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Working together to raise the profile of Surrey Hills Produce

DSC_4054The newly re-launched Emlyn Restaurant, at the foot of iconic site, Box Hill was the perfect setting for an evening to showcase and sample Surrey Hills produce at a Surrey Hills Enterprises networking evening last week.

Since the re-launch of the Emlyn Restaurant in the spring under the toque of chef Nick Sinclair, the restaurant has been looking to align itself with local enterprises to promote the vast wealth of talent there is in this county.  Surrey Hills Enterprises have been instrumental in bringing together local businesses under the Surrey Hills brand and were keen to work closer with Nick and his team to showcase the many food and drink suppliers based in the Surrey Hills.

DSC_4057Nick Sinclair and his ambitious team are passionate about high quality local produce and are keen to raise the perceived calibre of Surrey restaurants to ensure they are comparable with London. Nick alongside Restaurant Manager, Lesley Mentink, were keen to tell Surrey Hills Enterprises members about a series of food initiatives under the hashtag #SurreyFoodChat where they will help to promote the abundance and variety of quality fresh local produce and products from the Surrey Hills.

Nick Sinclair comments; “Our collaboration with Surrey Hills Enterprises has really helped to raise the profile of good quality local produce from the Surrey Hills. The Emlyn Restaurant is proud to be showcasing many Surrey Hills products and we are keen to encourage other establishments to follow our lead. Surrey is in effect an agriculture economy and we want to work with the best of the local producers, and grow their visibility together.”

DSC_4055Also speaking at the event was Richard Small, who through Surrey Hills Enterprises is helping to assess the food service market in Surrey, engage with producers and restaurants, pubs, caterers and schools and help them to build better supply chains and buying groups.

Richard Small comments; “My research so far has shown that the food service industry is very keen to support ‘local’ but that they have concerns. There is often a lack of continuity, supply and choice and often it’s not cost effective for them. It makes very good sense to work better together by bundling volumes and sharing in the benefits of lower prices and improved service levels. I’m working with Surrey Hills Enterprises members to understand whether they are interested in forming a collaborative buying group so that they can take advantage of lower prices on things like fuel, print, packaging, labels, website, insurance, legal services etc.”

Surrey Hills Enterprises is a Community Interest Company (CIC) which brings together independent companies and artisans based within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) via a membership scheme. All members benefit from increased awareness of their business through an on-line business directory, use of the Surrey Hills trademark, a high level events and networking programme, PR and Social Media. All profits made by Surrey Hills Enterprises are put back into the Surrey Hills through a series of projects which enhance, protect and preserve the landscape; promote rural economy; educate visitors, residents and businesses and promote partnership.

DSC_4062Simon Whalley, Chairman of Surrey Hills Enterprises comments; “The Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is home to many unique and entrepreneurial businesses. Surrey Hills Enterprises helps to bring them together under the Surrey Hills name and raise awareness of the fantastic variety we have here. We want to raise the profile of the Surrey Hills not only locally but nationally as we are proud of what we are achieving”.

The event was also an opportunity for Surrey Hills Enterprises to unveil a very exciting project for 2016, which will help to engage businesses and artists with the Surrey Hills countryside through the world’s largest public art exhibition! More information will follow in the coming months….