The Dartmoor Inn – FOLK2FOLK helps local chefs grow their new business

Dartmoor Inn restaurant in Devon

Having worked together for 20 years, business partners Philip and Andrew have earned and grown their reputations through their time at the Dartmoor Inn, having turned it into a well-respected gastro-pub over the years, mainly thanks to Andrew and Philip’s cooking and making the Inn a great place to stay, eat or just pop in for a pint after a walk on the moor.

In 2014, Philip decided to go into a business partnership with Andrew and create their own catering business as the opportunity to buy the Inn together became an option for them. The business plan was to run and expand the Inn and additionally set up the Outside Inn to grow their catering business to serve private functions across Cornwall and Devon. The lads borrowed £300k which was used to buy the property with some of the funds going towards a refurb to breathe some fresh life into the Inn, including updates to the guest and dining rooms.

Owners of Dartmoor Inn in Devon

How did FOLK2FOLK help?

Philip was introduced to Folk2Folk by one his suppliers, Philip Warren, whom he had used for 40 years. After meeting with Folk2Folk to run through the business plan and discuss the security (property) in question, Philip says he was given a decision in a matter of days and the finance was in place within a month to jointly buy the Dartmoor Inn.

“Without Folk2Folk saying yes to our business, I wouldn’t want to think where we would be now without the loan. The banks wouldn’t even entertain us as a new business despite our previous experience of working together for close to 20 years. Getting the yes from Folk2Folk was a lifesaver for our business as we were really happy to fill a finance gap that allowed us to build, grow and invest in both our pub and catering business,” Philip Burgess, Dartmoor Inn co-owner.

The growth in the Outside Inn catering business has enabled Philip and Andrew to employ a head chef at the Inn, meaning Andrew can set more time aside to create and develop menus for the catering side of the business.

“Dealing with Folk2Folk was a refreshing experience as they believed in our plans and we are now achieving what we set out to do and more. The initial pub to catering ratio was 80:20 but now revenues have increased significantly and are more like 50:50. We expect the catering business over time to be the main source of revenue as we expect to reach £600k this year as combined total.”

Outside cuisine at Dartmoor Inn

Philip decided that a flexible loan with interest only repayments suited the business at the time for its flexibility. Philip and Andrew want to maintain ownership of the Inn long-term, so their plan is to refinance the loan sometime in the future. This will allow them to repay the capital as the business grows when it suits them.

With the business driving forward, both Philip and Andrew are focused on making the Dartmoor Inn a destination pub for tourists and locals, allowing it to reach its full potential for serving amazing food, at the same time increasing awareness of the catering business to push boundaries in delivering outstanding creative menus for their clients.

Dartmoor Inn – www.dartmoorinn.com

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