The Isle of Man Business Network (“IOMBN”) recently held an entertaining event celebrating ‘Home Grown Talent’; showcasing the people behind the local food and drink the Island loves. This was held on Monday 2nd October at Noa Bakehouse, in partnership with The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (“DEFA”).
The inspiration for the event came from the current ‘food revolution’ that the Island is experiencing, with a wealth of new local artisan food and drink producers on the scene, as well as an explosion of food and drink pop-ups across the Island. Isle of Man restaurants are also using local produce more than ever before, for example Rock Food Concepts have created a cocktail map of the Isle of Man, available at the Bath & Bottle Bar, with cocktails that showcase local Manx produce.
At the Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival 2017 the Manx Produce Marquee, Manx Cookery Theatre and Outdoor Catering area were packed to the brim with local food talent. Andrew Lees (DEFA’s Food Business Development Manager), who compared the evening, told delegates that for the first time there was a waiting list for food producers and retailers wanting a space at the festival.
To tell delegates more about these exciting times, the IOMBN invited some of the Island’s local food producers together to share their stories, how their businesses came about, the challenges they have faced and the opportunities they have found on the Isle of Man for setting up a business.
The event had a fantastic speaker line up, hearing from Noa Bakehouse, Roots Bev Co, Foraging Vintners, Apple Orphanage, Paula's Kitchen and the Noa Bakehouse Food Assembly.
Richard Smith, Chairman of the Isle of Man Business Network said, “It was really interesting to hear from our local food producers. So many of us enjoy the food and drink these producers create, so it was a great opportunity to hear their stories; how they saw a niche in the market, a problem to be fixed, and had the courage and the passion to go for it, helping to make the Isle of Man a better place to live in the process.”
He continued, “It was inspirational to hear why they felt that the Isle of Man was ideal for setting up their business; from the quality of our apples, our premier bees and our friendly retailers who support local business, to the Isle of Man Government who help our fledgling business get off the ground.”