I've had a few people question why we would do something like this right now. Why take an established business and try to transform it in such a radical way? Why use Kickstarter? Why team up with DJ BBQ?
My grandparents started the business in 1946 after moving down from Northumberland. My Grandparents family were all involved in the mining industry, working underground in pretty harsh conditions. They showed great courage to up-sticks and make the trek all the way to sunny Suffolk, without knowing if they were about to make the biggest mistake of their lives.
Over the years we've enjoyed success, endured difficult times and always worked hard to keep things going. When I came into the business and took over from my father I wanted to look back at what we had done and how we had done it. To use that as my inspiration for moving forward. That is still the case.
It might seem strange to add a restaurant element to the business but the reality is we used to have one! My Grandma Mim used to run it above the current shop, she also had a guesthouse. Mim and my Grandfather Jonty did whatever they needed to do to make the business a success. The other thing they did was to get the right people involved.When they moved down to Suffolk neither of them knew how to bake so they brought the Head baker from the Co Op in Newcastle, John Smith.
I need help with the restaurant offering and to make sure its the best it can be I've teamed up with Christian Stevenson (DJ BBQ). History is repeating itself. I chose to offer Christian the opportunity not because he is funny, charismatic and energetic (which he is in bucket loads!), but because he's a grafter. Christian works hard and knows what he's doing, he deserves the opportunity to show everyone what he can really do.
Christian is also a family man, he loves his family so much and that resonates with me. We'd both do anything to make sure our kids have what they need to enjoy life and get the most out of it. I know we both realise that our children will benefit from this more than we will and that makes us happy.
We're using Kickstarter for some practical reasons but the main reason is that we want this to be a community place, it's for you guys as well. So let's make it happen together, we'll share our vision - you let us know what you think. We're happy to listen and shape the future of the business to best suit our customers. The building is at the centre of the town and in many ways is the beating heart. If we can attract people to the town to use all the other great businesses and see what a beautiful corner of the Earth we live in then we'll have succeeded.
So please support this, spread the word, tell the story and bring it to life.