Dorset pub to expand food offering in support of local community

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The White Lion in Broadwindsor, Dorset, is expanding its food offer to provide more services to people in the area.

The pub has renovated its kitchen facilities allowing it to offer a pub food menu and it is also planning to launch a takeaway meal service for people locally.

The new kitchen was opened with the expert help and a Community Services Fund grant from Pub is The Hub, the not-for-profit organisation that helps pubs to diversify and provide essential local services.  

The White Lion is run by members of the local community, who were approached by Palmers Brewery, who were keen to keep the pub open.

Working closely with Palmers Brewery, members of the community formed Broadwindsor Community Pub Ltd,  and took on the tenancy, reopening the White Lion in April 2022 after a successful community fundraising campaign.

The White Lion, which is run by manager Kate Staff and her daughters Chloe and Louise, has already launched a successful Thursday pie night and Sunday lunch, but there are plans to expand the food offer further.

All dishes are home-made with locally-sourced produce, with meat and cheese supplied by Nick Tett Butchers, Beaminster and fish from Davy’s Locker in Bridport, and fruit and vegetables from Washingpool Farm, Bridport.

Manager Kate Staff said: “The new food offer has been attracting more local people into the pub and helping to create connections. We had 36 farmers meet up for breakfast which was a great way to get them talking and socialising.

“Our vision to make the White Lion the hub of Broadwindsor where everyone feels welcome.”

Rick Dyke, chairman of Broadwindsor Community Pub Ltd, added: “By expanding the food offer we are giving people another reason to come out and visit the pub. We think this will also help combat isolation in this agricultural community and go some way to improve the health and wellbeing of people in the local area.”

Pub is The Hub regional advisor Reg Clark said: “This pub is the centre of this local village offering a place for people to drop in for anything from a coffee, lunch to just a get together for a chat. It is a great example of a pub supporting people in its local community.”