The success story behind what is believed may be the oldest pub in Bury St Edmunds

Naomi Townsend and David Marjoram from the One Bull in Bury St Edmunds, and a selection of their wines.
Naomi Townsend and David Marjoram from the One Bull in Bury St Edmunds, and a selection of their wines.
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Historically The One Bull may be Bury St Edmunds’ oldest pub, selling the monk’s ale to the townsfolk, brewed in the Abbey next door.

Now it is more famed for its strong wine list, good food and relaxed clean environment.

David Marjoram had dropped out of a West Suffolk College hospitality management course, instead cutting his teeth behind the bar before becoming manager of The Crown at Hartest.

“Then I managed to get three other guys to invest in the Decanter. It was the week before my 21st birthday.

“I think I had two weeks off in four years, I was working 80 hour weeks and I made nothing from it.

“But I’m really pleased I did it. It taught me a lot.”

It helped shaped The One Bull the success it is today.

David and his wife Roxane took over the then Punch Taverns pub in 2008 and a year later bought the freehold.

“I feel I created a pub for grown ups – somewhere not so loud that you have to shout at the person next to you, where you can enjoy a comfortable chair and order a drink without having to go up to the bar.”

The pub stocks 45 different wines and won pub wine list of the year in the 2010 Imbibe Louis Roederer awards.

It has also just been shortlisted by The Morning Advertiser for wine pub of the year award.

““We offer every wine we do by the glass. As a pub we have probably the biggest range of wines by the glass in the UK,” said David.

“We approach wine differently. Our wine list is broken down into a styles section rather than region.”

Their success saw David approached by Greene King in late 2008 to reverse the fortunes of the struggling Cadogan Arms, and in 2010, the couple who run Gusto Pronto, saw the former Ipswich Arms, under utilised as a warm up bar for nightclubs, on the market – and The Beerhouse, swiftly follow by mircobrewery The Brewshed was born.

“The One Bull has far exceed our expectations.

“We more than doubled our original projections and we are still growing now.

“In the last 12 months we are 10 per cent up on the previous year.”

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