The Pleasure Boat Inn is situated in an idyllic position overlooking Hickling Broad, and adjacent to Hickling Sailing Club, with sailing boats of every kind moored alongside giving a superb backdrop to this pub. Before the present owner, John Uff bought the freehold, it had been closed for 5 months, therefore extensive refurbishments were needed and now the pub is back to its former glory and trading well. The pub Manager Glenn Wilson has put his own stamp on it by making it a family friendly pub, involved with the community and providing discounted meals for the senior citizens, having charity raffles etc, to help the neighbourhood and being concerned about the wellbeing of the villagers. Since he took over, the locals have been very supportive and now he wants to repay that by giving something back to them in the form of a convenience shop within the pub.
An area within the pubs restaurant lent itself to being converted into a small coffee shop with a counter for sales of papers, convenience foods, and locally sourced produce. Therefore with this task in mind Glenn set about installing shelving, chillers a new till etc; so that this new concept would fit-in with the restaurant ambiance.
The new shop opened on the 1st March 2012, selling daily and Sunday papers, bread, milk, butter, cheese, local ham and bacon, sweets, ice-creams and much more plus local crafts and souvenirs. Now customers from the village plus the boating community and holidaymakers can have a tea or coffee with a cake or bacon roll looking out across the Hickling Broad before leisurely purchasing their provisions. This is a great asset to the community as the nearest shop is a 6 mile roundtrip. This new venture will not only save the community time and money but will also vastly reduce the carbon footprint for all concerned.
Lessons to Learn
• Viable projects from the outset with a captive-market from the boating fraternity and villagers
• Community responding positively to this venture with increased custom
• The Licensee is fully committed to helping the wellbeing of the community
Project Capital Costs (Exclusive VAT)
• Total project costs (£4,000)