Landlord starts oatcake business in van outside Berwick pub
PUB owner Danny Poole has swapped beer and crisps for bacon and cheese – after spending £30,000 on an oatcake van at the venue.
The businessman, who runs Sneyd Green's Berwick pub, has splashed out on a VW Crafter, which has been revamped with a full oatcake griddle and ovens.
And the 37-year-old, who lives in nearby Berwick Road, eventually plans to serve up oatcakes with beer inside the pub.
Danny, who saw off a bid from a convenience store to purchase the pub in August, said: "I have an oatcake recipe which has been passed down through the generations and I have always wanted to open my own shop."
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After opening this week the van has proved an instant hit with residents and youngsters on their way to the nearby Holden Lane High School.
Danny said: "I didn't want to open something inside the pub as I didn't think it would be right for schoolchildren to come into the venue, and we knew the oatcakes would be popular with them."
The father-of-three paid £20,000 for the 2011-plate van and spent a further £10,000 having it converted.
He said: "I wanted it to have a traditional oatcake griddle inside so that everything could be made fresh." Chef Richard Wilbraham, aged 43, of High Lane, said: "It took me about three weeks to get the oatcakes right using the recipe and we have had some really good feedback. It has been really popular and we get a mix of people. I think we will need a bigger griddle soon to cope with the demand."
The van churns out oatcakes with a host of fillings seven-days-a-week from 7am until 4pm.
But regulars at the pub will soon be enjoying beer flavoured oatcakes in the evening made in the venue's kitchen.
Richard added: "It won't be a problem to make them with beer and they will taste really good.
"Everything we use is fresh and there are no preservatives in the oatcakes."
Regular Brian Deaville, aged 65, a retired pottery worker, who lives on the adjoining Milton Road, said: "I have had a sausage and cheese oatcake from the van and it was really nice. It's a good idea."
Danny bought the pub with brewery Joule's for about £235,000.
He has since spent a further £135,000 renovating the venue.
He added: "We have had a lot of support from the community which has meant we could venture out with an oatcake van."
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