In December 2016, we invested £215,000 into the Cherry Tree, Wishaw. A year later, we caught up with Publican, Kate, to see how she was getting on.
So, Kate, overall how have you found the last year at the Cherry Tree?
I took over the pub in August 2016 when the pub was really run down and in desperate need of a facelift. The first few months were tough, but once we re-opened in December after the refurbishment it went from strength to strength.
The pub has been transformed into a family friendly, community local pub and we have had a blast over the last 12 months, welcoming customers old and new.
Running a pub is hard work – what made you decide to take on the Cherry Tree?
Running a pub definitely has its challenges, but you can get so much reward from it! I have run pubs previously but wanted a new and exciting challenge, which is exactly what I got from the Cherry Tree.
What was it about the Cherry Tree that caught your eye?
The previous pubs I had run were all wet-led and I really wanted a challenge where I could do food. I live local to the Cherry Tree, but I’d never been in because it was so run down. I was approached by somebody I’d worked with previously and when I saw the plans for what Punch we’re going to do, I decided I had to give it ago, and I’ve never looked back!
What support did you get from Punch prior to going into the pub?
Phenomenal! My previous pub was with a different pub company and I didn’t receive anywhere near as much support as I have from Punch.
I completed the foundation course, which is a week-long, free course offered by Punch. Although I’d already run pubs there was so much more to learn, and this course really helped put me in good stead for making the Cherry Tree a success.
I also had plenty of support from my local area manager and launch manager, who helped with getting everything ready to reveal the new-look. As well as this, I had a catering manager who helped me with all the kitchen equipment, menu ideas and spec books.
How did you find the investment process?
I was kept in the loop from start to finish and was invited to all the meetings with Punch, the designers and the building contractors. The communication from Punch was second to none, they kept me updated with all aspects of the investment. I could go and see the pub whenever I wanted (providing I had a hard hat and steel toe capped boots), which was great, as I saw it develop day by day.
What do you love most about the Cherry Tree’s new-look?
My favourite part about the Cherry Tree now is the family, friendly atmosphere. It’s a real community pub which serves good food and great beer.
What advice would you give somebody looking to take on a Punch pub?
Make sure it’s the right pub for you and that you get to know the area. Get all the support you can and make sure you have great staff – I have fantastic staff and they are often praised on TripAdvisor and Facebook. Your staff can make or break somebodies experience – so make sure you train, encourage and manage your staff well.
The Cherry Tree is situated on Netherton Road in Wishaw, and the investment saw the pub transform into a vibrant and welcoming community pub.
The pub has gone from strength to strength over the last year, and now hosts a popular quiz every Monday, free jukebox on a Friday and offers live entertainment every weekend.