How can a restaurant become an integral part of its local community?

Online at the Better Hospitality Conference 3-4pm 20th April 2021

Run by the Real Farming Trust, this interactive workshop session will explore the key roles that restaurants can play within the local community, adding value to local food and ensuring that the local community is able to enjoy it. The session will raise questions such as: what skills and assets do restaurants have that could be better used to serve the local community? Can community support projects boost sales elsewhere in the business? How else can you conceive of a restaurant and the niche it can fill? What happens if you begin with understanding what your locality needs?

About the speakers

Jade Bashford

Jade is Programme Coordinator at Real Farming Trust, managing a project to innovate ways to address food justice with nutritious sustainably sourced ready meals. Ready Healthy Eat works with local delivery partners across the UK. Jade has worked in the local and community food sector for about thirty years.

Josie Cowgill

I co-manage a community food hub in Stroud which supplies frozen meals cooked by the Long Table. Recently we have started collecting surplus food from the Farmer’s market for our community fridge and get a delivery of dried goods from Fair Shares once a week. All available on a pay as you feel basis. We work in collaboration with other community hubs around the town.

Greg Pilley

I have a background in ecology, promoting community based food projects and now manage Stroud Brewery, dedicated to organic production and a certified B Corps. We also have a (normally) lively bar, an important part of our income, but it also connects us to our community and place.

Sue O’Neill-Berest

Sue O’Neill-Berest is the Food Education Manager at Cyrenians, a third sector organisation that supports people experiencing exclusion and homelessness. She has over 20 years of experience within the food industry as a chef after completing training at Leith’s School of Food & Wine in London. She manages several other social projects including masterclasses; supper clubs and skills’ training programmes. These projects are informed by an underlying ethos of the ability of food, its preparation and sharing of it, to change lives and that having someone to eat with is just as important as having food to eat.

Sophie Aoun

Sophie is a coordinator at The Hornbeam Centre in Walthamstow, London, working in community food projects. The Hornbeam is a community space focusing on low-cost and low-impact living. On site, our community cafe is run by The Gleaners, who run a pay-what-you-feel vegan cafe, using surplus food.