Your name, age and some background about you:
We’re Kevin Foreman (68) and Sarah Williams (38). We met at the Duke of Wellington in Shoreham which I [Sarah] used to co-manage and Kevin was known as the Gentleman Builder because of his love of sculpture and writing: he’s a bit of a Renaissance man.
What is your venue is called, where is it and when was it established?
We opened Wax Cactus in 2019 on Montague Street (opposite the best chicken shop in town, Morleys) in the astonishingly fabulous West End of Worthing. I say astonishing because it really is the work of a bunch of brave and tenacious individuals who have all come together at the right time. There are trail blazers, of course, including our High Priest, Nigel Watson of Anchored in Worthing.
Tell us what guests can expect at Wax Cactus…
In terms of our drinks menu, we really try to have everyone covered. It’s really nice to have something for vegans, coeliacs, the teetotalers as well as the nut jobs like ourselves: our motto is ‘as well as, not instead of’. We're both absolute beer and tequila enthusiasts so we try and buy things that maintain our interest whilst not alienating our extremely broad customer range. Nigel around the corner at Anchored in Worthing does local and cask so we kind of leave that to him, although we do very much enjoy working with our local breweries.
We currently aren’t offering food at the moment but that will be returning soon.
How many on your team and who are they?
Our team fluctuates massively but we are very close to those past and present, with most staying on bank. Currently the only regular team member is the angelic Abby Blann.
How did the idea for your business come about?
I’m not sure folk believe me when I say this but Kevin had a dream that he had opened a business called the Wax Cactus… which he relayed to me over a bar.
It was then that he began formulating the idea of birthing a bottle shop but it was only when we discovered the former butcher’s – which is now our premises – when the bottle shop became a bar; our taps come through to the bar from the old fridge.
Talk about organic, huh? We literally let the venue do the talking! And then came the cocktails, mainly because they suited the sort of aesthetic the venue allowed.
Opening a new venue at the moment is clearly challenging, what prompted you to take the leap?
The man had a dream. One should always follow one’s dream, right? Very quickly though it became about the community of friends we have made there so, while it was tough over the pandemic, the thought of not being the Wax Cactus anymore has spurred us on. Our patrons are incredibly important to us, as is the incredibly warm, nurturing vibe we have built together.
Why is Worthing a great place to open a hospitality business right now?
Worthing is very much a town in transition and that is hugely exciting to be a part of. There have got to be at least a dozen of us small independent bars now and we absolutely adore them all… of course, we only ever get to pop out for five so spend most of our time at the Anchored in Worthing or the Whiskey Rooms. And all our food is from Sofia, Morleys, Pizzaface or Mamoosh so very local in that respect.
What are your plans/hopes for the future?
It’s that word community again. We really want to keep building and nurturing it. We want to keep on running charity events; we have another coming up shortly for a selection of women’s charities.
We have poetry nights and craft evenings and lots of music; we like to be a stage for all people and things that matter. Worthing’s West End is just going to keep getting better and better and we want to contribute to that. And we obviously want to keep delighting the taste buds of the town!
Wax Cactus, 114-116, Montague St, Worthing BN11 3HG • Discover more about Wax Cactus here