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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

Carl Shillingford at a foraging and seasonal Suffolk event at Deben Vale Vineyard. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Carl Shillingford at a foraging and seasonal Suffolk event at Deben Vale Vineyard. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

The couple behind a hugely popular pop-up Sudbury restaurant are asking for the community to help them expand into a permanent home.

Carl Shillingford out foraging. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDCarl Shillingford out foraging. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

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.

Carl Shillingford gives a cooking demonstration at the opening day for the new foraging shop at Dedham Vale Vineyard in 2014. Picture: SU ANDERSONCarl Shillingford gives a cooking demonstration at the opening day for the new foraging shop at Dedham Vale Vineyard in 2014. Picture: SU ANDERSON

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.

Carl Shillingford with Jimmy Dohertyon Jamie & Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast on Channel 4Carl Shillingford with Jimmy Dohertyon Jamie & Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast on Channel 4

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.”

1 comment

  • While I wish them both well in this venture. As a potential investor, this scheme sounds like a recipe for disaster. If it is such a good business plan and offering such cast iron returns. Why don't they just go and borrow, the money from the bank when there are such low-interest rates around and money has never been so cheap. They could then keep all that hard earned profit for themselves rather than having to pay out 5% annual returns to numerous small investors. Crowdfunding certainly has its place but it was never meant for this type of investment. Sorry to sound so negative but as an investor of some years standing I have seen this happen so many times with people getting swept up in the excitement on for it to come crashing down.

    Report this comment

    Lisa123

    Monday, March 20, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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