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Case study - Blue Anchor, Crowborough

A move from managing a pub to running a pub as her own business was what brought Amy Glenie to Shepherd Neame’s Blue Anchor at Crowborough.

Amy had been running a pub at nearby Mark Cross when the opportunity to run her own with the Faversham-based brewer came up – and she had big plans.

“I was looking for the next step; something to get my teeth into,” said the mum-of-one, who had son Charlie almost a year ago. “It was a chance to run my own business but with the support of the brewery as well.

“But it needed some love. I thought it was something I could get stuck into and change. I didn’t know whether I could turn it round or not. It’s been an exciting adventure seeing it go from strength to strength.”
She consulted a friend who was already a licensee with Shepherd Neame, and who “couldn’t talk about Shepherd Neame more highly” which helped swing her decision to go for it just over five years ago.

“Shepherd Neame have been an amazing support through Covid and the whole adventure. They are there when you need it,” she said. “It is nice having that backing - when you need it you have got that there. You are not on your own in the world, which is really important when taking on a business.”

She says it has been hard work, but fun, seeing the pub develop. “When you see something really grow and develop, it is worth taking that challenge up. It is nice to see it is a proper community pub again and I have had that support on the journey to get it to this point.”

She added: “You are meeting people every day. Every day is different - you don’t know what’s happening each day. It is quite exciting doing different things.”

The pub, which also now has a pizza oven outside in its extensive garden, has won numerous awards, including two Beautiful South Awards and Shepherd Neame Pub of the Year in 2022. It caters for a range of local events, from local clubs, such as a weekly dementia support group, up to weddings. 

She attributes much of her success to the team she now has around her and her enthusiasm for the role.

“I enjoy what I do. I am quite passionate about the industry. You have to have a hat for everything – finance, PR, communicating with customers and building relationships with your team. I have got an amazing team.”

And working as a licensee has not been a problem for having such a young family. “Charlie is such a happy sociable baby, the customers love him. When customers come in we get to know their names and they become part of our family which is really nice.”

“To anyone thinking of becoming a licensee, I would say there is going to be challenges that you don’t think you’ll come up against. But we have had the support and backing of Shepherd Neame which is a lovely safety net to have. It is a big step but it is an exciting one.”

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