Q&A with pub owner and cricketer Stuart Broad

By Liam Coleman contact

- Last updated on GMT

First site opened: Harry Gurney, Dan Cramp and Stuart Broad (l-r)
First site opened: Harry Gurney, Dan Cramp and Stuart Broad (l-r)

Related tags: Cricket

The Morning Advertiser catches up with cricketers Stuart Broad, England player; Harry Gurney, a Nottinghamshire county bowler; and experienced pub operator Dan Cramp; to talk about their burgeoning pub company The Cat & Wickets and getting to grips with the pub trade.

Tell us about your first site, the Three Crowns, Wymeswold, Leicestershire.

Stuart Broad (SB): We didn't want it to feel like cricket was in your face so we steered clear of the signed shirts on the wall.

Dan Cramp (DC): It would have been a bit gimmicky if we had overplayed the cricket side of things. We wanted to create a causal pub with some decent pub grub at a reasonable price with well-kept beer – the classic things to create a nice, simple pub. 

How does having three co-owners work when you have to make decisions?

DC: The three of us usually sit in one of our kitchens with a glass of red and discuss how it's going and what we could do more of.

Harry Gurney (HG): WhatsApp has proved very vital, giving there have been times when Stuart was in Dubai, I was in Barbados and Dan was in the UK.

SB: My view is that Dan is the expert, having been in the trade for a long time. He has the knowledge so, for me, his opinion holds the most weight.

HG: Stuart has proved very handy at playing devil's advocate, which is quite healthy. I feel like we have quite a good balance.

Is that a cricket skill you’ve been able to apply to running your pubs?

SB: Because I didn't know that much about this trade, I'm not shy about throwing out questions. Similarly, in sport, everything has to be justified to an extent so why not ask a tricky question? It’s never awkward in sport, it's an important part of being a team.

What has surprised you about the pub trade?

SB: I've been pleasantly surprised by how the atmosphere is in the trade. When we went in to it, everyone was saying that it was a bit risky, but I've always felt well supported.

You travel a lot with cricket, has this given you inspiration for your pubs?

HG: Yes, I've got a notepad on my phone that seems to be becoming a never-ending list on how to build a dream pub. Whether it's a door handle or type of mirror, you're always on the lookout for something great.

What are your plans for the future?

DC: There will be at least two more pubs. Although we’re still deciding where and when.

HG: We just plan on letting it grow organically and, at some stage, we will reach a point when we realise we have a nice number of sites.

SB: You've got to have a manageable number where we're still able to keep the standards extremely high.

DC: We'll probably look to stay in the Midlands for the future sites because we're all Midlands-based and don't want to spread ourselves too thin.

Related topics: Other operators, Sport

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