. In addition an old but restored cart stands by the entrance to the shop displaying vegetables and other produce including game in season.
This is a quite exceptional project. From a closed pub John and Lesley, with the enthusiastic support of the Easton Estate and Sir Fred Cholmeley in particular, have created “Berry’s” a perfect example of a village farm shop. The village and surrounding communities now have an outstanding facility, in particular a quality butchery department, together with numerous other local suppliers which give “Berry’s” such a quality feel. Pub is The Hub was able to advise on the development of the project, based on experience gained from other successful pub-based shops, and Lincolnshire County Council provided a capital grant of £5,000 towards the cost of the project. The remainder of the project cost was shared between John and Lesley and the Easton Estate. The success of the shop has reflected favourably on the already successful pub business, and is quite simply a wonderful example of a community project with the Cholmeley Arms now the hub of this village.
- A great partnership between the tenant and landlord.
- Barn conversion carried out to the highest quality with style and imagination.
- Enthusiastic support from local producers of a range of products.
- Genuine feel of a community pulling together to create a facility that benefits everyone.
- Supportive local authority providing a small capital grant, together with strong Parish Council and village support.
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