An enterprising foodie is proving there is a huge appetite for locally grown fresh produce with the launch of the Chester Food Assembly.
Katie Lyttle set up the Food Assembly, which is a social enterprise, – the first of its kind in the North West – and was delighted by the interest shown from both producers and budding customers.
The launch event was held at the start of the month in Telford’s Warehouse, Tower Wharf, with more than 150 people attending to see a range of food and drink on offer, including meat, fruit and veg, dairy products and even gluten-free cakes.
Katie said: “I had no idea how busy it was going to be, and the feedback from people on social media, and from the night itself, was so positive. The producers were overwhelmed with interest.”
The idea behind the Food Assembly is that customers can shop online for local produce at thefoodassembly.com, before collecting their order at the Chester Food Assembly at Telford’s Warehouse, which runs every Monday between 6-8pm.
Katie said: “The idea is building a food community, so customers can collect their order and also meet the person who made the food, get recipes and feedback and find out what’s in season.
“There is something special in cooking food you know has been made with local ingredients.”
Social entrepreneur Katie explained how she came to set up the Chester Food Assembly.
“I was looking for a project to get started with and came across the Food Assembly via social media, which ticked all the right boxes – sustainability and local enterprises and getting people together around food, which are all my passions.
“I was given some training in Paris, where the idea all began, and saw some Food Assemblies in action.
“It was interesting and I felt possible to have one in Chester.
“The next step was contacting local food producers using local produce, meeting up with them and seeing if they match the values set by the Food Assembly, so they are all trusted sources.
“It was then about finding a venue to host it and Telford’s Warehouse was top of my list, and they were happy to host as it matched their food ethos.
“I really do feel passionate about local food and I feel the Food Assembly can bring a change to our networks.”
Katie added: “We are really interested in contacting local businesses and new businesses who want to get involved.
“They can register at foodassembly.com or they can contact me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.”