● MEET THE TEAM ●
Meet the team and find out how we have adapted our services for you during lockdown.
Andy has worked in the pub trade for longer than he cares to remember, bringing friendly expertise and incredible passion to the Motto. He has a clear vision for what he wants The Prince’s Motto to become, and one which has only been fed and nourished during these testing times.
From the beginning, his intentions were to return the pub to ‘what pubs should be’ – and in spite of the various stresses of the current situation, it has at least allowed him to begin in that vein (perhaps more so than he’d originally intended!)
Shonie worked in the Motto kitchen under the previous owners and lives very close to the pub. Since our fated reopening, she has taken on the role of kitchen manager, providing the tasty and affordable take-away evening meals which the Motto is rapidly becoming famous for.
Originating from Middlesbrough but having grown up in West Somerset, Shonie is the reason that the Motto now offers #BarrowParmos – the first authentic take-away Boro Parmesan on offer in the South West (we believe)!
Almaz is a recent addition to Barrow Gurney, but almost as soon as she arrived she offered her services to the community. Beginning in the kitchen helping Shonie serve up the takeaways, she now works in the Motto Shoppo, serving freshly squeezed orange juice, coffee and all the other delights we now have on offer to the local community.
BACK TO BETTER
The day that all UK pubs were closed by the government, Shonie and one of our regulars at the pub (famous at last, Hec) were having a conversation about how the rhetoric at that point centred around getting ‘back to normal’. Both Shonie and Hec were upset by this mentality, preferring the idea of returning to something better than normal – because why should we go back to the same, if some things weren’t working?
Hec coined the phrase “Back to Better” approximately thirty minutes before the BBC released the news that all British pubs were to close with immediate effect and since then, we’ve turned it into our living and working ethos at the Motto. We do not wish to return simply to ‘normal’ – we will return to a better normal.
● BEFORE THE LOCKDOWN ●
Before the lockdown, Barrow Gurney did not have a village shop that was fit for purpose, and residents were forced to source their supplies from large chain supermarkets. The Motto Shoppo, now established, will continue to operate after lockdown, thus improving the experience of living and working in Barrow Gurney.
Before the lockdown, Barrow Gurney did not have an affordable location for residents and visitors to enjoy food and drink in comfortable, friendly surroundings. Local darts and cards teams no longer used the Motto as their location of choice for games, and many of the Barrow Gurney teams from the past had fallen into inaction. With our new, pocket-friendly menu of food and drink, we intend to return the pub to its former glory, offering a meeting space for those local teams who, until now, have had to outsource their venues to other villages and towns nearby.
Before the lockdown, Barrow Gurney did not have anywhere for locals and visitors to enjoy sports matches. We have already set up a Sky contract to offer rugby and football matches to the pub as and when they take place, and we will be launching different events to turn these into something that all can enjoy.
Before the lockdown, the Motto had very little stock supplied by local vendors. One positive element attached to the changed and fluctuations in supplier availability has led to us sourcing more local produce, from producers very close to our pub. We now stock the Lovely Drinks range (brewed in Barrow Gurney), local honey (also from Barrow Gurney), local ice cream (made in Dundry), local eggs (from various local farmers) and all of our bakery products are provided by Split Tin Bakery in Redland. We have recently started stocking Long Ashton-distilled Gin (coupled with Barrow Gurney Lovely Drinks tonic), and as each day passes we seek out yet more local independent businesses to support. We will be forever grateful for the encouragement and support that we’ve received here at the Motto, and we want to pay that support forwards by striving to stock local produce as much as possible.
We have many, many more ideas and actions to put into place to ensure that the Motto, its customers and the surrounding area get #BackToBetter – watch this space to stay up to date with our plans for a Barrow Gurney gets Back to Better festival, once all this madness is over!
Andy and Geoff took on the Motto three days before all pubs were closed by the British Government to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Their original intentions were to return the pub into the community hub that it once was, and initially it seemed they were destined to fail. However, with the ongoing support of Barrow Gurney and its surrounding villages, coupled with the limitless energy of Andy, it would appear that failure is no longer an option!