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St Austell buys first pub in Dorset
St Austell Brewery has announced its first acquisition in Dorset with the purchase of the Rock Point Inn in Lyme Regis.
The acquisition includes the historic Rock Point pub and Cobb Fish Bar complex, which had been under the same ownership since 1984.
Originally built towards the end of the 18th Century, the Grade II listed Rock Point will remain closed for several months while a complete refurbishment is undertaken by St Austell.
St Austell Brewery property director Adam Luck said: “We have always considered the wider South West region as our heartland and have been growing our free trade business for many years. The acquisition of Bath Ales and our new distribution depot at Avonmouth means we can reach more readily to customers all the way down to the south coast and we are very proud to be taking on the Rock Point, our first pub in Dorset and home to so many fantastic and vibrant bars, pubs and hotels.”
Describing the plans for the historic site, Adam added: “The Rock Point is such an amazing pub and a focal point of the local community. We will be talking and listening to everyone over the next few weeks to ensure we do what is right for the building taking into account its heritage and historic usage. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience in terms of both community and destination pubs and we want to be sure that the Rock Point will continue to play an important role for both locals and visitors alike when the work is complete.”
Somerset cider breaks overseas ice
Somerset cider maker, Harry’s Cider, is taking its first step into overseas markets by securing a deal with Icelandic brewery, Gaedingur Brew.
One of their brewers sampled Harry’s Cider at Heston Blumenthal’s ‘The Perfectionists’ Café’ in Heathrow Terminal 2, and liked it so much that the microbrewery ordered two pallets of Harry’s Dabinett and Original bottled ciders to stock at its two bars in Iceland and to sell through Icelandic off-licence retailer Vínbúð.
As part of the Food is GREAT government campaign, Harry’s Cider received support from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for International Trade (DIT) to help identify trusted logistics providers, and understand how to protect its intellectual property rights when exporting overseas.
Alison Chapman, head of accounts and marketing, Harry’s Cider, said: “Exporting can open up new opportunities for sales, but it can also take some time to understand each market and the requirements of each country. Thankfully DIT has been on hand to help us navigate any issues.
“Before we started selling to our partner in Iceland, we’d received some enquiries from overseas buyers interested in our products. To help with responding to these enquiries we got in touch with DIT, who were able to offer advice and support about starting exporting, information on details such as labelling requirements, logistics, and strategies to build on our initial success.
“DIT has since helped us develop our export approach through one-to-one meetings with our local International Trade Adviser and enabled us to hold face-to-face meetings with potential customers from around the world through local ‘meet the buyer’ events.
“What’s been particularly interesting to see is the strength of ‘Brand Britain’ overseas – we’ve got a Union Jack printed on our bottle tops because we know that it helps to define quality for overseas customers.”
Paul Shand, DIT’s head of exports in the South West said: “Harry’s Cider is a local producer with a national reputation for producing an exceptional product, and customers abroad are just starting to get a taste of what it has to offer. It’s great to see a local business like Harry’s have success overseas, and we know that many others can too.
“There’s currently a huge demand for South West food and drink overseas, with exports totalling £838million in the year to June 2018 alone, up 8.7% on the previous 12 months.
“To help more businesses of all sizes make the most of this export opportunity, we can provide support to attend trade shows, as well as local meet-the-buyer events, and access to our network of International Trade Advisers, who are based on the ground across the region. We also have advisers based in more than 108 countries. DIT experts can help with everything from foreign legislation to language barriers.
“We know that exporting can help boost profitability and increase resilience, and I’m encouraging anyone interested to get in touch.”
Firms looking for support should contact 01275 370 944 or email DITsw@mobile.trade.gov.uk. They can also visit great.gov.uk, which has a wide range of live export opportunities currently listed and includes general information on exporting and events.
VisitEngland relaunches national accreditation schemes
VisitEngand have relaunched its Entry Level and Taste accreditation schemes for accommodation and food businesses, making them available to businesses across England.
All accommodation and food businesses in England can apply to the schemes directly through VisitEngland Assessment Services as well as through local destination management organisations. The criteria for both schemes has been brought up to date with current legal requirements and simplified accreditation processes.
The Entry Level scheme provides a more basic accreditation at a lower price point than VisitEngland’s star-rated accommodation quality schemes and is open to any type of accommodation business from serviced to self-catering. It guarantees compliance with legal obligations along with basic levels of cleanliness and safety, as well as the option to move up to a full star rating.
The Taste scheme assesses the physical dining experience, staff and food and drink. There are two levels of accreditation – a Taste Accolade, for those passing the criteria with a score of 60-79% and a Taste Gold Accolade, for those achieving a high pass of 80%+. There is also a Local Food Accolade, available to any business using and promoting local ingredients and suppliers, nominated by assessors. Both schemes give successful participants benefits including a certificate, logo and website listing.
VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said: “Opening up these accreditation schemes to all accommodation and food businesses across England from restaurants and pubs to B&Bs and caravan parks, will boost the tourism industry, and benefit the economy, as more customers are reassured by the official stamp of quality and safety that the schemes provide.”
For more information about either scheme or to apply, contact VisitEngland Assessment Services directly on 01256 491111 or email VisitEnglandAssessmentServices@theAA.com.
Coffee cup ban saves 80,000+ from landfill
Independently owned coffee chain Boston Tea Party (BTP) reckons its ban on single-use coffee cups has stopped 81,500 going into landfill since they introduced the policy on 1st June 2018.
Customers can only buy drinks to take away in reusable cups, either their own, a loan cup which they return for a refund or by buying an Ecoffee cup. Boston Tea Party have sold over 22,500 Ecoffee cups at cost price since starting the ban.
The savings to the business of supplying disposal cups is 10 pence per cup and BTP have raised £8.1k to donate to local charities, chosen by each branch of its 22 café portfolio.
Anita Atkins, BTP’s Brand Director said: “Our customers have been incredible both online and in cafés. The feeling in our cafés is very different in the morning. Far from being a routine on the way to work, customers are now happy about their morning coffee, doing something good for the planet and giving to a local charity, all before the day begins! We are calling them everyday heroes. One customer brought a yoghurt pot in for their coffee, proving that the team at BTP really will put coffee in any receptacle that will hold it!”
The business has seen a fall of 24% in takeaway hot drink sales during the past six months compared to the same period last year. Sam Roberts, owner and MD of BTP comments: “A drop in takeaway coffee sales with the ban was inevitable. But happily, we’ve seen a marked uplift in customers drinking in. This six month period also included one of the hottest summers in BTP’s history when we sold a lot more cold drinks than hot ones! But we need to see people voting with their feet, if they believe the bigger companies should do more, it’s the only way they will take notice.
“We’ve had calls from cafes and coffee chains asking us to guide them through how to go about organising their own ban, and that is the real success story here. We can’t solve this problem on our own, we’re determined to find as many organisations as possible, however big or small, to help this campaign to gather momentum. To that end, we’ve run operator workshops to convey to the industry how the ban has worked from an operational and commercial perspective. The management team has presented at industry events nationally and locally and interest in the business has never been keener.”
Michael Caines to open a new restaurant on Exmouth Waterfront
Award-winning chef Michael Caines will be opening a restaurant in the new development on Exmouth waterfront.
Caines’ plans for the scheme, developed by Exeter-based Grenadier, include a “range of offers to suit all tastes, from a casual dining restaurant complete with an upstairs terrace, to a dog-friendly café offering a lighter menu and serving homemade ice-creams, local coffee and healthy takeaway snacks.”
The restaurant will use locally sourced produce including fish from Exmouth docks and meat from local farms. Caines hopes to operate the site as sustainably as possible taking an environmentally responsible approach to packaging, waste, water efficiency, as well as the heating, cooling and lighting of the building.
Commenting on the announcement, Michael Caines MBE said: “The waterfront development will play a pivotal role in the future and regeneration of Exmouth and I’m really excited to be a part of something that celebrates all that this wonderful coastline has to offer. We’ll be using local ingredients to showcase the great variety of high-quality food and drink that this area has right on its doorstep, with a menu that offers something for everyone.
“Tourism and hospitality are together a pinnacle of the local economy and job market. We’ll be working with a local academy and college to bring young people on through an apprenticeship scheme, providing the opportunity to work in the catering and hospitality industry. I’m looking forward to working alongside Edge Watersports to create a vibrant place for locals and visitors to enjoy the activities and food on offer or to just come and relax while they soak up the scenery.”
The scheme, which is being developed on a not-for-profit basis by Grenadier, will see part of Exmouth waterfront transformed into a “brand-new water sports facility for the community.” The development was given the green light by East Devon District Council in June 2018. Michael Caines MBE joins water sports provider Edge Watersports as the scheme’s second key tenant to be announced.
Work is expected to start in summer next year with the restaurant set to open in summer 2020.
New bar Crying Wolf in Bristol
The 75 seat Crying Wolf will open on Bristol’s Cotham Hill on Friday 7th December. It joins owner Louis Lewis-Smith’s Dark Horse bar in Bath under a new parent company called the Wild West Group.
Each of the bar’s two storeys will have a unique design and atmosphere, as well as table service. The seasonal drinks menus will feature “the bounty of the southwest, using handmade syrups, cordials and shrubs made from locally-grown ingredients and regionally-produced spirits such as Somerset Cider Brandy, Wild Beer from Shepton Mallet and Dunleavy wines from the Chew Valley.”
The seasonal bar menu will offer local specialities such as pork pie from Winterbourne’s Buxton Butchers served with a red ale chutney made especially for Crying Wolf by Ruby & White; and a ‘Bristol rarebit’ that uses Moor Beer, Single Gloucester cheese and locally baked sourdough.
Louis Lewis-Smith said: “I’ve worked every day the last four months, with the most brilliant and dedicated crew, to make Crying Wolf an exceptional place for my team to work in and for our customers to enjoy. Everything is handcrafted and bespoke, and we are really looking forward to welcoming guests to this special environment.
“The downstairs bar is made from a single, naturally-felled English oak from the New Forest. The upstairs bar features a supporting bar station which will allow us to run an apprenticeship scheme in order to offer young people with an interest in hospitality the chance to train across both bar and kitchen disciplines. The dedicated ice room houses four different machines to ensure perfect ice for every drink.”
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
New nitro coffee mixer “super-charges” cocktails
Coffee supplier Paddy and Scott’s has launched Sexy Black Nitro Cold Brew Coffee, a product it says is set “to revolutionise the bar scene.”
The zero fat and calorie caffeinated coffee mixer can “super-charge” classic coffee cocktails and mocktails from Espresso Martini to White Russians, taking the hassle out of preparing them.
Available in 200ml cans that are easy to store and chill, each one can create up to three drinks.
Scott Russell, CEO and founder of Paddy & Scott’s said: “We know how popular coffee-based cocktails have become, but brewing cups of espresso on the bar and chilling them to serve in cocktails is a slow and time-consuming process which often doesn’t make financial sense for bar owners. With Sexy Black Nitro Cold Brew we’ve created a drink that gives bartenders a delicious, quick, easy and fun drink that customers will love.”
For more information visit www.paddyandscotts.co.uk
Dartmoor discover new porter
Dartmoor Brewery are introducing a Black Porter as No. 5 in their Discovery Range of limited edition beers.
Available from November to January, they describe the 4.5 ABV porter as a: “A blend of pale, crystal and chocolate malts [which] gives this beer a deep flavour with a dark fruit undertone and a spicy, black pepper finish.”
For more information go to www.dartmoorbrewery.co.uk.
Artis introduces gold-plated barware
Barware distributors Artis are taking “cocktail service presentation to a new level” with a range of gold-plated bar kit and accessories.
The range includes a showcase ‘Tin Tin’ shaker, three different types of strainers; a Julep strainer, Hawthorne strainer and a Fine strainer, two types of jigger and three different lengths of bar spoon.
All pieces are gold plated over stainless steel. The gold bar kit pieces range in price from
£7.01 to £11.40 and the Tin Tin shaker costs £20.35 – all plus VAT.
For more details call 020 8391 5544 or go online at www.artis-uk.com/download.
Solent hotel gets new general manager
George French has been appointed general manager of the Solent Hotel and Spa in Fareham. The announcement marks a return for French to the four-star, one AA Rosette Solent where he was operations manager in 2015/16.
He rejoins them as the latest move in a career that has seen him take roles in several The House of Daniel Thwaites Hotels including Kettering Park Hotel and Spa, Cottons Hotel and Spa and Middletons Hotel.
Chris Hill, hotel operations director of House of Daniel Thwaites Hotels, said: “We are delighted to appoint George French as general manager at Solent Hotel and Spa. George has gained invaluable experience at our other hotels and has an enthusiastic drive which he expertly shares with the team. We know he will be a great asset to the hotel.”
French said: “ “I am thrilled to be returning to Solent Hotel and Spa, this time as general manager. Though it is only two years since I moved away, there have been some great developments at the hotel especially the launch of the Lodge at Solent bringing a new budget-friendly offering to the resort. Also, the recent refurbishments of the guest rooms, meeting space and the spa has enabled us to offer our guests an even greater experience during their stay.”
The House of Daniel Thwaites Hotels features more than 20 hotels across the country.
Cotswolds village pub under starters orders
The Horse and Groom at Upper Oddington near Stow-on-the-Wold is on the market at £850,000 for the freehold with Colliers International.
The pub is believed to date from 1580 and is built from Cotswold stone with exposed walls, flagstones and wooden beams throughout. It has seven letting rooms, a bar and restaurant with seating for a total of 86.
Peter Brunt, a Director with Colliers International’s Hotels team, said: “It is…a great business. A cosy yet contemporary bar and restaurant plus seven pretty letting bedrooms adds up to a first-class package in a highly sought-after part of the country.
“Quality freeholds like these are rarely available, so this is a wonderful opportunity for buyers to acquire one of the very best pubs in the Cotswolds.”