Last night I travelled to our most local Booths store, Ripon, to meet members of the North Yorkshire Slow Food Group. The evening was arranged by Liz from Slow Food, along with Tracy and Danny from Booths Marketing/ PR team with the aim of building better links with Slow Food and giving the group an insight into how Booths work with their suppliers and the ethos behind their food sourcing. There was also an emphasis on how to highlight this to their customers at store level.We all congregated in the 1847 café above the store for introductions. Danny gave a quick overview of how the evening was going to shape up and then I began with a brief history of Shepherds Purse focusing on our relationship with E H Booths and how this has developed over the years. I then passed the floor over to Juliet, the stores Cheese Specialist, who talked about her role and what it is like to work for Booths having owned and run her own farm shop prior to joining the Booths team.
Danny then invited everyone to take a tour of the store, explaining the concept of how the store is laid out and the intricacies of the new signage and promotional material, which is currently being launched across all 26 of the companies stores.
Obviously, most of the time while we were at store level was spent evaluating the deli counter. Juliet explained the layout of the cheese counter and myself and a few of the Slow Foodies checking that the Shepherds Purse range had prominent positioning!
Time to refuel! After a fantastic tour of the store and the amazing range of produce on offer, particularly the vast amount of bottled beer (I had no idea there was so much variety!) we headed back up to the café for cheese tasting and final questions. On offer was three of our blue cheeses, Yorkshire Blue, Mrs Bells Blue and Buffalo Blue along with Bluemin White and Monks Folly - all products that Booths carefully selected for their Deli Counter.
Overall, a fantastic night. Wonderful to meet and chat to genuine people who have a passion for quality food and I hope Shepherds Purse have the opportunity to meet with the Slow Food Group again very soon.