Plymouth Herald, July 19th, 2011
PLYMOUTH already has a clutch of outlets selling pasties but the owners of a new £150,000 restaurant and takeaway think their business is different enough to survive and thrive. And The Original Pasty House’s Nigel and Janet Eadie know their market. They have been running a successful pasty business in Tavistock for the past eight years, seeing sales increase “significantly” to the point where it is now selling more than 130,000 fresh pasties every year.
Mr Eadie said: “A lot of people came in to see us in Tavistock and said they wished we’d open a shop in Plymouth. We have secured what we think is a really good site. There are a some good food outlets already in Plymouth; we hope we will complement that mix.”
He said the business, which opened this week, offers pasties with 13 different fillings, and other meals too, including baguettes, wraps, jacket potatoes and salads. The enterprise, in the Armada Way premises formerly used by the Body Shop, seats 30 people inside, with an intention to apply for outside seating, too. But Mr Eadie said: “We think 65 to 70 per cent of our business will be takeaway.”
He said price is “a huge factor” in the current economic climate, alongside value and service, and is expecting the success of the Tavistock business, which employs 50 full and part-time staff, to be an indicator. “The business seems to have worked and grown incredibly well in Tavistock, where there was quite a lot of competition,” he said. The Original Pasty House brought 50 jobs to the city centre, too, at a time when it has been hit by the decline in retail.
Last month, city centre manager Clint Jones said he expects more shops to close. He said landlords need to look at non-retail uses for empty units, including “pop-up” art galleries, charity “outreach” centres, community use, and more mid-market restaurants, and cited the Original Pasty House as an example of an incoming business.
With Plymouth’s jobless total at 6,484 last month, Mr Eadie was overwhelmed with applicants for the 25 full-time and 25 part-time post he needed filling. “We had 450 applicants,” he said. “We were amazed by the quantity and quality of applicants. We could easily have given 150 people a job.” He said the applicants, ranging in age from 16-year-olds to their mid-40s, didn’t just comprise people who were out of work, but “people that wanted a change”. He said the firm doesn’t impose “rigid shift patterns” but offers term-time hours to suit parents, for example. “Some ladies are going to work for us while the kids are at school, and then have the summer holidays off,” said Mr Eadie. “Some people wanted to work evenings, some the morning shift. We want people to work the hours they want to work, and then fit into the schedule.”
Mr Eadie was formerly a management consultant in Cambridgeshire with extensive experience within the restaurant sector.
He visited Tavistock and spotted the potential of a business on West Street, bought it, despite it not being for sale, and moved his family to the South West. His ambition now is to make the Plymouth store “an integral part of the community”.