Casked: Mike and Amanda Jones already eyeing up next venture

By October 12, 2022News

WITH two flourishing bars under their belt, Casked Ale House and Ginporium owners
Mike and Amanda Jones are already eyeing up their next venture.

In 2017, after extensive research, they opened in Rawtenstall, on Bury Road,
creating a micropub, which two years later they expanded into the adjacent property
more than doubling the space. From 70 customers, overnight they suddenly had
150.

When the pandemic left hospitality businesses fearing for their future, the couple
followed the lead of a Hebden Bridge brewery and began offering beer in a bag,
similar to a wine box; it was a huge hit and ensured they covered their expenses until
they could reopen.

At last year’s Rossendale Business Awards, organised by Valley at Work which
connects businesses, Casked won the Hospitality Business trophy and was Highly
Commended for the top Valley at Work title.

Amanda said: “The awards came as a complete shock as we honestly didn’t expect
anything and then we got two.

“In October 2021 we opened a second Casked in Prince Street, Ramsbottom, in a
former restaurant The Lounge.

“We got the keys in June and transformed it in four months, we don’t hang about.
We have spent £100,000 on each of the bars from our own savings and pension.”

Casked was originally set up as Mike likes cask ales and Amanda likes gin and they
wanted a place that catered for their tastes.

Both bars have a piano, which customers are welcome to play, acoustic artists play
on a weekend, quizzes are regularly held and in Ramsbottom pizza is served.

Amanda said: “We are currently in talks about opening a third. We have seen
somewhere in Lancashire but it is top secret. We have just started negotiations and it
will not be available until next year, but then we only expand every other year.

“Life is about taking chances and, if the opportunity comes along and we think it will
work out, we will take it. If you sit still, you lose ground.

“We would love to open a hotel in Rossendale, it is the one thing that is really
lacking.”

Originally from Holcombe Brook, the couple now live in Rawtenstall and Mike is a
trustee of Civic Pride Rossendale.

Mike was a manager for Irwell Works Brewery and Amanda is a qualified make-up
artist and nail technician and used to manage an estate agency. She is also an artist
and her paintings adorn the walls in both bars.

Like all businesses, Casked has seen a huge increase in electricity costs – from £1k-
£1.5k a month for both premises to £1k a week, but Amanda said they had already
budgeted for the increase.

Ramsbottom Casked is managed by Claire Norris, who used to run The Major with
her brother, and Rawtenstall is managed by Luke Whittaker. Both premises operate
on a card-only/no-cash basis.

She added: “Most of our staff are people who are known to us or are regulars. We
treat everybody as we would like to be treated and being nice to people, brings nice
people into our premises.”

Nominations for this year’s Rossendale Business Awards are now open and will
remain open until October 20. To nominate visit https://r-awards.co.uk/

The presentation evening will be held on Wednesday, November 30 at The Ashcroft
in Whitworth.

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