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Sandy Balls gets £1m investment to go Zen
Away Resorts have invested £1m in its new Zen holiday homes at the Sandy Balls Holiday Village in the New Forest.
The Zen is a new type of caravan exclusive to the site that has been “designed in response to the growing desire for many people to escape their busy lives and tune out from the digital noise and the stresses of the 21st century when they are on holiday.”
The Zen holiday homes are being unveiled this Easter. They can sleep up to seven, and have a dedicated parking area and hot tub.
Away Resorts has also spent £400,000 on rebranding the on-site family-friendly restaurant, now called Aubrey’s Forest Kitchen, and giving it a new look inspired by the forest setting, a new menu including vegetarian and gluten-free options plus a delivery service to all guests.
The operator has also invested £300,000 on refurbishing some of the existing holiday village accommodation, £100,000 on improvements to the indoor pool, £240,000 on landscaping the village square and £10,000 on creating a woodland theatre for outdoor performances.
Away Resorts chief executive Carl Castledine said: “We’ve done our own research, polling 2,000 of our guests. We found that the primary factor for them when selecting their main holiday was their accommodation. We also found that 65% of UK holidaymakers like to relax in their holiday homes in the evening, as opposed to going out.
“We understand that different people have different drivers when it comes to holiday accommodation. To cater to these different tastes, we have already introduced the family-friendly New York loft-themed TriBeCa and the Brit-cool Rockstar holiday homes over the past 12 months.
“The Zen is our option for those who want to get back to nature; to switch off from the city’s hustle and bustle; to relax and re-energise; to use their holiday to improve their wellness. It has been shown that wellbeing improves immeasurably as a result of immersing oneself in nature. The more research that’s done on the benefits of the outdoors, the more it becomes obvious that spending time in the wild is one of the best boosters of health and wellness – both physical and mental.”
Conviviality could fold if it fails to raise £125m
The troubled alcoholic drinks wholesaler, Conviviality, has warned it could go bust if it can’t secure £125m to pay creditors and a tax bill.
The move follows the company issuing two profit warnings last week following the discovery of a £30m tax bill which must be paid by the end of the month. The company’s shares on AIM were suspended.
Chief executive Diana Hunter stepped down on Monday 19th March with immediate effect.
The company plans to raise £125m to recapitalise the business, settle the tax bill, repay the group’s £30m credit facility and pay creditors.
In a statement, Conviviality said if it is unable to raise the funds by some means, the group is “unlikely to be able to trade on a going concern basis”.
The group became the UK’s largest wholesaler of alcoholic drinks with the purchase of Matthew Clark and Bibendum in 2015 and 2016 and serves 10,000 customers, in more than 23,000 outlets with more than 2,500 people on its staff.
St Austell Brewery hailed best tenanted pub company
St Austell Brewery has been named as the UK’s best tenanted pub company for the sixth time in a row according to the annual M&C Allegra (MCA) Tenant Track survey.
The family-run business scored 8.73 out of 10 when tenants were asked to rate their pub company, the highest score recorded in the survey which interviews more than 1,200 tenants and lessees operating within 13 different pub companies across the country.
Steve Worrall from St Austell Brewery said: “We are delighted to have come out top in the latest Tenant Track survey and to have again increased our scores from last time. We continue to roll out initiatives that have worked well in our managed estate such as free mystery customer visits and look to provide the best support possible to tenants and their teams with customer service training to help promote best retail practices.”
St Austell also came out top in three key training categories, including the support it provided for development, training, recruitment and its company support website.
Select Country Inns buy Hampshire pub
The Cartwheel Inn, a Grade II listed pub situated in Whitsbury, a rural Hampshire village, has been acquired by Select Country Inn off a freehold guide price of £435,000.
Select Country Inns, plans to let the pub to an experienced operator, following a refurbishment programme, according to the agents Christie & Co.
Brian Currie of Select Country Inns comments, “I am delighted to be adding The Cartwheel Inn to our portfolio as historically it has had a strong reputation and always traded well.”
Hampshire Food Festival calls for local producers
Local food group Hampshire Fare are on the lookout for new events and local producers to be part of the eighteenth annual Hampshire Food Festival.
The festival takes place across Hampshire from the 1st to 31st July. Events include masterclasses, markets, pop-up dining, tours and tastings. The only stipulation is that your event must involve local produce.
Tracy Nash, Commercial Manager of Hampshire Fare, explains: “Our award-winning festival lasts throughout July and celebrates the talent behind our county’s amazing food and farming. Each year the festival delivers a line up of over 60 events which take place across Hampshire. This year we are eager to get new businesses involved. So, if you are a supporter of local food, get in touch!”
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
Great new British biscotti flavours
The Great British Biscotti Company have four new “quintessentially English” flavours launching in April. Red Onion Marmalade & Walnut, Stilton & Raisins, Spiced Apple & Chocolate, and Sour Cherry & Double Chocolate will retail at £2.99 for a 100g pack.
Company head Paul Rostand said: “Now feels like the right moment to back our rapidly expanding export order export with a new deck of undisputedly British-inspired ‘flavour marriages.”
On recent expansion, the company states: “Possibly the best business decision The Great British Biscotti Co ever made was to buy its own bakery at the outset of its adventure, (Vs committing to 3rd party packers) thereby ensuring a regular stream of ‘game-changing’ innovation. Further equipment upgrade investment at the artisan Dorset operation in recent months has helped speed up production efficiencies and broaden packaging format options whilst not losing sight of the very ‘hands-on nature’ of this super premium snack.”
For more details, go to www.greatbritishbiscotti.co.uk
Belvoir launch four new pressés
Belvoir Fruit Farms has extended its Pressé range with four new products: Pink Grapefruit, Rhubarb & Apple, Botanical Juniper & Tonic and Light Ginger Beer.
The new drinks are “inspired by the growing consumer demand for innovative soft drinks, as one in five adults claim to be tee-total and two in three are reducing their alcohol intake. “ The company point to the Botanical Juniper & Tonic as the “perfect non-alcoholic alternative to a classic G&T.”
Pev Manners, MD of Belvoir Fruit Farms said: “Flavours abound across the whole Belvoir range, but these new products alone feature rhubarb, grapefruit, juniper, lemon thyme and cardamom, some of the biggest trending flavours currently, and ensure the brand remains highly relevant in today’s soft drinks market and within consumer taste profiles.”
For more information go to www.belvoirfruitfarms.co.uk.
Two new ice machines from Scotsman
Hubbard Systems have launched two new Scotsman ice dispensers that promise “compact tabletop footprint, massive capacity.”
The larger model is the DXN 207 ice dispenser. It can store 200 servings and make up to 110kg of ice per day with a 427mm wide by 553mm deep footprint. The smaller DXN 107 model can make 72kg of ice per day.
Both models dispense cubelet ice which minimises water use and chills drinks more effectively.
The new DXN models replace the company’s TC180 dispenser, are made of stainless steel and operated with a touchpad. List prices for the DXN range start from £4,476.00 + VAT.
Email email@example.com or visit www.scotsman-ice.co.uk for more information.
Ross-on-Wye boutique hotel on the market for £1m
Wilton Court, a Grade II listed boutique hotel on the banks of the River Wye, is on the market for offers over £1 million with agents Colliers International.
The property dates back to the Elizabethan era and retains period features including mullioned windows, wooden beams and original fireplaces.
Peter Brunt, a director in Colliers International’s Hotels Agency team, said: “Dating from the early 1500s, Grade II listed Wilton Court is just a few minutes drive from the M50 motorway offering easy and fast access to a large catchment population including South Wales, the Midlands and Greater Bristol.
“The 11 letting rooms, cosy lounges and award-winning restaurant helped generate net sales of £579,000 in 2017. In addition, there is a private two-bedroomed cottage for the owners.
“Our clients bought the hotel in 2000, and have over the years invested in the hotel to ensure it is well cared for and in an excellent position for their successors to take over and drive forward.”
Don’t miss our guide to the South West’s finest cider makers
Some of the best cider in the world is made in the South West. We will tell you more about the local producers making it in our first Cider Showcase, due out on Wednesday 28th March.
Companies featured include Sheppy’s, Ashridge, Fowey Valley, Rich’s Cider, Dorset Orchards, Perry’s Cider, and Harry’s Cider.
Subscribe to Rise & Shine to get your copy
Welcome to Excellence courses
8th March – 3rd May 2018
Exeter, Bournemouth and St Austell
“Welcome Host Gold customer service courses and Welcome All disability awareness courses running in locations across Devon, Dorset and Cornwall. Enhance the customer experience and reap the rewards in increased customer loyalty and repeat business. Provide great service to every single one of your customers – smart businesses know how to make everyone welcome.”
Further information available at http://www.purplecloudconsultancy.com
To book https://purplecloudconsultancy.digitickets.co.uk/tickets
Grow your business! Resilience and planning training workshop
28th March 2018, 9.30 – 4.30
7, Kingsdown Orchard, Hyde Road, Swindon SN2 7RR
“This Amelia Bishop roundtable business training workshop looks at the opportunities for your business out of Brexit. We are giving you the tools to ensure your business continues to grow during these changing and uncertain times by sharing our knowledge and experience and equipping you with the tools to prepare and transform your business in the years ahead.”
For more information & to book – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/grow-your-business-business-resilience-and-growth-workshop-tickets-43832545323
Farm Shop & Deli Show
16th – 18th April 2018
“Bringing the latest developments in artisan produce, Farm Shop & Deli Show is the sector’s leading event for delicatessens, farm shops, restaurants, garden centres, food halls, butcheries and bakeries as they look to discover the latest trends in speciality food and drink.”
Food & Drink Expo
16th – 18th April 2018
“Showcasing some of the industry’s hottest new brands and talent, the show will provide buyers with a wealth of information and product sourcing opportunities. With over 100 live events and 250 speakers across the show portfolio, Food & Drink Expo retains its position as a show that owners and buyers in the food business can’t afford to miss.”
16th – 18th April 2018
“The UK’s premier trade event for the food and drink processing, packaging and logistics industries, Foodex returns to highlight the latest innovations in supply chain efficiency.”
The Ingredients Show
16th – 18th April 2018
A new event to provide manufacturers with a one-stop-shop for innovative new ingredients and equipment.
National Convenience Show
16th – 18th April 2018
“The National Convenience Show offers the perfect forum for convenience stores, forecourt traders, independent retailers, off-licences and wholesalers to review the best fresh produce and products, as well as identifying new technology and services that can improve efficiency and the in-store experience.”
The Natural Food Show
22nd – 23rd April 2018
“The Natural Food Show will showcase thousands of the best natural, organic and healthy food and drink products on the market.”
Taste of the West Workshops: Food Labelling & Nutritional Information
26th April 2018
Old Mill, Exeter Business Park, EX1 3LJ
Taste of the West will be holding back-to-back workshops on Food Labelling and Nutritional Information with affiliate member Food Labelling Services. The sessions are designed to give you practical, bespoke advice to ensure your products give consumers the information they need while meeting all legal requirements in a time of complex and changing regulations. We invite our members to attend one or both sessions. A sandwich lunch will be provided between the sessions.
WORKSHOP 1: FOOD LABELLING, 9.30am – 12:00pm
WORKSHOP 2: NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION, 12.30pm – 2:00pm
Cost: TOTW members – £50 + VAT for one session or £75 + VAT for both.
Non-members of TOTW – £75 plus VAT for one session or £100 plus VAT for both.
For more information and to book, please visit https://mailchi.mp/a3c3cf9ae8fc/workshops-for-taste-of-the-west-members-685381