Prospering niche hospitality group shows its commitment to local producers

Prospering niche hospitality group shows its commitment to local producers

A group of local people with a passion for hospitality has been busy over the last decade creating a collection of hospitality venues which are both sensitive and responsive to the needs and wants of the local communities they serve.

Since 2002 Ideal Collection has built up a family of six venues: No.5 Bridge Street in Winchester, The Bugle Hamble, The White Horse Otterbourne, Cantina Mexican and The White Star Tavern in Southampton and The Boat House Caf? Swanwick. Each venue has been lovingly refurbished and restored in a way that reflects its immediate surroundings.

All of Ideal Collection's pubs and restaurants share a vision and dedication to sourcing and serving quality local produce. The managers and chefs of each venue are encouraged to discover small independent producers on their doorstep and use these ingredients as the inspiration for their dishes.

Gwyn Williams and his wife own Loosehanger Cheeses which is based on the Hampshire and Wiltshire border. They regularly supply Ideal Collection with cheeses from their extensive range and Gwyn explained how they value the relationship they have with the hospitality company:

'It is a pleasure to supply the team at Ideal Collection. Their chef, Jim Hayward, is a regular at the farmers' markets browsing for local ingredients and talking to local producers. He'll always come over to say hello and wants to hear about our latest news and plans. Having our cheeses in their restaurants really helps us to reach out to new customers, giving them an opportunity to taste our products before coming to find us and buy from us directly to enjoy at home.'

The pubs have proved popular with locals attracted by the warm and friendly welcome and delicious local food. Regulars also take advantage of quirky services such as the opportunity to have their parcels delivered to the pub whilst they are at work. Uptons of Bassett also delivers customers meat orders to the pubs for collection at the customers' convenience.

Keen to find new ways to support local producers, Ideal Collection has become a Corporate Partner of local food group Hampshire Fare. Oliver Weeks, Managing Director of Ideal Collection spoke of this show of support for Hampshire Fare and its members:

'Here at Ideal Collection we are all about serving the local communities we are based in and involving local producers from across the county in what we do. We have worked with Hampshire Fare for many years and really value this opportunity to build on our relationship through becoming a Corporate Partner. We want to contribute to the work they are doing across Hampshire to help and promote local producers and see it as another way for us to support local producers.'

Mike Wright, Chairman of Hampshire Fare commented on the new partnership:

'Ideal Collection is an inspirational example of how a local business can make a difference to our local community and its producers. The chefs and managers across the company's pubs and restaurants have worked hard to build up strong working relationships with our county's network of talented local producers and the results are evident in their impressive menus.

We are delighted to welcome Ideal Collection on board as a Corporate Partner and look forward to working closely with them to further both organisations' commitment to local produce.'

Sign up for the Ideal Collection Loyalty Card at or in any Ideal Collection venue. For every £10 spent customers receive an impressive £1 back on their card to be spent at any Ideal Collection venue Monday-Thursday.

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