Thursday, 23 September 2021

Women take over Goring local

THREE women are to run an award-winning pub in their village.

THREE women are to run an award-winning pub in their village.

Michelle Brachet (pictured), Vanessa Cooke and Katrena Derricourt will take over the Catherine Wheel in Goring when Tim Schulz and James Dawe (pictured) step down on June 25.

The women are regulars at the Brakspear pub and were worried about its future when the pair announced their plans to quit in December. Miss Brachet, who lives off High Street, is a freelance food writer who runs a pizza business at the Catherine Wheel. She organised the village’s first biennial food and drink festival last summer.

Mrs Cooke, of Pennypiece, is a former sales negotiator for a pharmaceutical company who has lived in Goring for about 20 years. Mrs Derricourt, who lives opposite the pub in Station Road, used to work as a geologist.

Miss Brachet will be in charge of the kitchen and marketing the business and the other two will look after service and staffing.

Miss Brachet, 39, said: “We were sitting around over Christmas saying ‘what’s going to happen once James and Tim go?’ They’d done such a good job of running it.

“We talked about taking over with tongue in cheek but it became a serious plan. We called Brakspear before they’d even advertised the lease and I think they thought we were a bit mad! However, they could see we had a good business plan and a broad set of shared skills.”

Mr Schulz and Mr Dawe, who have run the pub since 2012, won the restaurant category in last year’s Best Thames Local awards.

Miss Brachet said: “There won’t be any drastic changes — it’s more about them passing the baton to us. It’s a great community pub that hosts lots of events and that will stay the same.”

The pub will host its third Goring Pride festival on the men’s final day.

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