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New foodie initiative set to boost food and drink businesses in Exeter and Greater Exeter

July 11, 2018 | News

Exeter and Greater Exeter food and drink businesses are being invited to sign up to an exciting new initiative which is set to place Exeter on the map as a major new foodie destination.

Due to be launched in time for summer 2018, the new Exeter Food and Drink Trail, which is being created by Visit Exeter, aims to embrace businesses that celebrate local produce, both in the dishes that they create, and the artisan produce that they harvest, craft or sell.

Already, Quicke’s Farm Shop, Exeter Brewery, Pebblebed Wines, Darts Farm, Hotel du Vin, Exeter Gin, and the Exeter Cookery School are on board.

However, Visit Exeter hopes to attract an even richer range of artisan businesses, producers and restaurateurs to the self-guided trail, so that they too can benefit from foodie fans on trips to Exeter and the Greater Exeter area. The trail is expected to become a key resource for visitors looking to discover the area’s must-visit eateries, bars, pubs and producers.

Food and drink producers, retailers and restaurateurs interested in the trail are invited to attend a pre-launch event on Tuesday 17th July 2018, 4pm-6pm at Exeter Cookery School, Haven Road, Exeter Quayside, where full details of the trail, consumer research, promotional activity, and how to get involved, will be revealed. Pre-registration is required.

The event, which is being backed by Quicke’s Cheese Managing Director Mary Quicke, chef and Rockfish founder Mitch Tonks and Exeter Gin’s Karen Skerratt, will outline how Visit Exeter plans to market the trail to a national and international audience, showcasing and celebrating the rich variety and range of food and drink produced and created in the city and the Greater Exeter area.

Supported by recent consumer research, which shows that 98% of respondents like to support local food and drink producers, and 89% would be interested in an Exeter food and drink trail, Visit Exeter believes it has a compelling case for the new initiative.

Catherine Hill, Service Lead in Marketing, Tourism and Events at Visit Exeter, commented: “Exeter has previously been voted one of the top places to eat out in the UK by the Which Good Food Guide and we want to build on this by creating a new food and drink trail that shines a light on the astounding range of produce in the city, its surrounding countryside and waters. There is no doubt that our sum is far greater than our parts, and that is why we’re launching our drive to recruit food and drink producers, restaurateurs and retailers to be part of the trail.”

Catherine continued: “Our research shows that there’s huge appetite for the trail, local food and drink producers, food events taking place on the trail, and for food and drink establishments that source and celebrate local produce. We aim to satisfy that appetite through the self-guided trail, which is being created to boost footfall, visitor numbers and overall spend with businesses that form part of the trail.

“Our goal is to have a critical number of businesses on board by the end of July, if not earlier, so that we can go to print and online with the self-guided trail guide by August, in good time for our planned consumer launch.”

Mitch Tonks, Chef and Founder of Rockfish, commented: “Devon is a serious food destination, there’s no doubt about that and to have a trail like this in one of the county’s biggest and most influential cities is so great. This trail will be able to showcase what we in Devon already know – Exeter’s absolute best, the hidden gems, the independent and artisan producers and growers, the fantastic group operations who provide quality and consistency and who generate great loyalty and fans in their customers. I’m very honoured to be involved in this and want to help spread the word further afield so we get people far and wide wanting a taste of the vibrant Exeter food scene.”

Jim and Lucy Fisher, Owners of Exeter Cookery School, commented: “We’re thrilled to have been asked by Visit Exeter to act as ambassadors for the new Exeter Food and Drink Trail and to host the pre-launch event on 17th July. One of the key attractions for choosing Exeter as the setting for our Cookery School was the fabulous array of local producers right on the doorstep. We look forward to working with other foodie businesses to help shout about the many tasty reasons for people to visit and live in this wonderful city. Exeter is uniquely located at the heart of the South West, providing the perfect location from which to explore the region’s first class food & drink offering.”

Karen Skerratt, Owner and Managing Director of Exeter Gin, commented: “Exeter Gin is delighted to be backing the brand-new Exeter Food and Drink Trail. We’ve been shouting about Exeter as a city from day one and are incredibly proud of its heritage. Our premium gin celebrates Exeter’s Roman heritage and occupation between circa AD55 and AD380 and uses ancient botanicals favoured by the Romans. We need to make sure we shout about Exeter and its wonderful heritage and I believe that the Exeter Food and Drink Trail will really help us do that.”

To register your interest in attending the pre-launch event, please email by Friday 13th July 2018.