Food and Drink Focus at Carlisle Ambassadors – September 2017
We were delighted to hold our event at Shepherd’s Inn this September. What a great venue for a large gathering, and particularly when you need to fit in 15 showcases of fantastic local food and drink! Thank you to Les and his team for looking after us all so well, both in lead up to the event and on the day. After Les introduced the Shepherd’s Inn and the excellent facilities to the audience, and I had given a summary of Ambassador member and project updates we were delighted to welcome Joanne Hunter of Grasmere Gingerbread to the stage.
Grasmere Gingerbread – Joanne Hunter
Joanne gave us an inspiring account of the origins of the business, and it’s development and success since its creation by Sarah Nelson in 1854. The whole background to this unique business is fascinating, and I have included the link to the history on their website here.
What came across so clearly from Joanne’s speech was the combination of her passion for preservation of this heritage and tradition which makes Grasmere Gingerbread so unique, combined with her team’s modern day skill in marketing this valuable brand. Their strong alliance and support for other traders (including one man bands) who fit their ethos was also inspiring. They are providing a platform for these independents, and at the same time showcasing and raising the profile of Cumbrian talent. Another aspect of the business is their involvement in raising money for local charities such as GNAAS, Nurture Lakeland and Cumbria Community Foundation. An inspirational mix of great business and community support.
Joanne was a fabulous speaker – dynamic, passionate and extremely entertaining. Yasmine, fourth generation in the family business line, accompanied Joanne to the event and added her own style, charm and obvious business acumen to the event. You can hear more from her via the video below from That’s Cumbria TV.
Couldn’t resist sharing the snippet below about Rum Butter from the Grasmere Gingerbread website. Just another example of the mix of history, fact and legend that surrounds the business!
Peter Sidwell – TV chef, author & founder of Simply Good Food TV
After inspiring a room full of Ambassador marketeers at our event in May, we were delighted that Peter agreed to speak to Carlisle Ambassadors at this event. Whilst focusing on the importance of excellent homegrown food and drink business to the Cumbrian economy, Peter also reminded us of some fundamentals of successful marketing, and how not to lose sight of your goals. By including a call to action at the meeting – to download the Simply Good Food TV App – in return for the chance to win one of five signed copies of Relish North West Second Helping, Peter reminded us of the importance of reciprocal gain. He gave us his valuable time, and we engaged with his food marketing media platform! A win-win!
As he explained, keeping it simple is the key to successful marketing, along with forming great brand alliances and working together to increase reach. This use of collaboration is well demonstrated in both Peter’s range of businesses, and in the model of Grasmere Gingerbread! Simply Good Food TV is a great example – 0 to 400K users in eighteen months, and a projection of 1 million users – bigger than the Food Network.
Peter is an outstanding speaker, mixing good business sense with motivation and inspiration. Check out his websites via links under image below.
Jonathan Nagle – Sales Director at CN Magazines
As Jonathan’s first slide said, the new Taste Magazine is championing the UK’s most exciting food county! We were delighted to hear the background to CN’s decision to publish a new magazine focusing on the wealth of wonderful food and drink in Cumbria. It covers so many different angles, and provides an excellent platform to showcase from small artisan business to our larger companies. People were happily thumbing through their complimentary issues after the presentations! Of course we gave a good mention to the Taste Cumbria festivals, which are now spreading wings across the county with festivals in different locations!
Nick Hood – North West Hospitality Show
Nick presented an exciting opportunity to make exhibiting at the North West Hospitality Show more accessible to a wider range of exhibitors. We are excited to have a “Carlisle Ambassadors’ Corner” which means those who might find the cost of an individual stand a little too stretching can take a portion of space, and join the Carlisle presence.
We will be sharing more information about this over the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime don’t delay if you would like to take some space at The North West Hospitality Show – get in touch with Nick via form here on the website.
Young Ambassadors – the Future is Bright
We were also delighted to welcome a group of Young Ambassadors – a positive step in helping the next generation from Carlisle to develop confidence in business, and to get a great opportunity to interact with people from local organisations and companies. A big thank you to Tracey Hill from William Howard School for arranging this with us. Two of the students talk about their view of the meeting and their intention to join us at the next one in the footage below.
Jane Meek – Corporate Director of Economic Development – Carlisle, City Council
There was a great deal of content from Carlisle City Council about opportunities in the food and drink sector and other economic areas as well. Jane Meek outlined a range of projects and developments to focus on, and shared news of St Cuthbert’s Garden Village, the Housing Infrastructure Fund bid, Carlisle Airport, Borderlands progression and also funding available and how to find out more. I attach a PDF of the slides, and if you would like to discuss engagement or require more information, you can contact Jane’s department here.
Further information on the event:
Video footage below from That’s TV Cumbria – thanks to Roxy and co for taking time to attend the event. Roxy interviewed a range of attendees and exhibitors, helping us to showcase their businesses and also what Carlisle Ambassadors is all about.
Great write up on Cumbria24 by Keith Jackson of Thomas Jardine and Co – Click here to read
More to follow on Christmas Tree Competition from Cartmell Shepherd shortly. Watch out on our Facebook page!
A big thank you to all our amazing showcases and speakers – the best way to introduce them all to any of you who didn’t attend meeting is to show these great photos from Linda Bussey at PixLB