Wednesday, 7 June 2017

The stage is set for the 3rd Ballantrae Food Festival sunday11th june .. come on down

 After   12 months of planning . we are almost there..

60  " tables "of  excellent  regional  Food  and  Drink, plus  acknowledged chefs,   home cooking experts,   knowledgeable  local school  children, and  foraging experts come together  in  a unique blend  of  Event  Scotland  related  History  and Culinary Heritage, authentic local food provision  and culinary tourism. within the natural setting   of the UNESCO designated  Biosphere  and against  the  background of Slow Food  .. not to be missed!

Set in 3 marquees on the foreshore by  Ballantrae harbour   it is  a distinct  and authentic  event    made  more  enjoyable by the  provision of  exciting street food & drink, and  live   music.

the main  marquees are fully  floored  and  hence  provide ease of access and  mobility

see  www.ballantraefoodfest.com  for  the  very latest news  and social  media   information, including  details of  free bus services,.. the entry cost  has been set at £2  to  ensure  the  broadest inclusivity ...(accompanied  children under  16  are  free - there is dedicated   entertainment  for them also )

we  thank all the Sponsors ,supporters  and community volunteers   plus  the  exciting array of producers   and standholders who   together  have made this year' event possible.

Timing from 11.00-17.00

see you  there hopefully ..

 please advise all friends ,colleagues, customers and clients  that this wonderful event  is about to take place

thanks  everyone   for their  collaborative efforts

Sunday, 19 February 2017

February brings an ongoing feast of opportunities for Ayrshire Food and drink producers

We are well into  2017  and  innovative  collaborations   continue to happen

 January  22-24th  saw  our two newest  members  Bhaile  Craft  bakery,  and    All  that's Delicious  at the  #Speciality    Food  Show ..In addition to winning  category awards , there  was  very significant    commercial   interest  in their  excellent product ranges .

Feb 8th  provided  the  unique  opportunity    for Ayrshire   & Arran  producers to take their produce  to an Ayrshire Larder  event   at the  Palace  of Westminster in  London.. as part of a #Loveayrshire  joint  event .. the setting  was    historic  and the  reception given to the produce   was   most encouraging ..We thank  our local MPs  for sponsoring the event  . and the 3 councils  for making it possible .

Particular thanks  goes to  Neil McAleese for organising  and    mastering the   formidable  logistical  challenge, and to the 3   ambassadors from @Ayrshirecollege who transformed  excellent  ingredients  into  exciting  canapes.  10  AFN  members  were present  or were  represented

@Slowfooduk   was  there   plus #TheCooksCompanyofLondon  .. a City of London livery company  which  has  been established  for   600  years plus ... between them they know a lot about food and drink , and recognise  quality when they experience it ... they  really enjoyed  meeting  the personalities   behind the produce !!

 Planning  is now going ahead    for     the  new monthly    street   market  in Troon  launching   in March ,  and a reorganised  monthly   Saturday  farmers market  at  Burns   Birthplace museum at Alloway starting in  April  In addition  there will   be a new weekly   food and craft market in Girvan launching on Good  Friday

These  will compliment  the  monthly  AFM   Sunday market at  Ayr Central   and the long  established  monthly    markets in  Ayr  high street  and Kilmarnock

Full details  and links can be found  in the Ayrshire Larder   Food and drinks event calender  embedded  in the members section of the Ayrshire Food Network web site

 Further  along the horizon   the Dumfries  House Food fair  will restart in April    along with the NTS Culzean  market  Activities

For  many  their sights  are already  set on the 3rd  Ballantrae   food and drink festival  scheduled for Sunday  11th June .. .. As last  year  ,  it is anticipated   that  more than 20  members will be involved

As  for the   two  major   international   Golf events  being held  at Dundonald   Links  in July  the   hospitality   opportunities are   perhaps  boundless

Meanwhile  we  should try  no doubt to  keep our feet on the ground and   focused on   satisfying our customer needs  and requirements

 good luck      and please remember to share  your good news stories

Friday, 21 October 2016

Golden October brings more AFN success and new members

 Congratulations  to the Ballantrae Food Festival  for winning  the ACCI   food and drink award .. for 2016.  23 AFN  members were involved  back in  June .. so areal group effort  led by Susan Crosthwaite     thanks    also  to .@slowfoodwestscot  for their support and engagement

Also to  Glenapp  Castle for winning  the ACCI  Customer service award..

Thanks and well  done  to other   members who were shortlisted  for  the awards .

October   has seen  Little Turnberry   Farm shop , and  Ayrshire  Hampers   come into  the   Network  ..  a very warm welcome

#West   Mossgeil   is continuing to build   a  very strong  business to business    customer base  both in  Ayrshire  and Glasgow     . certainly  a  real  transformative  story  

7  AFN members  are  contributing to the ongoing development  of the  Ayrshire  strategic  tourism  policy  and programmes  .. thanks for your time  and effort

The Ayrshire   Farmer'   Market cooperative  have initiated   successfully   a new   Sunday   farmers'  market   at Ayr  Central   Shopping   Mall .. another welcome addition  

Several members   are  involved  also  in the learning  journey to Iceland  starting this weekend  looking  at  hospitality  management  performance ; systems; product/ service innovation  and use of social media ..  watch out   for live   video broadcasts ,  Tweets  , Facebook  postings , Instagram images  hopefully .... case  studies   are being  developed   for everyone interested to share

thanks  everyone   for their   support .. good  luck with upcoming  trading period.

ps  please send to the editor   your  interesting   updates and  good  news stories

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

18 very busy days for AFN members in Ayrshire and beyond during #scotfoodfort

 we   knew it was going to busy.

it   certainly  has  been  and  continues to be

there  have been 5  farmers  markets including  the  new one at #AyrCentral , and @RobertBurns NTS   ;the  Scottish  Airshow ;#letseatGlasgow; the Newmilns food  festival ;  Culzean. food and craft event ;Dumfries   House  food  market; #Ayr250  being  the  250th anniversary  of Corney  and Barrow Whighams  in Ayr  ; judging   for the ACCI  business  awards   covering  several   categories  including  Food ,Tourism, and Customer  Service ;the 2016  Food Awards ; #The Global Market in #Kilmarnock;  the  Slow  Food  Ark of Taste   nominations, and   launch of the  Slow Food  Scottish Chefs' Alliance ..

with    no resting  on our laurels  there are   new collaborations,  product /service developments, distribution  hubs  , deliveries   and  study visits   being planned

please  share  your good news  stories  via this blog  

good   luck    for the  next trading  periods

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Ayrshire Food Network members welcome warmly visitors to the 145th Open

The  next 4 days from the 14th-17th July  will see  unprecedented focus  on the local food & drink offerings from  Ayrshire  and Arran  together with our overall hospitality.

Visit Scotland, Ayrshire  & Arran Tourism   together  with  Scotland Food and Drink   are  kindly providing  opportunities  for small scale producers to introduce  their produce  to  the thousands of visitors expected.

So the  very best of luck to  AD  Rattray ,Aye Love Real Food , Dunlop  Cheese,Everything Chilli,Fencebay , Pieronis ,Woody's, Roundsquare, Ayr  Brewing  Co , Barwheys   and others who are taking  up the invitation

Local produce  is also  featuring   strongly   in the hospitality   offerings  at the 145th Open event itself , as well as the  many  venues  accommodating   guests , corporate  patrons , and international visitors

We hope  our guests  enjoy  the  excellent food and drink offerings , as well as the world class golf

With  circa 170,000 visitors expected  with perhaps  60%  + from outwith   Scotland, and 25%  travelling here  from international  destinations ......this  is   certainly   an unprecedented  opportunity

For more  details  of  AFN  please visit  www.ayrshirefoodnetwork.co.uk  ..

thanks

 

Friday, 24 June 2016

Congratulations to AFN members for achievements & collaborations in june 2016

 Good news  is all  around us.

 Congratulations to  Susan Crosthwaite  and  everyone whose efforts  helped achieve  a successful  second www.ballantraefoodfest.com ballantrae food festival   at which 22 AFN members  attended

Also  to Dawn  Borland  on the 10th   anniversary  of the founding  of the iconic Stewarton  deli

 Grants  of Prestwick  and Pieronis  created history   during June    by winning their  respective  category  of  the Independent Retailer of the Year Awards , for the second year running at the Scottish   national  awards

The   Grant family   also  should get  recognition for    a very fast weekend response  to an  international  aircraft /yacht  enquiry  for fresh produce ...  the  chefs  were very impressed by the    quality of the  produce  and  exemplary customer service.

Bryce  and Amy  Cunningham  at  West   Mossgiel have continued   their success of getting the  Burns related  milk into Dumfries  House  and  Burns   Birthplace  Museum  at  Alloway  as well as  providing   tasters  at several other exciting locations .

The  Rhone  Cottage  initiated   Food  Market   at Dumfries House  has continued to attract  new stallholders  including Fencebay

Several  AFN members are trading   at the Royal Highland   Show  this weekend   including   Aye Love Real Food, Everything  Chilli,    Others  seem to be visiting.!!!

 A successful  business tourism  initiative  has been initiated  jointly  by Glenapp  Castle ; Trump Turnberry; The Whisky Experience   and other  visitor attractions

Roundsquare    have delivered  perhaps  the most northerly  located  top quality  coffee making equipment  to John o'  Groats (that is where the land  stops !)

Corney  &  Barrow Whighams    are conducting  a fascinating  dual tasting  with  Dunlop Dairy   PGI cheeses

We  are also  finding   creative ways  of moving produce   around the region in an environmentally friendly way ...

 Let us  keep  up the  great  work,and good luck with the Golf related  opportunities  during July






Thursday, 9 June 2016

Ballantrae Festival of Food & Drink June 12th .. the innovative community food festival

 Okay   the time has come for the 2016   www.ballantraefoodfest.com
  Sunday  12th June 11.00-17.00www.ballantraefoodfest.com

Building on the success of last  year this strongly  innovative  community based  regional event  will include foraging , cookery demonstrations  using local produce , discussions,talks,  book signings , educational  and environmental fun  activities  with the  Biosphere   see www.gsabiosphere.org.uk  ;

there will  also be  10  amazing street food and drink  providers  including the  locally produced iconic  Hendricks  Gin  !!! , as well as  over 40  food and drink stalls  providing  the very best of local produce .... come and hear the stories  behind the food

there  is very definitely  a Slow Food ethos about the whole event

Entry  to the festival    is free  with options  to  pre book early bird bonus tickets ,offering fast track entry , plus  there  are  additional  value added  opportunities  to   attend  specialist  cookery   demonstrations , and  grape and grain tastings  priced  from £10 ..

over 20 members  of the  Ayrshire Food  Network are   directly   involved   so it is a big occasion for us

we  are delighted to be very  strongly supporting   it

please  come with your  families   and friends, and /or encourage  your guests  to travel to  the  very attractive  coastal village overlooking  Ailsa Craig

there are  free  buses  running from Girvan  and Stranraer ..see  festival web site  or Facebook for  more details
www.ballantraefoodfest.com

hope to see   there...  please come early to avoid  disappointment