East Devon's historic Otterton Mill welcomes the Wright family
Chris and Carol Wright whose family have operated Exmouth seafront’s attractions for 40 years have taken over the popular visitor destination from Simon and Caroline Spiller.
The Wrights have pledged to continue to build on the success of the historic working watermill with its bakery, café-restaurant, local food shop, gift shop and gallery.
Chris Wright, who is also a Director of Exmouth Rugby Club, says that when he heard that Otterton Mill was to become available to a new business tenant he “jumped” at the chance.
“Having lived all of our lives in East Devon and brought up our family in Exmouth, we jumped at the opportunity to be part of the Mill’s rich history,” explained Chris.
Carol said: “We will strive to continue offering the high quality product and experience that the Mill is so well known for. To help us achieve this, we are delighted that so many of the current team are staying with us for this exciting new chapter.”
Chris and Carol had kept the news of their new business venture a secret from their five children until last week when the new tenancy was signed. Chris said: “Our 10 year old son Jonty had asked for some chickens for Christmas so I took him to the Mill and told him that the chickens he could see there were his Christmas present – AND that they came with the Mill!”
Chris added: “The whole family have always been very hands-on in our business and we are all looking forward to introducing ourselves to the visitors to Otterton Mill, both old and new.”
The 1000 year old Mill, which is located on the banks of the River Otter at Otterton, was restored in 1977 by Desna Greenhow, who became a miller herself producing the Mill’s renowned wholemeal flour. Desna also created a centre for arts, crafts, education and entertainment, and began selling locally produced foods.
Desna’s legacy flourished under Bob Butler and Claire Stein, followed by Caroline and Simon Spiller who took over the business in April 2008. Otterton Mill is now the most productive watermill in Devon and open to visitors throughout the year.
Clinton Devon Estates’ Head of Property and Land, Leigh Rix said: “Over the past seven years the Spillers have worked hard to secure the Mill’s reputation as one of East Devon’s top visitor destinations. It has so much to offer in terms of its history, its location and the excellent, locally produced food and drink and with the Wright family in charge, we are confident that the next chapter of its rich heritage is in very safe hands.”
Acting on behalf of Clinton Devon Estates, Malcolm Williams from Harrison Lavers and Potburys, negotiated the new lease. He said: “There was a huge amount of interest in Otterton Mill but as soon as we met Chris and Carol Wright it was clear that their enthusiasm and business vision for the Mill would take it from strength to strength.”
Simon and Caroline Spiller will hand-over to Chris and Carol Wright over the coming months.
For more information on Otterton Mill and opening times over Christmas and the New Year, please visit www.ottertonmill.com
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