That’s the 2017 R-Awards done and dusted!
Valley at Work won’t be starting on the 2018 R-Awards for a few months, and this gives us the ideal opportunity and space to produce the first Rossendale Food & Drink Guide. This will be a printed booklet that celebrates the best food and drink businesses in the area. Rossendale has a wealth of great food and drink businesses, and its about time we showcased them!
To be clear, we’re not just talking about pubs, cafes, restaurants and takeaways, the guide will include retailers and local producers. We want to showcase every type of food and drink business.
Our aim is to publish the guide early in 2018, printing 1000 copies and backing it up with a special page featuring an interactive map on the Valley at Work website. Each featured business will get a special window sticker to celebrate their inclusion in the guide.
Choosing Businesses for the Guide
We were looking for a relatively simple way of selecting the featured businesses that didn’t involve either an entry form, a judging panel or a public vote. In the end we decided that to feature in the 2018 guide, a business would have to:
- Score at least 4 on their most recent Food Hygiene rating.
- Be rated highly by their customers on Facebook and/or Trip Advisor – we were looking for recent ratings of at least 4 (out of 5) by several customers.
- Give us permission to feature them in the guide.
Putting the Guide Together
We have a list of 72 businesses that meet the first two criteria, and we are about to get in touch to seek their permission to feature them in the guide. There is no charge for inclusion, as the costs of producing the first guide the support of Rossendale Borough Council and several R-Award sponsors.
When we have gathered the permissions we need, we will contact each featured business to ask for some simple information to include in the guide, along with any photographs and logos they can let us have. We will then assemble the guide and get it published.
We’re hoping that we will be able to publish this guide annually, and that it will lead to a much larger annual celebration of our local food and drink business community. Our view has always been that a Rossendale Food & Drink Festival would be a great thing for the area, but only if it happens across all of our food and drink businesses. A one or two-day outdoor festival (like they do in Clitheroe and Accrington) would be brilliant, but a fortnight of coordinated events in the food and drink businesses community would be more sustainable and have a greater impact on the local economy.