The Sacred Orchard’s community journey

Teammates embraced their community spirit with a fantastic launch event for their grand opening earlier this year. Check out their story in pictures here...

A brand new family

It all started when Paul Brady and his wife Justine brought their 26-year pub experience to Marston’s this year, after being impressed by our family culture and Ways of Working.

Customer engagement is important to Paul, and it’s something he wants his team to demonstrate every day: “We want people to come in and feel this is their pub, so we work hard to build a sense of ‘family’ among teammates and guests.”





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Finding the perfect team

Choosing teammates isn’t just about matching hours and availability; it’s about finding people who reflect what Marston’s is about. “When we recruited, we prioritised personality over experience,” said Paul. “We wanted people who would become true ambassadors for our business.”

The search was on to find teammates whose enthusiasm, passion and knowledge could help turn one-off customers into regular locals. “Satisfied customers aren’t enough for us,” added Paul. “We want all our guests to become ‘raving fans’. So, we encourage all our team members to use their personalities to form strong relationships with our customers and, as a result, the community.”



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Let’s go back in time – eight centuries!

In the 1100s, the area where The Sacred Orchard was built was a sacred meeting ground for local people, surrounded by fruit trees. “It was important to us that we continued this heritage, so it’s great that our name links back to this tradition from the past,” said Paul.

“When a customer told us she didn’t like the pub’s name, we sent her a pack of information about the site’s history to try to win her over,” added Stacey Everson, Front of House teammate. “Once she understood why we’d chosen it, she said she loved the name. The personal touch worked – she’s now a regular!”





Barking up the right tree

Frank Auty, pictured here with Manager Paul Brady and teammate Stacey Everson, is a retired tree warden and long-standing member of the Nantwich community. Frank used his green fingers to help The Sacred Orchard team plan – and plant – its orchard.

“With the brilliant team there, the pub’s quickly becoming the place for locals to drop into,” said Frank. “The orchard’s helped Paul and the team to become a real part of the community, with local volunteers getting stuck in with the digging! I’m excited to watch the trees – and The Sacred Orchard – flourish.”

“Did you know that one tree gives enough oxygen for four people, for their entire lives?” added Paul. “And yet, 30 sq miles of rainforest is depleted every day. It’s crazy when you think about it. When we set up the pub, we decided we wanted to help – and we also wanted to make sure the community was involved. We’ve planted 25 trees onsite now, and we’re working towards 35. It’s something that’s very important to my wife and I, and we want to make sure our team and our customers are part of this.”


Spread the word!

“It’s always so important to promote any community events and activities you’re setting up,” explained Paul. “For us, we reached out to our local radio station The Cat 109.7 and the Nantwich Chronicle to get as much publicity as possible for the grand opening.” Paul and the team sent out regular press releases and also set up competitions and prizes to keep the pub at the front of local people’s minds in the run-up to the event. Radio host Neil Davis (pictured left), from The Neil Davis Show, helped out by advertising the launch event on his show – and even popped in to see Paul and the team on launch day.

“As soon as building began, we reached out to everyone – from local businesses to residents of all ages – with our plans on social media, in the press, radio and in person,” said Paul. “The earlier you start the better!”


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Ready for launch

The team worked hard to make sure the local community got excited and involved in its opening day. A local WWII veteran was the first person invited in to enjoy a free drink, followed by 100 specially-invited guests, including nearby business people and residents, who all enjoyed a free glass of fizz.

And that’s not nearly all: a classic Marston’s beer wagon also arrived onsite; the mayor was invited down to cut the red tape; and the town’s vicar came to bless the pub (in line with its ‘sacred’ tradition!). A firework display then added an explosive finale to what was a great day. Phew!





Thinking outside the (bird) box

Now the launch is over, the team at The Sacred Orchard is always looking for new or different ways to help the local community. For their next trick, teammates plan to set up a competition with local schools to build their own bird boxes.

“I’m really excited about the bird box project!” said Stacie Cornwell, Team Leader. “Kids love being creative. It’s also special for me personally, as I completed a degree in conservation last year and protecting birds is something I’m really passionate about. I’ve always liked getting stuck in with local groups, and it’s really important to make sure we reach out to our community and get them involved.”





Get on board

When The Place visited The Sacred Orchard, we challenged them to put together a community noticeboard to record all of the great stuff they’d been doing with their community. And, they didn’t disappoint – you can see the results for yourself in issue 5.

“I love the idea of a community board,” said Stacy. “We use noticeboards behind the scenes, but I like the idea that this one could be a lot more fun and light-hearted, with information about the pub’s community and teammates.”




You’ve seen just some of the great ways The Sacred Orchard is reaching out to its community. Next, hear how two of our other licensees are creating a great community pub:

Now it’s your turn! Get on board by creating your very own community noticeboard with your team. Email to send us photos of your creations!


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