A husband and wife team who’ve just taken over independent eaterie Six Poor Folk in Knaresborough say they have been amazed by the welcome the town has given them.
Roger and Erica Thorpe, the new owners of this cosy but contemporary bar-restaurant-café located just off the Market Place, say the town is proving itself a real bastion of the small indpendents.
And they add they first pledged to open a successful restaurant on their very first date before they married in their previous jobs!
Erica said: “To say we’re not from Knaresborough, the welcome we have received has been amazing.
“People are really supporting us. The town could become a hotspot for independents.”
In a sign of commitment to their new home and its community, this couple from Northamptonshire and the Midlands chose to keep the Six Poor Folk name because of its long historic importance.
Serving bistro-style food and good craft beer sourced locally in the main, Roger and Erica first met when they were working in London as, respectively, a chartered surveyor and a marketing professional.
Fate in the form of Northern Rock and the banking crash brought them to Yorkshire.
Roger said: “We got off the plane from our honeymoon and on my first day at work I was called into the office and made redundant.
“That prompted me to move to a job with Carta Jonas in York. Erica’s family had moved to Yorkshire when she was about 10 and she knew what a great county it was.”
By day a buzzing little community café and by night a candlelit bistro and relaxed bar, the couple say the switch from their previous careers to the bar-restaurant trade was prompted by the increasing dread they felt each weekend at the thought of the Monday morning return to work.
They’d always shared a dream of owning a restaurant but, to gain experience, Roger took the plunge in 2015, swapped careers and took up a new job at Pavement Vaults in York.
Committed and knowledgable fans of Yorkshire and the Friends of Ham style food and drink shared platters revolution which has swept the county in recent years, Roger and Erica’s rustic seasonal menus prepared by their young, bright-as-a-button head chef Jamie Evan use local sources as much as possible for dishes such as 8oz Hanger Steak, Yorkshire Ox Cheek Bourguignon, Butternut Gnocchi, Wensleydale Black Pudding and Goat’s Cheese Bonbon and Fillet of Wild Stone Bass.
Among the suppliers Six Poor Folk already supports a turns are R&J butchers in Ripon, vegetable stalls at Knaresborough Market Place, R&J butchers in Ripon, Hodgsons at Hartlepool for fish, Nidderdale chicken, Roosters brewery of Knaresborough and Bad Co brewery in Dishforth.
Dog friendly, relaxed and boasting a lovely outdoors yard, for all the couple’s dedication to good food and good drinks the new owners of Six Poor Folk seem to place equal priority on making their business a real part of the community in Knaresborough.
When the cyclists in the Tour de Yorkshire swing Knaresborough’s way at the end of the month, Six Poor Folk will be ready. It’s secured a drinks licence for outside for a start.
Roger said: “I never felt at home in London but I felt at home in Yorkshire straightaway.
“I’ve got nothing against the Caffe Neros of this world but but Knaresborough doesn’t need them. It has plenty of great independents.
“We’ve got to know people at the likes of the Mitre and the Half Moon and Blind Jacks and other great places well in a short period of time.
“Everyone here is very supportive of each other and that’s the way it should be.”
Currently open Wednesday to Sunday, the couple have big plans for Six Poor Folk – in a friendly and relaxed manner.
By the time the Tour De Yorkshire riders wheel past the bar-restaurant-café it should already be opening seven days a week from as early as 7.30am to serve delicious coffee from York Coffee Emporium to the early morning commuters in the town.