A pint with the Pennycomequick

L ocated on The Moor, Falmouth, the Pennycomequick is a popular choice for both locals and visitors, having built up a formidable reputation for providing great food, drinks, and customer service.

Dating back to the 1700s, the pub has been a constant in Falmouth, with links to the oldest family in town. The pub was bought by Walter Hicks for St Austell Brewery in 1913 from John Wodehouse, whose family through marriage had direct connections to the ancient Killigrews of Arwenack. Formerly known as the Wodehouse Arms, the pub was renamed the Pennycomequick in 2017 when James and Mark took on the tenancy, the name meaning ‘head of the creek’ which is also the old Celtic name for Falmouth.  

With current tenants, James and Mark, moving on, the tenancy has once again become available. We’re catching up with our Business Development Manager, John Williams, over a pint about this exciting new opportunity. Are you ready to take on the challenge and run a pub in Cornwall? 


How long have the current tenants run the Pennycomequick?

James Luck and Mark White have been tenants of the Penny since 2017.  


What changes have they made over the years?

James and Mark have totally repositioned the business into a quality eating establishment – they’ve built up a strong customer base and are renowned for their fantastic, locally-sourced dishes that showcase the very best of Cornwall, with the pub often regarded as one of the best pubs in Falmouth. Their tenure also included a complete internal refurbishment of the pub, reopening with its new name, the Pennycomequick.  


What makes the Pennycomequick so unique?

Sitting on a prominent parade filled with coffee shops and cafes, the Penny’s unique offering is the quality of food and the diversity of the menu. Catering to all palates, it’s not only a welcoming drinking establishment but a top-rated dining experience too. To run a pub in Cornwall, tenants need to be able to offer the full package. 


What would the onboarding be for the new tenant?

The likely ingoing of the Penny would be around £30,000 – for potential tenants, we are with you every step of the way from the moment you first register your interest, whether you are an experienced pub operator or new to the lifestyle.  


Who would be suited to take over the tenancy?

The ideal operator of the Pennycomequick is someone with a strong background in food, with the ability to recognise the changing dynamic needed for a food offering that switches from casual lunch to evening dining. They should also be able to identify unique opportunities for trade in a busy market environment.  


Where do you see the Pennycomequick going in the future?

Whilst having a great evening offer, I see the opportunity to expand the lunchtime trade due to its close proximity to the main shopping area of the town, perhaps including lighter lunch options and afternoon tea.  


What's one piece of advice you would give a potential client?

Never stand still, you always want to be looking for ways to move your offer forward, and be aware of what your competitors are doing - to be one of the best pubs in Falmouth, or wherever your business is situated, you need to be looking one step ahead.  


What is the reputation of the Pennycomequick? And how could this be built upon? 

The Penny has a great reputation for its food, attentive and warm welcome, and for its quality wine offer. It now needs to extend this through longer trading hours.  


How do you support tenants in the first three months?

We support our tenants throughout their experience, but particularly during the initial set-up where we provide essential financial advice and cover half the accountancy costs in the first year. We also support with stock control via a stock taker, which way pay for the first three years too.  

The aim of this is to set our tenants up for success, advising on the best practices to serve throughout the tenancy. In addition, we also provide marketing support with menu printing and wine recommendations/pairings.  


What potential challenges could tentants that run a pub in Cornwall face?

The two biggest challenges moving forward is recruitment and staffing, but also the base cost of the business with rising utility costs. We’re committed to standing by our tenants and supporting them through these challenges to ensure they overcome them.