moot_1655Mike & Maureen Medcraft bought the Old Moot House Restaurant in Castle Hedingham in 1979. Back then it operated as a restaurant/tea rooms. They worked in the restaurant building up its reputation and turnover and about 6 years ago began considering selling the business so that they could retire and have a quieter, easier life. Their plans would be to move back into another house that they owned in Ingatestone which was being rented out.


They approached a large, regional business agent to market the business for them and the business went on the market officially in November 2009.


For most business owners, once they decide to sell the business they mentally begin to think of other things they would rather be doing and look to the future however this is hard when there appears to be little interest from other people in buying your business.  Mike’s goal was to retire by the time has was 60!



Based in a Grade 2 Listed building and with an excellent reputation for the food and welcome that guests received when they went there it seemed strange that the business ended up sitting on the market for 5 years.


Mike was always receiving letters in the post from other agents saying that they could market the business and find a buyer but he always ignored them and threw them in the bin however in September 2014 Mike received a letter from us and decided to keep it and put it on the side. A few days later he called to make an appointment for us to go and see him. At this time he was generally fed up that the business had not sold and was hoping that a fresh approach might help to increase the level of interest and viewings for the business.


Mike signed a agreement with us and we began marketing the business for sale that same month. After a slow start, we introduced some potential buyers to Mike who fell in love with the place and agreed a deal to buy it after the 2nd viewing. That was in March 2015.



The buyers were selling another business and there were a few challenges along the way throughout the legal process which needed to be overcome however in October 2015 the business was sold and Mike and Maureen began the handover period however they were no longer the official owners! After 36 years of owing the business that felt quite strange for them.


Mike said “I was regularly receiving letters from other agents but that one day I decided to keep the letter that Neil had sent me and got in touch”. I wanted to try something different and being based in Essex and being able to give some new ideas and thoughts to how we could sell the business I thought it was worth a go”.


“I originally thought that a big regional agent would be able to sell the business for me however we have been able to sell our business and retire with the help of Neil Mansell and Essex Business Sales.”


“It took quite a long time from agreeing to sell the business and it actually completing but we were in touch regularly with Neil and our buyers and that process of communication helped to smooth out the process and keep us in touch on how everything was progressing. Our experience is that selling a business is not straightforward and it was great to be able to work with a proactive agent that kept the deal together and allowed us to continue running the business until the day that it all completed. It was sad to finally sell up after such a long time however we know that the new owners will put their own stamp on the business and continue to make a great success of it and at the aged of 64 I can enjoy my retirement”.