Posted: 06/04/2016

Festival organiser selected as Waitrose Cornish food hall partner


GCF Store team
Ruth Huxley, Claire Vickers, Paul Ripley and Angie Coombs are leading the Great Cornish Food team

Cornwall Food & Drink, the organisation behind The Great Cornish Food Festival has been signed up to run a new food hall, which will be co-located alongside a 15,000 sq ft Waitrose store in Truro.

The 5,000 sq ft Great Cornish Food Store and its partner supermarket will be part of the £40m Truro Eastern District Centre development on the outskirts of city that includes a new park and ride, a household waste recycling centre and 98 new houses.

Last month, FFD confirmed that Waitrose was in “advanced” talks with new partners, after pulling the plug on its relationship with Taste of Cornwall, the consortium of local farmers and food producer who were instrumental in getting the controversial plan off the ground. The scheme, was in planning for several years before it was given the go-ahead in 2012.

The latest artist's impression of the new Waitrose and Great Cornish Food store
The latest artist’s impression of the frontage for the Truro Waitrose and Great Cornish Food store

 

 

 

 

 

The shop will be set up as an independent company which will be owned, managed and operated as a separate entity from Cornwall Food & Drink.

Around 20 new jobs will be created in the move which has been led by Cornwall Food & Drink’s managing director Ruth Huxley.

The 5,000 sq ft store will be managed by Angie Coombs – previously general manager of the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery and Café and head of food group Taste of the West’s Cornwall operation – with Claire Vickers of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall handling marketing and chef Paul Ripley overseeing the in-store café, deli and food-to-go area.

Launceston butchers Philip Warren and Sons, whose owner Philip Warren was a shareholder of the Taste of Cornwall team, will oversee the shop’s fresh meat supply.

Huxley said it was a fantastic opportunity to add a whole new dimension to the organisation’s work showcase Cornwall’s food and drink industry.

“For the first time, a comprehensive range of local produce will be available to people as they go about their regular supermarket shop, opening up tremendous new possibilities for the brilliant food and drink suppliers on our doorstep and new opportunities for shoppers who currently find it difficult to source all the local produce they would like,” she said.

She pointed out that this was not “a tiny local food concession within a supermarket” but an opportunity to make buying local part of the weekly shop.

“[People] want more opportunities to buy [local food] as part of their regular supermarket shop… and they want to access local foods at times that are convenient for busy, modern lifestyles,” she said. “By locating alongside Waitrose and opening extended hours, seven 7 days a week, we are helping to overcome these issues and perceptions.

“The store will play a role in a much wider programme of promotion and development of the county’s bedrock food and drink industry, which is worth at least £1.5bn and employs 64,000 people.”

Waitrose branch manager Chris Reynard said he was looking forward to working with Cornwall Food & Drink to create a food lovers’ destination, which would encourage more people to visit and shop in Truro.

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