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Heartstone Inns sell 7 pubs to Punch
Heartstone Inns have sold seven South West pubs to Punch Pubs, in a deal brokered by Christie & Co.
The pubs, spread across southern England, include The Cricketers, The Diggers Rest, The King Alfred, The Owl, The Pelican, The Bathurst Arms and The Talbot.
Heartstone will continue to run their remaining eight large food-led freehold managed pubs. According to Christie & Co, “Heartstone were looking to sell their non-core managed house assets which were more suited to lease conversion and focus on their remaining great quality and well-performing sites.”
Punch chief executive, Clive Chesser said: “We are pleased to welcome seven wonderful pubs into the Punch family and look forward to working together with our new publicans and their teams… We have plans to invest in all seven pubs during 2020, providing them with industry-leading support to allow them to flourish while ensuring they continue to operate at the very heart of their communities. We will provide further updates as these plans progress but in the meantime, the pubs remain open and trading as usual.”
James Birch, co-founder and managing director of Heartstone Inns said, “We are delighted to have sold seven of our pubs to Punch. As a result, we can continue to develop and expand our remaining estate of large, food-led, managed pubs. We would like to thank our transferring staff for their loyalty and hard work and wish them, their customers and Punch the very best for the future.”
Neil Morgan, Senior Director – Pubs & Restaurants at Christie & Co adds, “We had strong interest in the portfolio from a range of buyers including regional pub companies and private equity-backed multiple operators. We are currently working on a number of similar size portfolios and look forward to announcing these shortly.”
Padstow restaurant to relaunch
The Mediterranean-inspired Rojano’s in the Square, Padstow, Cornwall is being relaunched by owners Paul and Emma Ainsworth with a new name.
After purchasing the freehold to the property, they have announced Caffè Rojano by Paul Ainsworth will open on 10th February with a new art deco design and a menu inspired by the Italian café culture of New York.
Paul said: “After nine fantastic years of Rojano’s in the Square, Emma and I have decided to re-launch the restaurant as Caffè Rojano as well as buying the freehold. This has been a huge decision for us, but we’re confident that we can create a new family-dining experience here in Padstow. I’m incredibly excited to reveal the new interiors and menu inspired by the incredible Italian food scene in New York.”
The front of the Caffe Rojano will showcase pasta handmade on a marble counter which guests will be able to purchase to take home.
Chef director jack Clements is creating a new all-day dining menu. The restaurant will open every day for breakfast with dishes including French toast, and Land and River (toasted crumpets topped with a tartar butter, smoked salmon, lemon cream cheese, a poached egg and pangrattato), as well as American diner-style favourites like buttermilk chicken waffles.
The à la carte menu will feature bistro classics like ox cheek ragu with St. Ewe egg, tagliatelle, green soft herb dressing and pangratatto and make use of local produce with mussels in fresh herb butter and a fruit de la mer platter. A wide range of sourdough pizzas and homemade pasta dishes will also be available as well as baked cakes and scones, and gourmet sandwiches to take away.
Cornish fishmonger reports Christmas sales boost
Wing of St Mawes, The Cornish Fishmonger, has reported a 15% rise in sales over the Christmas period, across wholesale, retail and online.
They point to an “An increase in new customers and number of orders indicated a greater consumption and appetite for sustainably sourced, quality Cornish fish – helping to boost the local fishing industry.” The increase in sales came despite some bad weather hampering the catch.
Rob Wing, owner and managing director of Wing of St Mawes, said: “Having just had our best Christmas ever, it is clear that sustainability remains at the forefront of the minds of all our customers, whether they are Michelin starred chefs and Cornish restaurants or simply ordering great Cornish seafood to be delivered to their homes.
We remain fully committed to supporting local fishermen and working together with them and other industry stakeholders to ensure a bright and sustainable long-term future for fishing. We will always endeavour to source and provide the finest fish and freshest seafood, caught from local inshore boats.”
Sausage producer cuts plastic
Family-owned producer Westaway Sausages, based in Newton Abbot, Devon, is taking a lead in reducing plastic. They believe themselves to be the only producer in the UK to offer major retailers the option of sausages packed in a card tray rather than a plastic tray.
They are also aiming to use 100% biodegradable and recyclable packaging by Easter 2020. They plan to achieve this by switching to a biodegradable stretch wrap.
Westaway is developing the first retail packs of meat products that use a new form of stitch film make from biodegradable polymers extracted from biobased sugars. Their stretch wrap is certified compostable and biodegradable. It meets the European standard EN13432 for Home Composting. It will degrade in landfill within six months with no harmful residues.
Charles Baughan, managing director, said: “We have a clear responsibility as a food manufacturer to reduce the amount of plastic in our business. We have already made good progress and we believe we are leading our sector in providing a viable alternative to the use of plastic trays.”
Harry Studholme, chairman Forestry Commission, commented, “Great news that Westaways are moving to Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood-based packaging. Not only is replacing plastic packaging helping reduce plastic waste but the FSC does an excellent job worldwide ensuring that all their certified products come from sustainably managed forests.”
For further information, email Melissa Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01626 333101.
Jolly’s Drinks open new base in Saltash
Jolly’s Drinks opened its new home on 29th January in Saltash, Cornwall.
The “state-of-the-art” facility on Saltash Business Park is set to offer a “growth in regional manufacturing, plus the creation of numerous jobs for the local area”, according to the soft drinks producer.
Managing director, Cheryl Ingram said: “Saltash is the perfect location for our new facility in Cornwall. Not only thanks to the clear Cornish spring which runs underneath the unit, but also because of the easy transport links which aid the distribution of our products. With a new canning line planned for this year, customers are already preordering our range of canned drinks in order to be the first to stock these fantastic flavours.”
Juice bar opens new site in Bristol
Big Juice Ltd has opened a new juice bar on the ground floor of Hamilton House in Stokes Croft. Bristol, after operating from the city’s St Nicholas Market for some 20 years.
Co-owner Harri Grewal said: “Hamilton House came to us and asked us if we would consider opening a bar on the ground floor there. The owner had always wanted a juice bar, so we came and saw the space available and thought it would be ideal for us. We opened earlier this month.
It’s a fantastic location in the heart of the community, and we have lots of exciting ideas for the future. We’re delighted to be here.”
Hamilton House is a multi-use building owned by Connolly & Callaghan. Andrew Baker, head of Social Enterprise, said: “The late Martin Connolly had a clear vision of what he wanted to see here at Hamilton House, and a quality juice bar was very much part of that. It’s taken years to realise that vision and while Martin is sadly no longer with us, I am sure he would have been delighted to see the opening of the Big Juice bar. It occupies a prime position in the building and is a very welcome addition to the Hamilton House family.”
FOOD AND DRINK NEWS
New preserves sweetened with honey
A new range of fruit preserves made without sugar have been launched by Fruitiful Preserves. The Fruitiful range consists of four flavours: strawberry, raspberry, whortleberry and Seville.
The preserves, which feature 55% fruit per 100g, have been produced with English honey and a sugar substitute called Zùsto. Derived from vegetable roots, Zùsto is a water-soluble fibre that “contains 75% fewer calories than sugar, has a low glycaemic content and none of the aftertaste or laxative effects often found with sweeteners.”
Managing director, Ann Stallard said, “Fruitiful Preserves were developed to be enjoyed by everyone, for those wanting to cut down on their sugar intake, or those just looking for a delicious preserve. Despite many requests, I have resisted creating a range sugar-free preserves until now, as I won’t compromise on quality by using sorbitol, fructose or other sugar-alternatives. Having discovered the combination of honey and Zщsto together, I am delighted with the flavour and texture of this range.”
Fruitiful preserves (220g) have a recommended retail price of £4.00 and are available from www.fruitiful.co.uk.
Bristol Hoteliers get new Chair
Raphael Herzog has been named as the new permanent chair of the Bristol Hoteliers Association. He has been fulfilling the role in an acting capacity since July 2019.
The general manager of the De Vere Tortworth Court, in South Gloucestershire, Raphael has more than 25 years of experience in the hotel industry.
He said: “My main focus is to help raise the profile of the industry and work hard with all the General Managers of hotels within the BHA. We want to work with organisations like City of Bristol College and Springboard to showcase the industry to youngsters, to encourage them to consider a career in hospitality.
“I also want to provide a strong voice in the city, to ensure that hoteliers are heard on relevant matters, as we make a significant contribution to the city’s economy.”
The Bristol Hoteliers Association represents 40 major hotels in the city, with around 4,000 rooms in total.
New MD for Cornish resort
St Mellion Estate has appointed Howard Jones as its new managing director. The new role follows the restructure of the senior management team which saw former general manager Ian Davies leave the business.
Jones joins the luxury family and golf resort from Born Free, the international animal conservation charity where he was chief executive. He was formerly a director at the Eden Project and served as an officer in the British Army.
The owner of St Mellion, Crown Golf Property, recently announced it was bringing forward a £30m investment plan, following a tie-up with property development and investment company, Sequoia Real Estate.
Included in the plans are a development of 230 holiday lodges, adventure golf club, kids club, lake and cycle trails as part of a range of new facilities aimed at the family staycation market.
Jason Mills, chief executive of Crown Golf Property, said: “As we move towards the hoped-for grant of planning permission, our attention has turned to implementing our vision to transform the St Mellion Estate into one of the leading luxury family-friendly leisure resorts in the UK.
“In addition to building out the masterplan, we recognise that delivering a new St Mellion will require significant new investment in the existing facilities.
“But bricks and mortar projects alone are not enough. We need to look, act, sound and operate differently. Growing the team, delivering consistent first-class customer service across all areas, unlocking new revenue generation and driving the diverse business forward as one are equally important. Howard’s appointment is fundamental in achieving this step change.”
Howard Jones added: “Having played a key role in developing the Eden Project into Cornwall’s leading tourist attraction, I’ve learnt how to build and inspire teams to deliver excellent service and performance.”
St Austell appoints new quality manager
St Austell Brewery has hired Paola Leather as its new quality manager. Her role will be to ensure the quality and consistency of the brewery’s beer brands including Tribute Pale Ale and Proper Job IPA.
In the past nine years, Paola has worked as Skinner’s head brewer, head of brewing services at Campden BRI and brewing production manager at Brains in Cardiff. She previously worked in St Austell Brewery’s quality team between 2005 and 2011.
Born and raised in the Columbian capital Bogota. Paolo is also the director of her own rum business, Rathlee Golden Barrel-Aged Rum is distilled in Latin America and blended with Cornish water.
On her new role at St Austell Brewery, Paola said: “It’s great to be back working with Roger, who I worked with for six years, and the rest of the brewing team.
“I look forward to getting stuck in and working on perfecting the quality of some of my favourite Cornish beers – and some exciting new brews too.”
Roger Ryman, brewing director, St Austell Brewery said: “I’m delighted to welcome Paola back to Cornwall, following her stint at Brains brewery. Paola has a broad breadth of knowledge and experience – in beer and beyond – and we feel lucky to have her back in our team again.”
Dartmoor inn on market for £495,000
The Ring O’ Bells, a traditional end-of-terrace country town inn, is located at the edge of the Dartmoor national park in Chagford and is on sale for £495,000 for the freehold with Stonesmith.
Dating back to the 16th century, it offers four ensuite letting bedrooms, a character main bar, dining room and commercial catering kitchen. There is also self-contained 2-bedroom owners accommodation.
The only freehouse in Chagford, it is positioned in the main town square, some 10 miles from Okehampton and 20 miles from Exeter.
The business has been run by the current owner for the past 13 years and according to agents Stonesmith, their client “advises that there is potential to develop all aspects of the business still further and for continued growth in trade levels, particularly by focused hands-on owner-operators.”
Full property details are available from the website www.stonesmith.co.uk and viewings arranged by calling 01392 201262.
THE SOURCE TRADE SHOW 2020
Time for hospitality sector to “step up to the plate and source local” to beat Brexit uncertainties.
Brexit might be “almost over the line” as far as the politicians are concerned, but with trade details still to be hammered out, leading to potential hold ups and tariffs for both imports and exports over the next year or so, organisations involved in the West Country food and drink sector are urging businesses in the hospitality sector to “source local”.
Hale Events, organisers of next week’s Source trade show, which takes place at Westpoint, near Exeter, from 5th to 6th February, say that the only sure way to ensure continuity of supplies – and guarantee costs going forward – is to buy from one of the huge range of quality producers who will be at their show.
“We’ve got over 200 exhibitors from the South West and beyond at the event,” says Mike Anderson, MD of Hale Events, “all ready to ‘step up to the plate’ and offer local businesses the very freshest quality foods and state-of-the-art equipment. This is the perfect opportunity to check out your supply options, compare prices and quality, and build new contacts.”
The Source trade show has long been the South West’s go-to show for all things comestible and potable, and from premium lemonades and small-batch gins through to artisan chutneys, charcuteries and candied jalapenos – not forgetting environmentally-friendly packaging and serving items – everything will be on display in one place over the two days.
“The South West is the beating heart of the nation’s tourism and hospitality industry,” continues Mike, “and with such a wealth of suppliers locally there’s really no need to look anywhere else.”
The show’s partners are Taste of the West – the countries largest regional food and drink trade organisation – and more of their members will exhibiting at the Source than at any other trade show. The West Country Tourism Conference runs alongside the event, and is aimed at helping those in the food, drink and hospitality sectors to build on their business success. This year it will be focusing on “Tourism Ideas and Excellence” as well as “Marketing, Digital and PR”.
Novel recipes for success will also be served up regularly in the “Innovation Kitchen”, provided by Sapphire Spaces, where oodles of inspiration, advice and culinary innovation will be on display courtesy of inspiring local chefs and Exeter Cookery School, as well as the winners of the South West Chef of the Year.
To register for the show, go to: thesourcetradeshow.co.uk/visitor-registration. You can also follow news on the show on Twitter at @SourceFoodDrink. For more details about the conference please visit www.westcountrytourismconference.org.uk.
Industry EVENTS 2020
Vineyards of Hampshire – Annual Trade & Press Tasting
4th February 2020, 9:00-15:30
67 Pall Mall, London. SW1Y 5ES
Vineyards of Hampshire’s annual trade and press tasting, to include the latest vintages and new releases from the member vineyards, including the launch of newest member, The Grange.
To attend, please RSVP to email@example.com to register.
PUB20 – The Pub Show
4th – 5th February 2020
“Dedicated to the UK Pub industry, discover new products from over 200 suppliers, learn from the best in the biz at 30+ insightful talks and keep up-to-date with all the latest food, drink and entertainment trends.”
The Source Trade Show
5th – 6th February 2020
“The South West’s biggest and best trade show for the food & drink sector. The Source trade show provides the perfect mix of passionate producers, alongside the hottest hospitality and catering companies, and the freshest food service.”
West Country Tourism Conference
5th – 6th February 2020
“The West Country Tourism Conference runs alongside the Source Trade Show with two ‘extended mornings’ of topical presentations. Wednesday 5th will focus on Tourism Ideas and Excellence, whilst Thursday 6th will have a Marketing, Digital and PR theme.”
For the full conference programme & to book, please visit-
The South West Tourism Excellence Awards Ceremony 2019/2020
6th February 2020
Exeter Cathedral, Devon
The prestigious South West Tourism Awards, following the linked regional award schemes. A selection of finalists will be nominated to represent the South West in the national VisitEngland awards.
Bristol Hoteliers Association – Night of the Stars Awards Ceremony
6th February 2020
Bristol Marriott Hotel City Centre
“Showcasing the very best of the city’s hospitality talent at a glittering awards ceremony, supporting Children’s Hospice South West.”
Food Drink Devon: Food Labelling Breakfast Workshop
20th February 2020, 9.00-13.00
Exeter Golf and Country Club
“Food Drink Devon invites you to join this informative food labelling workshop. You will learn about UK label requirements, changes to food labelling post-Brexit and legal requirements of food labelling, including Natasha’s Law.”
For more information & to book tickets, please visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/food-labelling-breakfast-workshop-tickets-90619183417
Three Counties Food & Drink Co Ltd: Branding & Marketing Workshop
20th February 2020, 9.00-13.00
Tewkesbury Borough Council, Tewkesbury. GL20 5TT
Get advice on how to plan and develop your Marketing Strategy in line with your business goals. Create a desirable food and drink brand that stands out from the crowds.
For more information & to book, please visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/your-story-your-branding-your-marketing-tickets-89236238993?aff=ebdssbdestsearch