Shillingfords at the Quay pop-up restaurant hopes to move to the Swan at Little Waldingfield
PUBLISHED: 15:20 16 March 2017 | UPDATED: 15:20 16 March 2017
The couple behind a hugely popular pop-up Sudbury restaurant are asking for the community to help them expand into a permanent home.
Two years ago, Carl and Beth Shillingford started their two-night-a-week restaurant, Shillingfords at the Quay, which is open on Friday and Saturday evenings.
They are now hoping to buy the Swan Inn at Little Waldingfield, which has gone into administration.
Currently, they are fully booked until June, such is the popularity of Michelin-trained chef Carl, who has worked as the head chef for Michel Roux and uses locally-sourced, foraged, natural ingredients.
Carl was recently on television when he filmed a segment about foraging with Jimmy Doherty, for Jamie & Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast on Channel 4.
The Shillingfords want to open for more of the week and have settled on the Swan, but need to raise £250,000 to buy it.
“The response has been incredible,” said Beth. “I got the post out on Facebook to get an idea of whether this is doable and just the support from the local community and our customers has just been lovely. It’s really quite humbling, that people are investing in us and what we do.
“When they come to the restaurant it’s me front-of-house and Carl in the kitchen so they know us as people.”
She said they were trying to finalise a “legal structure” that would allow them to buy the building without putting any investors’ money at risk and repay everyone a 5% return.
They would like to open the Swan from 4pm-11pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with no booking needed. They would have pre-booked tables available on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 4pm-11pm.
The Swan Inn at Little Waldingfield is understood to have gone into administration four weeks ago.
A representative of the administrators was at the pub on Thursday, who said he was running the business in the interim. In a post on Facebook, Beth added: “We’ve met with a funding broker, a business lawyer, spent many hours carrying out due diligence on our plan to crowd fund and repay everyone a 5% return, ensuring that we have covered every angle to ensure that everyone’s money is safe and secure.”