Adelaide is mourning the loss of one of its true characters of hospitality, Emily Trott, one of the three owners of the beloved Wheatsheaf Hotel.
Trott passed away recently from cancer and a funeral service was held this week at Wirra Wirra – the McLaren Vale winery where she grew up, founded by her wine-maker father, Greg Trott, and teacher mother, Joanne Schmidt.
Several hundred people took part in a funeral procession through the streets of Thebarton, with a wake at the Wheatsheaf, aptly named “TrottFest”.
After formal training as a photographer, Trott worked in hospitality venues including the Exeter Hotel, where she met colleagues Jade Flavell and Liz O’Dea. The trio determined they would like to run their own pub together, and after missing out in a play for the Exeter the opportunity came up in 2003 to buy the Wheatsheaf Hotel at Thebarton.
They set out to create their own style of pub based on keeping “beer real, wine independent, whisky odd, music live and art public”, along with Trott’s mandate “to have fun and feel good”.
The Wheatsheaf has become synonymous with beer innovation, and now has its own in-house brewery, the Wheaty Brewing Corps.
The funeral saw tributes to Trott’s life, such as ‘Goosey Lucy’ – a gift from her late father and the Wheatsheaf’s mascot – her ukulele “Honey” and one of her impressive collection of Polaroid cameras, laid on the coffin.
The Wheaty’s Facebook page thanked all involved and the kind offers to make contributions, asking instead any donations be made to the Australasian Sarcoma Study Group, who research Emily’s type of cancer, or Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary.
Emily Trott is survived by her partner Katie Crocker, sister Catherine, and cats Benatar, Pablo and Little One.