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We hope you’re all staying safe and well.
Please let us know any positive changes or local initiatives your business is introducing to get through the coronavirus pandemic lockdown. We can then share your good news with 15,000 fellow subscribers in the South West hospitality industry.
Please contact our news editor, Carolyn Moss, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 01305 575155. Follow us on Twitter @BreadButterNews for updates.
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Bournemouth’s Covid-19 Action Plan
Hoteliers across Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch have joined together to produce a Covid-19 Action Plan which they hope will help hotels reopen “as soon as possible”.
The strategy includes guidance on how staff and guests can reduce the risk of transmission and remain safe when restrictions are eased. The hoteliers involved also want the government to consider any trials of lifting the lockdown in the tourism sector to be carried out in their area.
Hotel manager Theo Lakimov, who runs Bournemouth’s Hotel Miramar, led the move to create the plan, with the support of Rosie Radwell from neighbouring Marsham Court Hotel, and hospitality consultant Simon Scarborough. The BH Area Hospitality Association (BAHA) adopted the project along with the backing of the town’s two Business Improvement Districts (BIDS), BCP Council and local MPs.
Theo said: “Our local economy is so dependent on tourism we wanted to create a plan that will allow us to re-open the hotels, guest houses and B&Bs as soon as possible.
“The objective is to reduce risk as much as we can to reassure people that we can safely open again, albeit on a reduced basis.
“In line with government rulings, we want to clearly demonstrate that we have implemented procedures that put the safety and wellbeing of our guests, our staff and local residents at the forefront.
“The code of action includes risk-reduction protocols and best practice learned from other nations, as well as input from health professionals.
“Practical things include opening a limited number of car parking spaces, and public areas, and operating to just 50 per cent of bedroom capacity so social-distancing can be practised.
“Obviously room cleaning must be extremely thorough, and rooms might be left empty for days after they have been occupied.
“Signage about rules and how to correctly use hand sanitiser will have to be prominent and new training for staff should be introduced.
“Shift patterns should be organised so people are less likely to mix with each other and staff and guests will be provided with all necessary protection.
“Temperature tests for staff and guests can be introduced and payment can be done remotely.
“Each hotel is different, but we want them all to sign up to the code which outlines minimum protocols and procedures…
“Also, if the government wants to run a trial of re-opening hotels to test the waters, hoteliers in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole areas are fully prepared and ready to welcome guests back.”
Tim Seward Chair of the BH Area Hospitality Association added: “The hospitality sector is critical to the South West region, and this unified approach involving so many key stakeholders shows our commitment to helping local businesses and the regional economy get back on track.”
Hall & Woodhouse extends rent cancellation period
Independent Dorset brewer Hall & Woodhouse (H&W) has announced a further extension to the cancellation period of all rent and service charges for its Business Partner estate.
Publicans will be exempt from paying rent and service charges until Saturday 27th June 2020. H&W is also suspending loan repayments for the same period.
These payments were originally suspended for eight weeks in response to the Prime Minister’s announcement on 16th March which provided guidance to pubs and restaurants to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Chris Chapman, head of Business Partnerships at H&W, explained: “We are committed to providing our Business Partners with the financial support required to help them see through these unprecedented times.”
“This rent-free extension will bring the total rent we have cancelled for our Business Partners to over £1.6million. We hope that together with the support provided by the Government, we can continue to help our partners to immediately fund their businesses.
One-hour grocery delivery arrives in Bristol
Grocemania launched in Bristol on 1st May and promises customers they can get groceries delivered from local businesses in as little as an hour.
Already operational in London and Brighton and charging a fixed £2.50 delivery fee with no minimum spend, Grocemania has partnered with stores across the region, including the likes of Budgens, Nisa, Londis and Costcutter, as well as independent retailers. It also offers nationwide next-day delivery on fresh produce boxes from New Covent Garden Market.
Askar Bulegenov, founder and director of Grocemania, said: “Large supermarkets have been overwhelmed by soaring demand for home deliveries, meaning many people are unable to book a slot. This is extremely problematic – particularly for vulnerable people and NHS staff – so more options are needed.
“Grocemania is answering the call and we’re delighted to expand our one-hour grocery delivery service into Bristol. People across the city can get fresh produce delivered to their front door quickly and, at the same time, support local retailers. From small supermarkets and convenience stores through to corner shops and independent grocers, we are making sure people can safely and swiftly get their hands on the goods that these businesses have ready to sell.”
Bristol drinks brand starts bottling service
Bristol-based soft drinks maker Lovely Drinks is launching a new service to help brands develop and test run their drinks.
Due to the pandemic the producer has decided to make use of its bottling equipment to help other soft drinks makers by offering recipe development and small bottling runs.
The drinks maker, based in Barrow Gurney, near Bristol, is now offering pilot runs and small-scale bottling of sparkling and still soft drinks, juices, mixers, cold brew coffee, iced tea, syrups etc, recipe development, help with sourcing ingredients and packaging, advice on scaling up and help with perfecting product labels.
Rick Freeman, managing director, said: “Over the years we’ve often been asked for help to develop recipes or do small scale bottling runs. We didn’t really have the time to do it properly. Now seems like the perfect opportunity. We’ve won 23 Great Taste awards over the years so we do know our stuff. We hope that this added service will help us to thrive and grow after the pandemic is over”.
If any budding drinks businesses want help contact Rick on 01275 463229, 07927 480129 or email email@example.com.
Cornish distillery gets birthday Gold
Rosemullion Distillery celebrated its first birthday with two awards at the 2020 World Rum Awards. It received a ‘Style’ award for its Spiced Rum and Gold for its Gold Rum.
The distillery’s Harvest Gin has also been announced a finalist in The Gin Guide Awards.
Speaking about Rosemullion’s Gold Rum, judges at the World Rum Awards commented: “The nose starts off with tropical pineapple, mango and slightly overripe tropical fruit. There are light floral notes and a lovely citrus lemon and lime aroma note. The rum is very pleasant on the palate with a warm and round mouthfeel.”
Of the Spiced Rum, judges said: “Nose of heavy citrus zest and oils, cloves, ginger, and subtle spice. Complex start on the palate, with an orange chocolate finish dominant. Warming, spicy, interesting, and balanced.”
Liz Bradbury, who started Rosemullion with her husband, Andy, 12 months ago, said: “We’re amazed at the reception our rum and gin have received since we started selling our products a year ago. We’ve had such great feedback from consumers and our industry peers.
“What began as a hobby has grown into a multi-award-winning distillery, and we’re looking forward to seeing what the next 12 months have in store.”
For more information, visit www.rosemulliondistillery.com.
Salcombe Gin wins double gold
Salcombe Gin’s Rosé Sainte Marie won a Double Gold Medal at The San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2020.
The third Double Gold for Salcombe Gin, it was one of only three pink gins to win the accolade.
Angus Lugsdin, co-founder of Salcombe Distilling Co, comments: “It’s such an honour to receive this Double Gold Award as the only English pink gin to have ever won a Double Gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. ‘Rosé Sainte Marie’ stands out from the crowd in a market that is commonly filled with overly sweet, sugary and synthetically coloured and flavoured competitors so it’s great to see the quality of the liquid recognised through this prestigious award.”
“We set out to elevate the category, creating a real ‘pink’ gin. A nod to the crisp and dry rosé wines from Provence. It is a very exciting time for the brand and the Double Gold Award positions us in great stead for our launch into the US market this summer, where the rosé trend is set to for significant growth.”
Salcombe Gin ‘Rosé Sainte Marie’ is available from www.salcombegin.com/shop or via Amazon Prime for £40.00 for a 70cl bottle.
Lugger Rum wins Gold
LBW Drink’s Lugger Rum has won a Gold Award for Best Label at the 2020 World Rum Awards. The label was created by Bluesoup Communications, a creative agency based in Devon.
Anita Ujszaszi, awards director, World Rum Awards commented: “The label for Lugger Rum really stood out for us. Not only is it different from anything else we’ve seen, with silver foiling that really brings the graphics alive, but it also really works to create a story behind the rum. No detail is missed in this design, even down to the shape of the bespoke label, which gives a nod to the rugged coastal landscape. It clearly marks out the quality of the rum. The judges were all very impressed.”
Steve Tricker, owner of Bluesoup Communications, said: “This project was truly a delight to work on. Our brief was to visually bring to life the history of the mischievous Jack Rattenbury and his exploits in a contemporary way. We did this with the use of a dark colour palette, bespoke hand drawn lettering and graphics such as a contemporary stylised sea, moon and boat help to visually bring this old salty tale up to date. The silver foiling gives the rum a unique feel which reflects the quality and personality of the brand, making it stand out on the shelf.”
James Lambert, managing director, LBW Drinks said: “We are over the moon that one of our drinks has won another award. The fact this one is for design shows that we not only produce innovative drinks, we also match that innovation in our packaging, which consumers are responding well to. Sales of Lugger Rum since it was listed in Waitrose last year have been very strong.”
Food & DRINK NEWS
Yeo Valley launches super thick yoghurt
Yeo Valley Organic has unveiled Super Thick Kerned Yogurt, their “thickest and creamiest yoghurt yet”.
Naturally high in protein and low in sugar and fat, it is strained up to nine times or ‘kerned’ to use the old Somerset word for ‘thickened’.
According to Yeo Valley, the process starts “by heating up organic milk and adding a few spoonfuls of live bacteria. Then they let it sit for a bit to allow the live cultures to grow. Next, they kern it – using a super fine sieve to strain off the whey, and then they do it again, and again, up to nine times. This results in a wonderfully thick and delicious yoghurt. The process even boosts the protein and lowers the natural sugar.”
Yeo Valley’s Super Thick Kerned Yogurt also introduces their first-ever pot made from 100% recycled and recyclable plastic and card. The MMRP is 450g at £2.75 and 850g at £3.75 and the product will be rolled out nationally over the next two months, starting in Morrison’s.
Devon Cove Vodka launches
Devon Cove Produce has launched Cove Vodka, Devon’s first potato vodka. It’s produced using Kind Edward potatoes grown on company founder Leanne Carr’s family farm.
Leanne said: “After many discussions around the dinner table about the different ways you can cook and enjoy potatoes we decided to take things a step further and make potato vodka. Using the finest Devon potatoes and Devon spring water, combined with small-batch traditional copper pot distillation, we’ve created a distinctly smooth and delicious vodka which captures the essence of Devon.”
In addition, Devon Cove Produce has launched Cove Damson Liqueur, which features ripe West Country damsons infused with Cove Vodka.
Cove Vodka is available in three sizes: 5cl at £5.95, 20cl at £18 and 70cl at £39.50. Cove Damson is available in two sizes: 20cl at £18 and 50cl at £33. Go to www.devoncove.co.uk for more details.
South WEST INITIATIVES
South West wholesaler Arthur David, Food With Service are now supplying homes in BA and BS postcodes. Supplying the catering industry for over 50 years, they are offering next day delivery (if orders are booked before 2pm) to households of bakery items, fresh fruit and vegetables, frozen foods, meat and pies, and more. They are also still supplying the catering industry including hospitals and care homes. For more information, go to arthurdavid.co.uk/home-delivery-products/
Cornwall Community Kitchen
A new initiative proving meals for those in need with support from local businesses has launched. The Cornwall Community Kitchen is a collaboration between Cornish caterer Fee’s Food (owned by Fee Turner) and chef Tim Spedding. Finding they had little work during the coronavirus lockdown, they are instead using their time to prepare meals, with the help of volunteers, and donating them to Wadebridge and Bude food banks, and DISC Newquay – a charity which supports homeless, vulnerable and disadvantaged people.
“This is clearly a difficult time for everyone, but it is especially trying for those most at risk of food poverty. Food banks and charities in Cornwall are seeing unprecedented demand, so we started Cornwall Community Kitchen to help in any way we can”, said Fee Turner.
Meals are prepared on weekends, with the Fee’s Food kitchen operating as normally as it can during the week. On average, 630 meals have been prepared each weekend for the last three weeks.
As well as providing meals, Cornwall Community Kitchen aims “to support small suppliers, farmers, and fishermen, many of which saw their primary income disappear overnight when hotels and restaurants closed.”
The initiative, which is financed by fundraising, has captured the imagination of local businesses, including Will Herrmann of Porthilly Spirit Distillery and Porthilly Spirit Festival.
“We’re so pleased to be helping out with the fundraising effort. As well as an initial cash contribution, we are donating £2 from every bottle sold through porthillyspiritdistillery.com, and inviting our customers to add their own donation to purchases, if they wish to – and we’ll match all the money raised.” said Will.
Tim Spedding added: “All money generated through our fundraising efforts will be used solely for purchasing ingredients and delivering food to those most in need. On average, the raw materials which go into a meal for two cost £2.60 – so donations really can go a long way.”
For more information, visit www.porthillyspiritdistillery.com/cornwall-community-kitchen, or www.feesfood.co.uk/pages/covid-19.
South West craft brewer Dartmoor Brewery is now offering free nationwide delivery on orders of two or more eight-bottle packs of their Dartmoor IPA, Jail Ale and Legend Ale. You can mix and match too. Go to www.dartmoorbrewery.co.uk/shop for more details.
Food businesses in Falmouth, Cornwall have been collaborating and innovating to make it through the coronavirus pandemic.
Community hub the Dracaena Centre is working with Sainsbury’s, Falmouth’s Rotary Club and Cornwall Community Foundation to get hundreds of food parcels out to those in need.
A Falmouth restaurant that specialises in “clean eating”, Nude Canteen has teamed up with Stones bakery and “zero waste” shop Un-Rap to create sustainable food boxes that can be ordered by calling 07870 543199 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fal Food Box Co, set up by Louise Lane of Falfalafel, which usually trades from Falmouth Moor, is supplying healthy food packages that support local producers. www.facebook.com/falfoodbox/
Robin Markland set up Community Heart (Cornwall) back in 2018 and has used this platform to set up the local Facebook page ‘Covid-19 Mutual aid and Solidarity Falmouth and Penryn’ which continues to be the centre point of the local response. Via this platform, Robin has so far administered 10,000 posts, many of which are local people appealing for help, such as the collection of prescriptions and within minutes, other members respond and help them out. During the last month, Robin has also been fundraising for the Emergency Food Box provision, so far having distributed one tonne of fresh, mainly Cornish-grown fruit and veg to those most vulnerable such as the elderly, disabled and those living in food poverty, unable to leave the house during the crisis.
Other foodie initiatives from Falmouth include the “light-hearted and community-spirited” series of videos, Nick’s Community Kitchen, by the executive chef at the Greenbank Hotel, Nick Hodges. Filming every Monday, Wednesday and Friday via Facebook, Nick has been entertaining Cornwall with his live demos from his very own kitchen, often with the help of his children and wife. On Friday evenings, the hotel has teamed up with WestCountry Fruit Sales who is providing ingredients and offering a home delivery service on boxes of food. To check out these videos, see the Greenbank Hotel’s Facebook page.
Falmouth Business Improvement District (BID) manager, Richard Wilcox said, “We are very proud to be part of such a resourceful community and continue to be blown away by the kindness, resilience, solidarity, flexibility and innovation that all are showing during these unprecedented times. Other useful community initiatives that are keeping everyone engaged and spirits up at the moment include Helpfal, started by local people, for local people. Helpfal is a brilliant new platform, created by Falmouth resident Emma Trelawny and designed by local design agency, Kingdom & Sparrow, that collates a host of useful information for residents of the town during the crisis and will hopefully make peoples’ lives easier during lockdown. It can be accessed via www.helpfal.com/keepingbusy”
Richard continued, “We at Falmouth BID are also continually updating the ‘business updates’ section of our website which can be reached at www.falmouth.co.uk/lovefalmouth-business-updates/. We are keen to know ways in which we can practically be supporting businesses during this difficult time and encourage businesses to get in touch with us with their news.”
Family-owned suppliers to the South West for 60 years, Hunts Foodservice has opened a pop-up supermarket for NHS staff at the Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton. The Hunt’s Food Outlet offers staff a mini supermarket stocked with all the grocery essentials such as eggs, milk and flour plus handy grab-and-go products for breakfast and ready meals.
Richard Hunt, managing director of Hunt’s Foodservice comments “The NHS are doing a fantastic job working on the front line caring for all of us. This is new pop up Hunt’s Food Outlet is a little something to try and make their lives easier during these hard times.”
St Austell Brewery
St Austell Brewery has launched a new ‘pints for heroes’ initiative. Those who want to thank a key worker or local hero who has helped during the pandemic can now buy them a pint, to be redeemed as soon as social distancing restrictions have been lifted and pubs reopen. Pints can be claimed in any St Austell Brewery or Bath Ales managed pub.
For every pint bought, St Austell Brewery’s Charitable Trust will also donate £4.50 to NHS Charities Together. For any free pint vouchers that aren’t redeemed within the three months of the pubs reopening, 100 per cent of the un-claimed pint cost will also be donated to NHS Charities Together.
Piers Thompson, external relations director and great-great-grandson of St Austell Brewery’s founder, Walter Hicks said: “Right now, there are people across communities large and small doing their bit in the fight against Covid-19; from our incredible NHS staff, volunteers and carers, supermarket and production workers, delivery drivers – and the hundreds of heroes in-between. We’ve created this pint gifting scheme to give people the opportunity to say “thank you” to the Coronavirus heroes in their communities, for their incredible work.
To thank a hero, people can visit St Austell Brewery’s online shop, add a ‘hero pint’ to their basket and draft a short message for their nominee. The brewery will then email the recipient a single-use voucher, with details on how, and where, they can redeem their pint. Visit staustellbrewery.co.uk/gift-pint-pubs.
Strawberry Line Tea Rooms
The Strawberry Line Tea Rooms in Winscombe, North Somerset has launched an Afternoon and Cream Tea delivery service. Under new ownership since March 2019 when it was renamed after the railway line that transported strawberries through Winscombe, the Taste of the West Gold Award winner is also providing special cream teas to NHS and frontline workers. Owner Jacci Cawte says they have had enquiries from all over Somerset and are delivering on average 10 teas per day to people who are isolating or celebrating birthdays and anniversaries.
“It is such a pleasure to bring a smile to people faces during the lockdown when we surprise them with a bag of homemade scones, cake and goodies. It will certainly be an offer we will continue in the future,” says Jacci.
For more details, go to www.facebook.com/jacci.cawte or www.countrycateringservices.co.uk or call 07748155491.
Somerset-based Sweet Cumin got a Twitter boost from retail entrepreneur Theo Paphitis in April. The TV ‘dragon’ picked owner Bini Ludlow’s business as one of six weekly winners to retweet to his 500,000 Twitter followers. As a result, Sweet Cumin attracted 800 more followers and extra orders for their range of homemade, award-winning ready meal curries. (www.sweetcumin.co.uk).
Bini Ludlow said, “ With a starting budget of £200 I have built the business from the kitchen table teaching people how to cook and also cooking ready meals for top-end farm shops and delis across the South West, London and as far as the Midlands. It is great to have support from Theo because, during the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been working extremely hard to provide meals for the shops, the elderly and vulnerable so they can have a home-cooked meal during the lockdown. Theo has recognised our hard work and helped spread the word about what we do to his following.”
Small business champion and Ryman Stationery, Robert Dyas and Boux Avenue chairman, Theo Paphitis, said: “We are thrilled to welcome new #SBS members every week and highlight just how important it is to support our small businesses here in the UK. My vision is that everyone who has ever won an #SBS re-tweet from me becomes part of a friendly club; like-minded individuals who can share successes and learnings. The website will also give a valuable profile to the winners chosen and I wish Sweet Cumin every success.”
Anyone looking for a re‐tweet from Theo should tweet him about their business on Sunday between 5 PM and 7.30 PM and include the hashtag #SBS. Six lucky businesses are re‐tweeted every Monday at 8 PM and then invited to enter their profile on the new website, attend the annual #SBS networking event and take advantage of the networking opportunities.
Wadworth and Chase turn beer to hand sanitiser
Independent brewer and pub operator Wadworth is sending beer that would have been gone to its pubs to Chase Distillery to convert into hand sanitiser.
Three tanker loads of beer was shipped to Chase Distillery so the gin and vodka producers could convert it to liquid hand sanitiser. Their brand HR1 hand sanitiser contains 80% alcohol and is made to a World Health Organisation approved formula.
CEO for Wadworth, Chris Welham said, “When our pubs closed we had a large amount of beer that couldn’t be used and so working with Chase we were able to support their initiative and supply the beer for hand sanitiser. It was a perfect solution and helped towards providing 30,000 units to frontline professionals and key workers”.
James Chase, global brand ambassador for Chase Distillery, said “I never thought I’d see the day when part of our distillery was used to make anything other than delicious tasting vodkas and gins, but these are strange times. It is great to have the support of businesses like Wadworth supplying excess alcohol products so we can produce more of this vital product”.
YMCA Dulverton Group
The YMCA Dulverton Group has adapted its services to support the local community through the coronavirus pandemic, repurposing the role of its catering team and The Beach Hotel in Minehead and Great Western Hotel in Taunton.
The Beach Hotel in Minehead has become a temporary home to vulnerable people from the area who were homeless. The hotel is currently accommodating 26 individuals, providing a safe and secure place to self-isolate.
Residents staying at the Beach Hotel and across YMCA accommodation are being given three meals a day, prepared and distributed by the YMCA Catering team, who have adapted the on-site kitchen and facilities at Yew Trees Nursery in Axbridge.
Leading the YMCA Catering team are chefs Amira Sleigh and Angus Martin who have over forty years combined experience in the catering industry; both joining YMCA Dulverton Group in 2019 managing Early Years and Hospitality Catering respectively.
Angus Martin, formerly head chef as Fortnum and Mason Piccadilly, explained: “We are fortunate to have at the YMCA a team of Chefs who have stepped up to the mark when asked and have bonded and formed a strong brigade. I am so proud of them all and going forward we know we can achieve anything, however big the obstacle.”
Food donations have been delivered to the Great Western Hotel in Taunton, where the team have also been accommodating key workers to give them safe space to isolate away from their families while they continue their frontline work.
Anyone within the local community who would like to help YMCA Dulverton Group should get in touch by emailing: email@example.com