Love food? Love local? Did you know that over 40 Hampshire producers supply the Local Flavours range available in The Southern Co-operative’s Hampshire stores?
To celebrate this year’s Hampshire Food Festival, organised by Hampshire Fare and held throughout July, The Southern Co-operative is holding free themed tastings selected from the Local Flavours range in 18 participating stores, every Friday during the Festival, including award-winning cheeses, smoked trout pate, and homemade cakes.
The Southern Co-operative, which is a corporate partner of Hampshire Fare, has also joined up with Hill Farm Orchards, Hill Farm Juice, and The Bakers Arms, Droxford, to run a special Local Flavours competition which is free to enter throughout the Festival period.
This is a competition with a difference. Not only will one lucky winner and their guest tuck into a delicious meal for two at The Bakers Arms, Droxford, but they will also enjoy the hands-on experience of a day picking apples at Hill Farm Orchards and pressing or bottling juice at Hill Farm Juice, makers of traditional Hampshire apple juices, plus £50 from The Southern Co-operative to spend on its Local Flavours range in-store.
Kate Hibbert, Local Sourcing Manager for The Southern Co-operative and Director of Hampshire Fare, enthused: “Like the Hampshire Food Festival, our competition is all about eating, shopping and getting hands on with local food! We want to encourage food lovers to get involved in the Festival and celebrate the fabulous flavours of the county. The demand for our Local Flavours range continues to grow in our stores, and stocking local food and drink, like Hill Farm juice, is a really positive way that The Southern Co-operative can support local food producers.”
Adam Cordery, chef/proprietor of The Bakers Arms, Droxford, commented that he was delighted to be involved: “We are members of Hampshire Fare and try to support local as much as we can, so when The Southern Co-operative suggested this, and we heard that Hill Farm were involved in the competition, we joined them as we knew we could make it a great day out and a special experience for someone.
“The apple orchards of Hill Farm are just up the road from The Bakers Arms and we have served their juices as soft drinks or reduced in sauces to accompany dishes, such as pork, ever since we started, nine years ago now.”
Will Dobson of Hill Farm Orchards and Hill Farm Juice, added: “This is a really nice opportunity to be able to engage with our customers and to offer them something a little bit different. The winner can be assured that they are going to have a cushier experience than usual when it comes to picking fruit! The variety will depend on the time of season- it could be Cox’s apples if the prize is taken earlier in the season or maybe Braeburn apples if it’s later on. We’ll make sure that they’ll be taking some bottles of juice home, too.
“This is not an experience that can usually be made available, so we do hope the winner finds it an enjoyable day.”
The prize comprises a special day for two picking apples with Hill Farm Orchards in the morning and pressing or bottling juice in the afternoon, plus lunch or supper for two at The Bakers Arms, Droxford, on the day, worth £50. In addition the winner will also be given vouchers worth £50 to spend on The Southern Co-operative’s Local Flavours range. The competition closes midnight, 3 August 2014, and full terms and conditions are available on the website.
During the Hampshire Food Festival, Hill Farm Orchards will also be holding an Open Day on Sunday, 13 July. For information on the Open Day, the Local Flavours tastings at The Southern Co-operative stores, and all the other exciting events being held during the Hampshire Food Festival, visit www.hampshirefare.co.uk; or pick up your free Hampshire Food Festival programme from Waitrose, Farmers’ Markets and The Southern Co-operative stores.