After years of working in the retail sector, Everards provided Sharon Johnstone the chance to fulfil her dream of running her own pub.

For Johnstone, 41, running her own pub would mean following in her family footsteps, as her parents had run a succession of pubs during their working lives. In order to pursue her dream, Johnstone began looking beyond her retail career and into the possibilities available in the licencing trade.

She began working part-time at The Beacon pub in Loughborough and soon became a valued, important part of the bar team at this Everards pub. When long standing licensees Andy and Ingrid Cunningham took the decision to retire, Johnstone took opportunity to take over the tenancy at The Beacon.

Johnstone said: “I had been working part-time at The Beacon and so when Andy and Ingrid were looking to retire, it was an excellent opportunity for me to realise my dreams of running my own pub. I had worked there for a while, so I knew all the customers really well and they were fully behind me taking over as the new licensee. Everards was as keen for me to take over The Beacon as the regulars were because they firmly believe in matching the right person to the right pub.”

Since taking on the pub, Johnstone has overseen the building of a new kitchen and the refurbishment of the pub’s bar and lounge areas. She said: “I really love running the pub and while there are some downside such as the long hours, I wouldn’t want to go back to my old retail career now.”

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