Cheddar Valley Pub of the Year winner annouced
DESPITE only opening this year, Early Doors, Cider and Ale Barn has been voted the Cheddar Valley Gazette’s Pub of the Year.
The barn on the border with Draycott has proved popular with residents.
Owner Pete Simon says the ethos that the “people are more important than the surroundings” has brought customers not only from the two villages but from further afield and created “a real buzz”.
He said: “It has become known as a welcoming and bright place, where you will find decent conversation, whether amusing, intelligent or just downright obscure.
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“I have been very lucky in my staff selection, finding local girl Freya Williams to help out before she disappeared to university and now Dave Cambridge, who has business experience and a great sense of humour.
“In addition to that, valuing your customers, continually working at looking after your existing customers, constantly seeking new customers, and finding ways to get them involved in the bar is our secret.
Pete’s spoofing tournament will be an annual feature. Early Doors claims its success is also down to “keeping it local”.
Produce comes from local suppliers such as Roger Wilkins and Hector’s Farm Shop in Wedmore, Andrew Seager’s farm shop Cheddar Ales, and Glastonbury Ales.
Pete and his partner Barbara cook all the food. The pickled onions, pickled eggs, cakes and chutneys are all made locally, including Shane Belcher’s infamous Scotch Bonnet Chilli Jam.
Early Doors was up against Cheddar’s Gardeners Arms.
Pete said: “It was weighted somewhat in our favour as we are primarily drink led, which means we speak to lots of our customers for prolonged periods, whilst the Gardeners Arms offer a very good menu and are primarily food led.
“I am over the moon to win such an award, having only been open for five months.
“It’s a testament to the loyal support of our customers and we’re constantly striving to keep them happy.”