This is the third in a series of “Meet the…” articles about our local shops and businesses, researched and written by Councillor Sarah Godfrey.
If you love your food and drink, Ruddington has without doubt become a foodie destination. Hungry and thirsty locals and visitors have a vast array of eateries and pubs to choose from. Apotheka, located at 6 Wilford Road, is firmly on that map with their legendary ‘bottomless’ offers, high quality local produce and their new flowery suntrap roof terrace, the ‘Apothecary Garden’.
Whilst the owner, Jack Robson, studied Politics at the University of Leeds University, he actually spent more time ‘studying’ the vibrant bars and restaurants that the city had to offer. Graduating with what’s known as ‘a drinker’s degree’ (a 2:2), Jack knew he could turn his passion for great food and drink into a great business.
So Jack swapped Politics for Prosecco and now, aged just 24, owns two businesses serving up tasty food and drink. (The other is McArtney’s Catering, also based at 6 Wilford Road).
I met up with Jack to ask him a few questions:
Q: What were your influences behind Apotheka?
A: We wanted to give a nod to the ‘museum village’. Ruddington is loaded with history and our interior reflects that. The pharmacy, opened on the High Street by the Pheathean family in the early 1900s, was obviously an influence. (The Pheatheans still live in Rudd). We love how the village holds on to its people. We also love antiques and all things vintage, and spend all our free time in auction rooms.
Q. Are the medicine bottles you have on display from the local pharmacy?
A: Yes! A resident kindly donated some of the medicine bottles we have on show. If you have roots in Rudd, the bottles may well have served up your relatives with medicinal remedies. We’ll stick to serving good ales and cocktails, though!
Q: What are your most popular offers?
A: Our afternoon tea is a hit at £14 for two. But for just £24, two people can enjoy a bottomless Prosecco with their food! A bit mad when a bottle of Prosecco is normally £19. But it’s totally worth all the laughter and fun we see, especially when we have a couple of old friends catching up over fizz and cake.
Q: We hear you’re also serving up bottomless chicken wings (£19 for two with a drink). What’s the record quantity so far?
A: 22. We’re expecting the record to be broken this week, though, so watch this space.
Q: What’s important to you now you’re the owner and not the customer?
A: I think it’s important to be kind and supportive to your staff. Happy staff = happy customers! We’re really lucky to have a great team here and we’ve been blessed with our Head Chef, Andrew Elston. He really knows his produce and he knows how to cook it. I’m a big fan of quality and consistency, so that’s important – and he knows how to deliver that.
Q: What did you take away from your ‘research’ in Leeds?
A: So much! As a student, the Sunday roast was King. At Apotheka, we make sure our roasts do all the business and tick all the good ‘roastie’ boxes. We don’t want anyone to leave hungry so, we’re all about the home-made ‘everything’… and more is more! We also like to go the extra mile with our vegetarian options. Our all day breakfast is a winner, too. And everyone wants a nice place to hang out in. When I get the chance I love to sit on our sunny terrace with a cuppa and a newspaper. Bliss!
Apotheka is open from 9am to late. They also provide free venue hire, with a private room available. Please contact the venue to book, or for information about McArtney’s Catering.
Councillor Sarah Godfrey