A Taste of Island Life

A Taste of Island Life

Hampshire Fare has taken their roadshow over the Solent to the Isle of Wight, for a special networking event that focused on bringing Island and Mainland producers and products together.

Tracy Nash, Commercial Manager, Hampshire Fare, welcomed everyone to the networking event held at Caffe Isola, Newport. Tracy said: “What a joy to be here, finally! We originally planned this visit for June 2020, however, due to the pandemic, that visit never happened. So, it has been fantastic to tour the island, meeting some of the outstanding producers and chatting with inspirational chefs.

“I want to thank Caffe Isola for hosting our networking event. It has also provided us with the opportunity to marvel at the work that has been undertaken to restore and refurbish this much-loved building in Newport, previously Beavis cookware and gift store.”

Colin Burgess, owner, Caffe Isola, responded: “It is great to see Hampshire Fare members here tonight, and we have been delighted to use this occasion to share our exciting forthcoming plans, as we continue to develop Island Roasted and Caffe Isola and move our businesses forwards.”

John Heather, NFU Mutual Isle of Wight, New Forest and Bournemouth, was invited to address members. John said: “NFU Mutual values working with Hampshire Fare - a regional food group that works hard to help develop local producers, linking them up with business opportunities. It is also evident that more people are shopping at independent stores that support local producers as we all become more aware of the need to help make a positive social, economic and environmental contribution.”

Darren Seward, Sector Lead for Hospitality and Food & Drink, NFU Mutual, agreed: “At NFU Mutual we enjoy working with Hampshire Fare as they have such a proactive approach. In addition, collaboration is central to everything they do, and we consider collaboration to be key to business success in the future.”

Products from the mainland were showcased at the event, among them Cold Pressed Oil Company’s oils and dressings, Powder Monkey’s beers, South Downs natural mineral water, Summerdown’s chocolate bars, and Wheatsheaf Farming’s Spelt Flour. In addition, Isle of Wight products included Calbourne Classics’ cakes, The Tomato Stall’s sauces and condiments, and Isle of Wight Distillery’s gins. Guests also had a chance to learn more about Island Roasted coffee from aficionado Dan Burgess – a man who certainly knows his beans!

Andy Burdon, Powder Monkey Brewing, thanked Hampshire Fare for organising the event, giving a much appreciated opportunity to showcase their beers. “We had a productive visit and hopefully things to build on over on the Isle of Wight.”

A highlight of the evening was a prize draw with Duncan Smith of Medina Foodservice winning a bottle of Hambledon Première Cuvée, generously donated by NFU Mutual Isle of Wight, New Forest and Bournemouth.

Photographs: Robin Crossley for Hampshire Fare