Chef Matt Waite has achieved his dream of taking over the pub that he first worked at as a school-leaver with the support of business advisers V&A Vigar & Co (Darlington) LLP.
The 29-year-old now is in charge at the Shoulder of Mutton Inn at Kirby Hill, near Richmond, which also offers bed and breakfast accommodation.
Matt turned for advice to Sue Gudgeon at V&A Vigar & Co (Darlington) LLP, which is based in Victoria Road, Darlington, after learning that the pub’s lease was available.
Since the deal was completed, Matt has updated the pub’s décor and overhauled the restaurant and bar menus with the focus on locally-sourced quality produce and recipes celebrating traditional British dishes such as fish and chips, steaks and sausages and mash.
Sue said: “Community facilities such as pubs play an important part in both the social and economic life of a village. V & A Vigar & Co (Darlington) LLP is pleased to have played a part in helping Matt retain an important local amenity.
“There has been so much news in recent times about rural pubs and shops closing down. As a result, it was a pleasure to be able to assist and play a part in Matt realising his ambition of taking over his local.”
Matt said: “Sue provided an excellent service and her professional advice and direction were invaluable.
“I am from the area and during the years have worked at the Shoulder of Mutton several times, originally when I left school, only leaving to expand my culinary and hospitality experience.
“It has been my dream for a long time to take charge at the Shoulder of Mutton so I jumped at the chance when I heard the lease was becoming available and thanks to Sue’s expertise I have achieved my goal.”
A traditional 18th-century inn, The Shoulder Of Mutton stands on the edge of the tiny, picturesque village of Kirby Hill and enjoys magnificent panoramic views of Holmedale and beyond.
Employing ten workers, it comprises a bar and restaurant, which can accommodate 65 people, four ensuite bedrooms and an annexe with a private entrance, double bedroom, lounge, kitchen and bathroom.