Sharon was born in Nottingham and moved to Derby when she got married in 1991. She has lived there ever since and had her first child Amie in 1995, who was born in Derby.
Sharon left school at the age of 16 and started working in offices, as a receptionist. Her career really began though when she opened her own clothes shop in Ripley in 1993. However this ended in 1996 when she took time out of work following the birth of her first child Amie. Her second child Abbie was born in 2001 and she carried on as a stay at home Mum. She returned back to her career in 2007 when Abbie started school and worked as a sales administrator at her husband’s manufacturing company.
Amie’s main background has been in education. She studied her A-levels (History, Psychology and German) and then furthered at Leeds University where she studied Criminology. She worked throughout with part time jobs at a garden center and bars.
We asked the mother and daughter team that are the heart and soul behind The Palfrey some questions to find out more about one of the top restaurants in Derby.
What inspired you to open The Palfrey?
Amie had a part time job at the previous premises, the champagne bar: Embers and when the owner decided to sell, we decided it would be a good opportunity. We could see the potential of the courtyard as one of Derby’s hidden gems and we thought we could bring something different to the bar/restaurant scene in Derby. We took inspiration from industrial vibes in larger more cosmopolitan cities, such as Leeds and Manchester.
When did The Palfrey open?
We began the refurbishment of the premises in May 2016 and after 5 months of hard work we opened the bar/restaurant in the middle of October 2016.
Why did you both decide to work as Mother and Daughter?
We both have a close relationship and felt that our personalities would complement each other well in a working relationship. We both have different strengths and weaknesses which work together brilliantly. Sharon also wanted a break from working with her husband and this opportunity arose at a perfect time for this.
What roles do we play and why does it work?
We are directors of the business and both heavily involved in the running of the bar/restaurant. We enjoy meeting the customers and hearing their feedback. We are also involved in the background of the business, for example the accounts. We also attend many networking events, including Marketing Derby, to spread the word about our business.
After the fire what have we been doing?
Obviously the fire in October 2017, just after our first birthday and success of winning best bar in the Derby food and drink awards, was a massive shock which left us devastated. However we decided that we didn’t want to just sit around and feel sorry for ourselves. We wanted desperately to keep our established name alive and hence we looked at a few different temporary locations and pop ups to achieve this.
We started at The Posthouse in Derby in December 2017 and stayed there for 6 months, serving light lunches such as flatbreads, a smaller version of our previous evening menu and our ever popular Sunday roasts. Then in May 2017 we moved to Queenies of Quarndon at our second temporary home, where we stayed until the end of July, serving our Sunday roast.
Throughout all this time, we have been carrying out the extensive restoration of our beloved Palfrey, including restoring the roof, which completely burnt off.
What are your plans for The Palfrey, are there any changes?
We have planned for a bigger bar to include more stations so that more cocktails (our biggest seller) can be served and a bigger kitchen pass, so that people can be more involved in the experience of their dishes being cooked.
Decorations will remain largely the same as we feel the industrial design worked perfectly.
We are planning to try and make more use of the courtyard, with outside live music and events, possibly working with other business on the yard, namely on events with BPM Records and The Anvil art gallery.
When do you think The Palfrey will reopen?
We are working really hard behind the scenes to try and get everything completed as soon as possible, but also keep it looking great and top quality. We are on course for a Late Summer/Early Autumn reopening.
CONTACT THE PALFREY
7-9 OLD BLACKSMITH’S YARD,