A guide to the best food and drink places in Rossendale has been launched. Valley at Work, a not-for-profit organisation that connects local businesses has produced 1,000 copies of the guide, which are being distributed across Rossendale.
Chair of Valley at Work Rob Carder said: “The idea of celebrating the amazing range of food and drink in Rossendale was first mooted in one of our meetings more than two years ago. We looked at a number of different ways to do this, including hosting a food and drink festival. We visited many similar events, but often found that stands at the fairs were taken often by people who were not local. The local providers were too busy doing what they do best – running their shops, restaurants and cafes. So the idea of having a guide was agreed so we would be encouraging people to shop local and it fitted in with the ethos of Valley at Work – to connect local businesses.”
In order to qualify for the guide the providers had to meet strict guidelines starting was food hygiene ratings, which had to be at least Grade 4. For the 2018 guide, the providers needed to have recent ratings of at least a four out of five rating on Trip Advisor or Facebook and grant permission to be included in the guide.
Rob said: “The first guide has 53 different businesses ranging from market stalls to pubs, shops to butchers. They are listed according to areas with a brief description of the town or village where they are based. Members of Valley at Work are distributing the guide to the businesses featured and every business in the guide has been given a distinctive sticker for the window to display to customers. Production costs have been supported by Rossendale Borough Council and several Rossendale Business Award sponsors.”
Valley at Work hopes the guide will become an annual publication and will lead to a much larger celebration of the food and drink community.
Rob added: “A fortnight of co-ordinated events involving the local food and drink businesses is something that we are considering. This would be a more sustainable way of celebrating what Rossendale has to offer than a one-day festival and in the long term it would make a greater impact on the local community by encouraging people to try out local providers.”
Story by Catherine Smyth