A three-month long pop-up programme to give food and drink producers from across County Durham the chance to showcase their products and explore potential routes to market launches this week.
The event is a collaboration between All Durham, the brainchild of entrepreneurs Grant Thompson and Chris Donovan, the Durham Food and Drink Network, Business Durham, Prince Bishops Shopping Centre and Durham County Council, whose Targeted Business Improvement (TBI) scheme part-funded the project.
The idea is that each week during the three-month initiative, select groups of producers of food and drink goods from County Durham will come together at a converted unit within Prince Bishops to showcase their products, push out their brand and meet visitors and tourists who descend on the city every day.
By teaming up with the Durham Food and Drink Network, which is a strand of the Durham Business Opportunities Programme (DBOP) and funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), all participating producers will be given 12 hours of support which includes:
• Pre-event assistance to prepare for the pop-up initiative
• One week’s exhibiting space
• Post-event support to engage with other producers in the area with a view to collaborating in the future
• Access to support through the Durham Food and Drink Network’s partners
The first cohort of producers taking part include The Tea Enthusiasts, Cake Ninja, Wiga Wagaa, Sanction Gin and Honeypot Bakery.
Grant Thompson said: “What Chris and I wanted to do was create a space that champions local food and drink producers, providing them with a platform to showcase their fantastic products to a diverse and large audience of shoppers.
“There are some wonderful, tasty goods made right here in County Durham, however we’re not shouting loudly enough about them and that’s something we want to change.
“We want our area to be known as much for our food produce as it is for the wonderful cathedral and castle, university and vast history and heritage and this pop-up initiative is a great way to show people just what our participants have to offer.”
The pop-up programme will run until the end of September and visitors to Durham City are encouraged to drop in and sample some of the produce being showcased.
For more information on the pop-up initiative, or if you think your business could be eligible, email Steve Robson, [email protected]