Posted: 12.10.21 at 14:31 by Tim Lethaby
Wells Nub News aims to be supportive to every element of the community from business and shops to people and charities, clubs and sports organisations.
We are profiling some of these local businesses, people and groups regularly over coming weeks in a feature called Up Close in Wells.
Today we talk to Dave Jordan, the owner of Old Ford Cottage, the holiday accommodation site in Coxley Wick.
In this interview, Dave talks about moving to the area just before lockdown, and the charitable efforts of the business.
Tell us what your role involves from day to day Dave and what are the key elements of the job?
Day to day for myself and my partner Karen involves a combination of holiday let basics, the four Bs (bogs, bins, basins and beds) and maintenance.
Gardening is a big task with over an acre of grounds for our guests to enjoy, all topped up with a bit of paperwork and communicating with guests, plus breakfasts and occasional suppers.
Tell us a bit about your personal business background Dave - have you always lived locally and if not, what was the reason for moving here?
I had a retail business for many years and enjoyed the day to day contact with customers as I still do with our guests today.
We only moved to Somerset in February last year, just before lockdown. We love the beautiful countryside all around us, enjoy walking, especially over the Mendip Hills, with their spectacular views.
One of the big draws here was the friendly people of Somerset, who always find time for a chat with a smile.
What do you like about the Wells area? How are you involved in the local community?
Wells itself has so many amazing buildings, beautiful architecture wherever you look, plus so much history, a favourite being the Bishop's Palace and its fabulous gardens. Somerset has so many lovely towns and villages for us to still explore.
Starting our business from scratch and working seven days a week means we haven't had as much time as we would have liked to get involved locally.
However, this year we set up an Old Ford Cottage charity of the year and raised more than £1,000 by walking the West Mendip Way in a day, 30 miles from Uphill back across the Mendips to end in Wells. In 2022 we want to link up with local charities for more fundraising events.
The coronavirus pandemic had a big impact on everyone - how did it effect you?
Covid and lockdown was tough time, having only just moved to the area, firstly not being able to see or have friends and family down to stay at our lovely new home was difficult, but also as a brand new business we couldn't start taking guests, so no income and no government help.
We are looking forward (fingers crossed) to a full year of trading in 2022.
What businesses do you like and use in the Wells area?
We are very keen to shop locally wherever possible, and I love Whiting and Son - the range and depth of their stock is great.
Another favourite is Forever England, and we have some of their beautiful bedding in our guest rooms.
I must also mention Griffiths the butchers for their burgers, chicken kebabs and black pepper sausages - such a treat.
We are gradually working our way around all the lovely pubs, cafes and restaurants in the area, obviously for research purposes for our guests!
The lockdown was very difficult for many people - how do you think that the Wells area coped?
I think Wells has coped as well as anywhere, there were very difficult times especially for all the hospitality businesses.
The best thing Wells did was to stop cars parking in the square and allow tables and chairs in their place, it makes it such a great area, loved by residents and visitors alike.
If there was one thing in the Wells area you would change, what would it be?
Main thing I would change would be the hideous plastic bollards/dividers in the square for a more visually pleasing design, the sooner the better.
If you had one message for local residents, what would it be?
Support local businesses and keep smiling.
If you could choose one famous person to play you in a movie about your life, who would it be and why?
George Ezra, very talented singer/songwriter, good looking and could perform a fundraising gig in our garden.
You can visit the Old Ford Cottage website here.
See our other UP CLOSE profiles:
Would you like to be the subject of an UP CLOSE profile or do you know someone who we should feature? Contact [email protected]
The Red Dress Project, conceived by British artist Kirstie Macleod, provides an artistic platform for women around the world, many of whom are margina...