Big Interview: 'There's something magical about Green Man customers'
The Green Man in Ropsley is now far more than just a village pub. With its tea rooms and fish and chip takeaways it now acts as a hub for many community events. It was this dedication to both the business and their community around them that landed the pub with the penultimate award at the Grantham Journal Business Awards in November - Business of the Year . We caught up with owners Philip and Leanne Docherty this week to hear all about their exciting plans for the future.
**Can you tell us a bit about your backgrounds?
I [Leanne] grew up in Ropsley and Phil, who worked in the drinks industry for 12 years, was schooled in Grantham. After studying and working in Dorset, we returned to Ropsley in 2010. We took over The Green Man in September 2015 as we didn’t want to lose the last pub in the village. We initially kept it open whilst juggling our regular jobs but after we saw its real potential we took the leap, left our jobs and began opening for daytime trade throughout the week rather than just the evening and weekend opening hours it used to operate.
**What does it mean to you to win Business of the Year?
It was just overwhelming. Having won the ‘Great Taste Award’ the year before, we genuinely weren’t expecting another win. To win it, especially given the fierce competition, was exhilarating and unexpected.
**Has winning this award changed anything for the business?
The local awards undoubtedly drive increased awareness for The Green Man in and around Grantham. We’re still working hard to change people’s perceptions of the place from ‘yesteryear’ and there’s a lot more work to be done.
**How many staff do you employ?
We now employ around 15 local people, three of whom are full-time chefs and two of our team are on full-time apprenticeships.
**What sets you aside from other places?
We strive to make sure The Green Man exudes great beer, great food and great hospitality. Having been crowned local CAMRA pub of the year twice, securing ‘Champion Pub’ from the Countryside Alliance Awards in 2018 and ranking the number one on TripAdvisor, not just in Grantham but for the whole of Lincolnshire, has spoken volumes about how great this little pub is.
**Why do you think you won?
We just try to get the basics right. We love this pub and that derives from the nature of the people that visit us. There’s something almost magical about the type of people that use us. We’re very lucky to see some of the most warm, pleasant and mellow of characters frequent The Green Man.
**What is the vision for the future?
Our focus is upon delivering the same great beer, food and hospitality that has helped us grow so rapidly over the last three years. We’ve seen our food trade quadruple in that time so we’re investing in making sure we continue to ‘wow’ our customers with new dishes, exciting events and the very best of service.