The owner of a Haverhill hotel and restaurant has spoken of his pride and delight after landing a semi-final spot in a prestigious national industry awards.
Nine Jars is Suffolk’s only representative in the final 15 of the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) National Licensee of the Year award.
The semi-final spot recognised how the family-run High Street business has responded to the national lockdowns by constantly changing their model to offer everything from a takeaway and online service to a community hub.
Daniel Pilley, owner of Nine Jars, said: “We are delighted to have made it to the semi-final stage of the BII National Licensee of the Year awards.
“It has of course been a challenging 18 months for the entire hospitality industry, but we have also looked at it as an opportunity.
“We stepped back and looked at every aspect of the business and also showed agility and flexibility to constantly change our model to fit around the national guidance.
“None of this would have been possible without our amazing Nine Jars team and this national recognition is testimony to all their hard work and dedication to our business.”
In addition to their own developments, Nine Jars successfully lobbied the Government at the start of the pandemic to ensure a change in the law to allow pubs and restaurants to develop a takeaway service.
Mr Pilley explained: “This was a lifeline to many businesses and also allowed us to become a lifeline to our customers.
“They have always been incredibly loyal to us and this was our chance to support them as much as possible.
“We are hugely proud of the fact that we have retained every single job throughout such a tough 18 months and have now brought back every member of the team.”
Since fully reopening in April, Nine Jars has opened a salon in their hotel, which is now renamed the Suffolk Hotel, purchased a refurbished horse-box to continue with their market day trading and discussions have begun about the possibility of opening another venue.