A rural Yorkshire restaurant is set to launch a hotel in order to capitalise on demand from further afield.
The Peppered Pig, based in Goole, will open the Pig Inn in January 2017 as it looks to become more of a destination outlet. The hotel will feature six en suite rooms and a function room.
The business was set up in December 2009 by Sam Mitchell and her husband Glen. Mrs Mitchell always hankered for a little restaurant of her own.
She told The Yorkshire Post: “My parents have been in the pub trade so I grew up in pubs and restaurants and I’ve always had an interest in food.
“I’ve always loved cookery. I went to train at York College and I also used to work for British Airways as a long haul air stewardess.”
Prior to launching The Peppered Pig, the duo launched their own day care nursery in 2003.
Mr and Mrs Mitchell still run the nursery, which has 140 places and is going from “strength to strength”, according to Sam.
The couple set up the nursery after struggling to find the right childcare for the their eldest son.
Mrs Mitchell says: “Many years ago when we started having a family and I was still working for British Airways we were looking for somewhere to leave our eldest son Elliot and we couldn’t really find anywhere that we liked and suited what we were looking for.”
The restaurant was opened on the same grounds as the nursery.
Over the years The Peppered Pig’s customer base has changed and that has led to the launch of the hotel. The restaurant will also be rebranded as The Pig’s Pantry.
“It used to be predominantly locals around a five-mile radius. Now we get people travelling from everywhere,” Mr Mitchell said.
Mrs Mitchell added: “With the hotel opening it obviously will be more of a destination and people will be able to enjoy the food and stay over.”
Work on the hotel will begin in October. The function room will be ready for December while the en suite rooms will be ready in January 2017.
Mr Mitchell said: “Every weekend we get numerous people saying have you got anywhere to stay? Can you recommend us somewhere to stay?
“It’s only going to feature six luxury en suite rooms but it also enables us to develop a function room and bar on to the gardens.
“We’re already getting bookings for all the rooms next year. We’ve not even opened them yet.”
Locally sourced food is the main reason why there is so much demand at The Peppered Pig, Mr Mitchell says. The firm bakes its own bread in-house and uses local butchers for its meat.
“The team in the kitchen now even go foraging for elderflowers to make our own elderflower vinegar,” Mrs Mitchell said. “The shorter the mileage on the food the better for us.”
Both the nursery and restaurant business has a turnover in excess of £1m. The nursery has around 35 staff members, while the deli and restaurant employs around 15 staff. That figure will rise to 25 when the hotel opens.
Despite the expansion both Mr and Mrs Mitchell continue to have a hands-on role in the combined business. Currently, Sam is spending her time as a full-time baker and checks in with the nursery manager everyday.
Mr Mitchell, whose background is in the fire service, designs all the buildings, including The Pig Inn.
He said: “I’ve got a passion for building and design. We do the sketches and layouts. A friend of mine, who is an architect in the next village, gets the plans made up and then I will project manage the actual builds.”
Looking ahead, the couple are now looking to establish an outdoor catering arm as well due to demand from customers.
Good food and hospitality
Working for British Airways helped Sam Mitchell understand what good food and hospitality is.
She became a stewardess after a window display course that she had enrolled on at the Leeds College of Art stopped.
Following a stint working at Marks & Spencer, she saw an advert from British Airways and thought that was a good way to travel the world.
The Peppered Pig title comes from her love of pigs and her eldest son helped come up with the name.
Mrs Mitchell has also trained at the School of Artisan Food in Nottingham.