A gluten-free cook at one of Middlesbrough’s newest coffee shops has helped to launch the town’s first Local Food Weekend.
Liz Homan and David Beattie at Bedford St Coffee (pictured above) were the first to sign up to the event organised by Growing Middlesbrough – a campaign to improve access to food and drink that’s been produced within a 50-mile radius of the town.
The first Local Food Weekend is taking place from July 29 to 31 and involves restaurants, cafes and food outlets in Middlesbrough that will serve at least one dish using locally-produced ingredients.
Joe Dunne, from Middlesbrough Environment City, is one of those at the forefront of the campaign.
He said: “By buying local food and drink more money is kept in the area helping to boost the local economy and improve employment through supporting independent local business. Because it hasn’t travelled very far it is usually fresher and more nutritious, and it is also better for the environment.
“Research also shows that restaurants that use locally-produced food can increase their footfall and reduce their costs.
“Growing Middlesbrough aims to create a thriving network of producers, retailers and enthusiasts who work together to provide a wide range of locally-produced food and drink across the local area.
“We’d like as many restaurants, cafes and food outlets as possible to take part in the Local Food Weekends and we would urge as many people as possible to show their support by dining out that weekend at participating outlets and eating dishes that have been made using locally-produced ingredients – just look out for the Growing Middlesbrough logo.”
Liz is a firm believer in using local suppliers and the quality ingredients she uses in her hugely popular gluten-free culinary creations include salads, butter and milk that have been produced in Teesside and County Durham.
Liz said: “We have some amazing food being produced on our doorsteps including eggs and meat from free range farms, superb milk and butter from cows that graze on grass in North Yorkshire and County Durham and the most fabulous range of cheese and salads.
“I think more people would buy local if they knew how much better the quality of the food was and that by doing so they were helping create jobs for local people.”
Participating restaurants and cafes will be provided with Growing Middlesbrough signs to put in their windows to help promote their involvement and highlight which dishes are made with locally-produced food and drink.
• Restaurants and cafes keen to get involved are asked to contact Middlesbrough Environment City on 01642 579820 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To find participating food outlets and for further information on Growing Middlesbrough visit www.growingmiddlesbrough.org.uk