Q1 What made you buy this restaurant by the sea?
I’ve lived in Pembrokeshire all my life. I’m the son of a local farmer, and have been a businessman with my family’s tourism and marketing business near St Davids for over 70 years. When we decided to sell that, I knew I wanted to get my teeth into something new, always with the need to be local. My children saw Sunshine was for sale, and I knew this was the right move for me.
Q2 What do you know about cooking?
Honestly, not much, but that’s not the point. I know how to run a business, and I know how to grow and develop a team. My business partner has joined me at Sunshine, and she probably knows more about Italian food than I, as a Welshman, know about how to make cawl! Her and our daughter ran an Italian villa rental company for many years. They have probably planned more Italian meals with chefs for their clients and eaten in more Pizzerias, Osterias, Trattorias and Ristorantes than I care to imagine, let alone all the after-work ‘meetings’ they had across the whole of Italy in wine Enotecas!
Q3 Did it concern you to keep an Italian restaurant going?
Not at all. I don’t think you need to be a national of a country to cook its popular cuisine. Appreciation and respect is key, and quality chefs have a love for the food they cook. Pembrokeshire, indeed Wales, has had a particular connection to Italian eateries for over a century. Who remembers Morello’s and Rabioti’s in Milford and Haverfordwest.. my children loved going there. It was vital to me to keep the reputation the former owners had built, and they were not Italian. What was so clear to me in the months before I bought Sunshine was how loved the place was, and how amazing its location is for locals and visitors to enjoy. I wanted to keep as much of that going as possible.
Q4 Location Location…?
Location and Quality was our motto in our previous businesses, and it’s no different here. It’s the reason I expanded the outside eating area so locals and visitors alike can enjoy the sight and sound of the sea. It’s a rare commodity in Pembrokeshire to be able to dine so close to the sea.
Q5 What next?
Well, I am in my 80s, but I have no wish to hang up my business hat, where’s the fun in that?