Budleigh pub’s new teenage landlady takes over

Shannon West, 19, is the new landlady of the Salterton Arms

Shannon West, 19, is the new landlady of the Salterton Arms - Credit: Shannon West

A teenager has become the new landlady of a Budleigh Salterton pub – having not even seen the town before getting the keys. 

Shannon West, 19, is the proprietor of the Salterton Arms, getting the keys two days before the second national coronavirus lockdown. 

Now pubs have been allowed to re-open – with restrictions – Shannon is ready to hit the ground running and is looking forward to welcoming customers back. 

She said she ‘instantly’ liked the look of the pub once she got the chance to see it herself. 

“It’s got the old-fashioned character to it, but it is still quite modern.” 

Shannon said the response to her arrival in Budleigh has been positive. 

She added: “Our neighbours have also been very helpful. 

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“All the locals have been amazing – they couldn’t have bee more supportive.” 

“Budleigh is a really lovely place – there’s a nice selection of shops and the High Street looks really nice.” 

Shannon said she has grown up around the hospitality industry. 

Her parents have owned a number of pubs and Shannon got her first waitressing job at the age of 14 and has been training to be a manager. 

She said: “Where I used to work, I was a manager and a receptionist but this (being a landlady) is something I have always known I have wanted to do.” 

She works for Select Inns South West which this year became the leaseholder of the pub, known locally as ‘The Salt’. 

Shannon finally got the keys to the Salterton Arms on November 4 – two days before pubs were forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The pub opened last week and Shannon was told The Salt is not really a ‘food’ pub. 

However, due to Devon being in Tier 2, pubs can only open if they are searching substantial food, and Shannon has taken the opportunity to serve locally-sourced ‘fresh’ food. 

“It’s going really well – our first Sunday lunch was completely sold out,” added Shannon, who said she welcomes input from the community. 

Shannon said: “We want to listen to the what the locals want and something we’re really excited about is to do live music – once we are allowed.”