Leeds customers back Crowdfunder appeal to save Mustard Pot pub in Chapel Allerton amid Covid-19 debt crisis closure fears

The landlady of a popular Leeds pub has said 'unimaginable debt'  led her to make an  emotional fundraising appeal amid fears she may have to permanently close the business.
The Mustard Pot pub beer garden.The Mustard Pot pub beer garden.
The Mustard Pot pub beer garden.

Mum-of-two Nicola Storey - who has run the Mustard Pot in Chapel Allerton for 14 years - fears her business will be gone within months due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Miss Storey, 40, who had to temporarily close the pub in March, said she will be "heartbroken" if she loses the pub.

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Miss Storey, who leases the pub from Marston's, launched Crowdfunder appeal 'Help us save The Mustard Pot' this morning (June 19), which raised more than £5,500 towards the £10,000 target within a few hours.

Nicola Storey, landlady of The Mustard Pot pub in Chapel AllertonNicola Storey, landlady of The Mustard Pot pub in Chapel Allerton
Nicola Storey, landlady of The Mustard Pot pub in Chapel Allerton

Miss Storey, who had to postpone her planned May wedding to fiance Simon Moxham, said bills continue to mount and she is still waiting for Government advice on what guidelines will be for pubs reopening.

She said: "When I do my calculations based on two metre social distancing, we will lose even more money per week than we are now.

"We will still lose money each week with one metre social distancing, but not as much as we are doing now.

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"My heart is breaking, it's awful. I know lots of people are in a much worse situation and I didn't want to ask.

"But I would rather do it now than leave it until it is too late and people say they would have helped if they had known.

"It is a really nice, welcoming family pub. We are hoping to try and do whatever we can, but the numbers just don't add up."

Miss Storey wrote on the fundraising page: "There is a very real chance The Mustard Pot will not last more than a few weeks/months due to the ongoing COVID-19 Crisis."

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She added: "We are in unimaginable debt, and despite us trying everything we can think of to pivot the business, none of the numbers stack up. We are desperate.

"We understand that so many others in our community are facing similarly impossible times, but I guess I just wanted to let you all know now so that - if you are at all able - you can help us save The Mustard Pot. I want to make sure before we lose the pub that I try absolutely everything.

"The way our business model works is that it's so expensive to run that we need the big busy events and a good summer to make it profitable.

"And we know none of this is going to be possible this year and this combined with all the debt and no buffer left leaves a very bleak picture.

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"If you are from the local community or beyond and are in a position to, please help us save what has become an important hub for families and friends, by donating to this fund if you can. In return we will provide vouchers for future use

"We appreciate your help, support and messages in this difficult time, more than you’ll ever know.

"As always, the safety and health of staff, customers and all others is of the utmost importance, but with any luck, we’ll see you at our place again soon enough and we will be able to keep on serving you for years to come.

"Until then, take care of each other, Much love to you all."

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Joseph Harris wrote on the Crowdfunder page: "We were lucky enough to have our wedding at The Mustard Pot last summer.

"Nicola and the team helped make it the best day ever and were helpful and lots of fun. We really hope that we will be able to enjoy a pint or two in the garden soon x Steph and Joe."

Megan Rebecca wrote: "I would be very sad to see this wonderful place go. I’ve enjoyed some delicious meals here with family and friends and the outdoor space is so beautiful.

"I really really hope things work out. Stay safe and stay strong x."

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Daniel McKay wrote: "I really hope you make your target. Your story breaks my heart. I love the Mustard Pot. Good luck."

Peter Spawforth commented: "We must help keep the best pub and eatery in North Leeds. Good Luck."

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