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Devon Farm Kitchen makes history with revolutionary eco approach

Devon Farm Kitchen, the young social enterprise committed to raising funds for Rowcroft Hospice, is the first organisation in the country and across the world to operate a frozen meal delivery service using reusable ceramic crockery. With its commitment to sustainability and a 'zero landfill' ethos, Devon Farm Kitchen's innovative use of returnable and reusable ceramic plates and bowls demonstrates a pioneering approach to food packaging and eliminates plastic waste entirely.

"We are proud to be leading the way in sustainable and environment-friendly packaging for our delicious frozen meals,” said Devon Farm Kitchen’s Manager Joe Bradshaw. “While our ceramic plates and bowls may initially be more costly to us than other more conventional forms of packaging such as plastic trays, they can be re-used time and time again, so in the long run our investment pays off. The clay for our ceramics is sourced locally in Cornwall, and the outer cardboard packaging that houses each plate and bowl is 100% recyclable, carbon neutral and compostable. Our model of sustainability is a key selling point for our meals: it makes for happy customers and a greener planet!”

The sustainable operations extend beyond packaging. Devon Farm Kitchen collaborates with DCW, a food waste recycling company, ensuring that any kitchen waste finds purpose as compost or energy to power local farms and factories. Moreover, the emphasis on sourcing ingredients locally from reputable Devon suppliers minimises food miles and supports regional businesses while upholding eco and ethical standards.

"We prioritise taste, quality, and provenance in sourcing our ingredients locally, and we endeavour to continually innovate to reduce our carbon footprint," remarked Joe Bradshaw. "By excluding plastic from our packaging and recycling all waste, we aim to champion sustainable dining practices while supporting our local hospice." With all profits going to support Rowcroft Hospice in delivering specialist care to local patients with life-limiting illnesses, Devon Farm Kitchen has gone from strength to strength since the social enterprise launched in 2021: fulfilling 12,500 orders; delivering a remarkable 92,000 meals across 500 square miles of Devon; expanding their menu to include a choice of 60 dishes including vegetarian, gluten-free and small meal options; and winning numerous awards from Taste of the West and Food Drink Devon, including Best Online Retailer 2023, as well as being a finalist in Torbay’s social enterprise of the year award.

Devon Farm Kitchen also prides itself on a personalised service where the delivery driver ‘checks in’ with each customer. “Our delivery drivers provide a friendly face and a regular point of contact for our customers,” added Joe Bradshaw. “This is particularly important for those who are living alone, socially isolated, frail or vulnerable. Sometimes, our driver may be the only person that a customer will see all day, so being able to spend time chatting with them is a key part of our unique service that sets us apart from our competitors.”

Devon Farm Kitchen’s balanced meals are carefully prepared and cooked by hand in small batches from their kitchen in Torquay. Frozen for freshness, the meals aim to provide the very best in nutrition to support the health and well-being of customers. Each serving comprises quality ingredients and nutrient-dense foods that support physical health, cognitive function, energy levels, digestive health, and emotional well-being.

"We are captivating the hearts and taste buds of our local community with our convenient and easy to reheat meals,” concluded Joe Bradshaw. “It's testament to the enduring appeal of freshly produced, locally sourced meals, served on proper plates and bowls, and the growing awareness of the importance of supporting our local food producers, protecting our environment, and raising vital funds to care for patients and their loved ones in our community." 

Bays Brewery Launches Brand New Charity Brews For 2024

Family-run Bays Brewery in Paignton is saying ‘cheers’ to some top Devon charities throughout 2024 with the launch of four brand new limited-edition ‘Charity Brews’.

Available at various times throughout the year in bottles, cask and beer boxes, each brew will support a worthy local cause in a bid to give something back to the community.

The first of its charity brews ‘Tracker Ale’ will be available from February, with 5% of proceeds going towards Dartmoor Search & Rescue (Ashburton).

The smooth pale session beer will help its Ashburton division raise much-needed funds to replace its oldest Land Rover for future rescue missions in Torbay, Dartmoor and East Devon.

The second charity brew ‘Funky Monkey’ will be available from April and will see the Torbay brewery partner up with its good friends at Paignton Zoo once again.

The copper-coloured pale ale will have a cheeky citrus character and fruity hoppy notes, with the brew inspired by the zoo’s new baboon exhibit ‘Hamadryas Hill’ which is set to open later this year.

Funky Monkey will be the latest in a long line of beers developed by Bays Brewery in collaboration with Paignton Zoo, which combined have raised more than £27,000 for endangered species to date.

Director of Bays Brewery, Peter Salmon, said: “Last year’s charity beers proved a hit among our loyal following of beer fans, raising a total of £3,370 for three local charities close to our heart, and we’re thrilled to be working with another brilliant bunch of local charities in 2024.

“With many of them facing unprecedented demand alongside inadequate funding, we are pleased to be able to play a small part by pledging to donate 5% from every bottle and pint sold to help raise much-needed funds for four incredibly worthy causes.”

The third charity brew ‘Chopper Ale’ will take off in July, with beer drinkers able to enjoy their pint in the knowledge that they are supporting the vital work of Devon Air Ambulance with every sip.

Last year was an unprecedented one for its crew who attended 1,921 incidents across Devon and neighbouring counties (stats: October 2023), saving more lives than ever before.

Completing the charity line-up from November will be ‘Jingle Ale’, a deep amber ale that spreads some festive cheer with 5% of proceeds supporting Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW).

CHSW provides hospice care for children and their families across the South West living with life-limiting illnesses from point of diagnosis through to end of life.

Bays Brewery Raises £3,370 For Three Deserving Devon Charities

The big-hearted team at Bays Brewery in Paignton are proud to announce that its 2023 ‘Charity Brews’ have raised a grand total of £3,370 for three deserving Devon charities.

The family-run brewery kicked off its charity brew collection when it joined forces with Paignton Zoo earlier in the Spring to mark its 100th anniversary with a special-edition ale.

Available in bottles, cask and beer boxes, ‘Wild 100’ proved a hit among beer drinkers looking to quench their thirst in the name of a great cause, raising £1,600 for animal conservation.

The limited-edition beer was one of a long line-up of ‘animal’ ales made in partnership with the visitor attraction, with the charity tipples resulting in £27,000 for endangered species to date.

Bays Brewery then teamed up with Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust (TCCT) in the Summer to launch a special-edition charity brew paying homage to Berry Head – a National Nature Reserve.

The aptly-named golden ale ‘Beery Head’ provided a true taste of the British coast having been made using hops sourced sustainably from UK shores, raising a total of £1,350 for TCCT.

The charity tipple sold out in record time, with beer lovers quick to snap up the local beer inspired by the stunning coastal headland with its abundance of rare wildlife.

Completing the 2023 charity line-up was the brewery’s festive favourite ‘Jingle Ale’ which went on sale in time for Christmas – spreading some much-needed cheer for another Devon charity.

The ho-ho-hoppy bitter raised much-needed funds for Torbay Holiday Helpers Network who provide free memory-making holidays to families who have seriously ill children or are recently bereaved.

Director of Bays Brewery, Peter Salmon, said: “Being a local Devon brewery, we’re always looking at how we can give something back to our community, and we are incredibly proud to have raised £3,370 for three brilliant Devon charities, all of which support causes close to our heart.

“A huge thank you to everyone who helped us achieve such an amazing amount by raising a toast with our charity beers, and we can’t wait to support even more worthy Devon causes in 2024.”

Bays Brewery will be saying ‘cheers’ once again in 2024 with four brand new charity brews, all of which will see 5% of proceeds for every pint and bottle sold donated to a Devon charity.

National Coastwatch to provide ‘Coast Path Passport’ stamping points along the South West Coast Path

The National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) has become an official ‘Coast Path Passport’ stamping point partner, working with the charity which cares for the UK’s longest and most popular National Trail, the South West Coast Path.

The new partnership means that visitors to the Trail can now stop off at NCI stations along the 630-mile route to collect different ‘stamps’ in their Camino-style Coast Path Passport and find out more about the work of both charities. National Coastwatch has 24 of its 60 stations along the South West Coast Path and its volunteers help to keep people safe on the coast and save lives at sea by maintaining a daily visual and radio watch.

The South West Coast Path Association created the Coast Path Passport 18 months ago in order to help the nine million visitors who use the Path each year create a lasting memory of their journey along it. The Passport is also designed to encourage walkers to stop off at local coastal businesses and communities along the way, helping them to get a share of the £520 million the Trail brings into the local economy each year.  

Stamps representing the unique nature of each section of the Path can now be collected from over 135 stamping points, with the 24 National Coastwatch stations along the South West Coast Path being the latest additions.

Julian Gray, Director, South West Coast Path Association comments, “We’re really excited to be working in partnership with the National Coastwatch Institution. The stations are ideally positioned along the Path and hark back to the original use of the Coast Path when it was used by the coastguard and customs and excise to look out for smugglers.”

Sarah Gunn, Business Engagement at the charity adds,

“The fact that the majority of the NCI stations are open 365 days a year is an added bonus. We’re sure that walkers will enjoy finding out more about the NCI’s work from its volunteers, as well being able to pick up their Passport stamp and some more information about the work we do as a charity to care for, champion and connect people and local communities to the amazing health and wellbeing benefits of the iconic South West Coast Path.”

Stephen Hand, Chair of the National Coastwatch Institution says,

“We’re delighted to partner with the South West Coast Path Association as we share the same broad aims of wanting people to share our love of the coast, enjoy themselves and take home happy memories. For us that means staying safe and all our stations along the Trail are now looking forward to giving a warm welcome to even more walkers, whether they are stopping for a passport stamp, a brief rest, or to check information about the local conditions.”

A Winter Warmer Break on Dartmoor

Dartmoor is wild and wonderful at this time of year, with bracing walks to enjoy and stunning Dartmoor landscapes to inspire. However you choose to spend your days, you can look forward to crackling log fires, warm hospitality, delicious dining and restful nights at the Two Bridges Hotel, in the very heart of Dartmoor National Park. Choose a cosy country-style room, or a stunning Premier room with a gorgeous four poster. Either way, a very warm welcome awaits.

Winter Warmer breaks from £85 per person, per night, including dinner and breakfast.  Find out more at https://www.twobridges.co.uk/winter-warmer-breaks/

Exciting new Wiltshire distillery invites local investor to a day out!

Located on the beautiful Fonthill estate, The Wiltshire Distilling Company is looking for local Wiltshire investors to join – and share in – its journey to produce England’s finest single malts. 
Following a hugely successful share raise of £2.25m in 2022 to finance the Witchmark Distillery and Stone Daisy Brewery, the company has launched a second fundraise to take the distillery into production.  The plan is to produce the equivalent of 1.8m bottles in the first three years. 

There's an open day scheduled to take place mid-January when would-be investors will be invited to visit the distillery, meet the expert team behind the business and discover more about their growth objectives. They aim to raise £2m by the issue of 800,000 authorised shares at £2.50 per share.

Anyone interested in investing in the business should email [email protected] to book their place and request an Investor Brochure, Executive Summary and Business Plan. Alternatively, call Jon Carson on 07887 847057.

New partnership with Great Western Railway will showcase the South West Coast Path and inspire new adventures

Great Western Railway has partnered with the South West Coast Path Association to support its annual South West Coast Path Photographer of the Year competition, with a stunning large-scale exhibition in 2024.

Great Western Railway (GWR) has been helping people explore the south west for over 100 years, so having them on board to support an exhibition that showcases the 630-mile South West Coast Path National Trail is a perfect fit.

The South West Coast Path Association, the charity that protects and champions England’s longest National Trail, is looking forward to working with GWR to promote sustainable transport, connecting the trail by rail, and help improve access to one of the region’s most valuable natural assets, the Coast Path.  

Partnering with GWR to present a photography exhibition is a new way for the charity to reach a wider audience and highlight the awe-inspiring coastal landscapes that can be discovered when adventuring along the Coast Path. The exhibition will also highlight the threats that climate change brings to the Path, and how the charity is working to protect the Trail now and for future generations.

Aletha Mays, Head of Comms at the Association, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Great Western Railway to inspire more adventures along this world-class walking route, as well as encourage photographers to get involved in what will be a beautiful exhibition.”

Amanda Burns, GWR Sales and Marketing Director, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support the South West Coast Path with its Photographer of the Year competition.

“Thousands of our customers are drawn to the Coast Path every year and we are proud to deliver a sustainable means of transport for them to do so. This competition will help to promote the beauty it has to offer, and we can’t wait to see some adventure-inspiring images.”

Julian Gray, Director, South West Coast Path Association said, “We are looking forward to working with GWR on the exhibition to showcase the beauty of the south west and the charity’s work to protect and care for England’s longest National Trail.”

Enter the South West Coast Path Photographer of the Year competition NOW!

The competition is free to enter and open to all, whether you’re young or old, professional, or amateur, this is a chance for everyone to celebrate the magic and wonder of the South West Coast Path and all it has to offer.  

There are five categories to enter, and there is no limit on the number of photographs you can enter.

Categories include: Your Path; Urban Lines; Nature; Climate Change; Sky Shot, PLUS Young Photographer of the Year Award (under 18).

Entries close 31 January 2024.

Prize Package

The winner will earn the coveted title of South West Coast Path Photographer of the Year and guaranteed inclusion in the exhibition, in addition to £500 towards a luxury holiday in in the South West thanks to competition supporters Luxury Coastal, plus GWR train tickets to get you to your holiday destination. Take a step towards your own south west adventure and enter your favourite images captured along the South West Coast Path!

For more information and to enter, visit www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/photographer-of-the-year  

 

Owens Coffee unveils perfect Waves Café

Devon-based coffee roaster, Owens Coffee, is proud to announce the opening of Perfect Waves Café, a stylish new coffee shop within The Roastery at Ivybridge. This expansion marks a significant enhancement to the original takeaway, now providing a warm and inviting indoor space for up to 25 customers.

Perfect Waves Café is located just off the A38, adjacent to Endsleigh Garden Centre, offering an easily accessible pit stop for those passing by to indulge in a cup of sustainably sourced coffee, freshly roasted on-site, beautifully brewed tea and delicious local produce. Find Perfect Waves Café at The Roastery (Ivybridge, PL21 9JL), open from Monday to Saturday, 9am - 4pm. Four-legged friends are welcome inside the new café and in the existing outdoor seating area.

Lorraine Bridden, Managing Director of Owens Coffee, says: “We’ve opened Perfect Waves Café to give our passionate team the opportunity to showcase everything we do, from our organic and Fairtrade coffee to our expertly brewed teas and locally sourced produce. 
“Our customers will have a choice of coffees, including a house blend or a single origin of the day, plus our organic Decaf. We’ve installed our Rancilio RS1 coffee machine for our professionally trained baristas. The machine is an extremely high-tech piece of kit, which is programmable so that we’re able to make consistent, precision-made coffees. Our teas, Devonshire Tea and Perfect Waves infusions are also a feature of the drinks menu.
“Customers visiting our new space can look forward to an all-round experience with top-quality produce brought to you by our friendly team of baristas.”

The new café is proud to serve Owens’ freshly roasted coffee beans, all of which are 100% certified organic and Fairtrade, having been expertly roasted on-site. Choose from a variety of brewing methods, served black or with Trewithen’s Barista Milk or plant-based alternatives. 

The inspiration for the name, Perfect Waves infusions will also star on the menu, alongside hot chocolates and soft drinks, from local suppliers Luscombe Drinks, Gusto Fairtrade & Organic Drinks, Tarka Springs, Four Elms Apple Juice and Courtney’s Apple Juice.

The menu has been developed around showcasing locally sourced produce, where possible, featuring a selection of sandwiches, paninis, light bites, fresh cakes and pastries with organic and vegan options (subject to availability). Sourced from local producers and suppliers including Cakewhole, Tamar Fresh, Foxcombe Bakehouse Bars, Burts Crisps, Mr Filbert's snacks, Plough to Plate and Flapjackery.

The Roastery - a purpose-built, state-of-the-art facility designed to have a low environmental impact - has been home to Owens Coffee since 2018. This is where they clean-roast, package and distribute their organic and Fairtrade coffee across the UK, both to consumers and businesses. It also houses a shop, contemporary training facility and events space where visitors are welcomed, with tours and tastings for wholesale customers, and professional barista training. A range of coffee experiences and masterclasses can be enjoyed by coffee enthusiasts, including their Latte Art Essentials Workshop.

Owens’ range of freshly roasted coffee beans can be purchased from the shop alongside Perfect Waves infusions and a full range of brewing equipment; tried, tested and recommended by the team.

Owens Coffee welcomes The Fairtrade Foundation to The Roastery

Devon-based coffee roastery, Owens Coffee was delighted to recently welcome members of the Fairtrade Foundation, Fairtrade Devon and the community of Ivybridge to The Roastery, a visit which coincides with the opening of their new Perfect Waves Café. 

Lorraine Bridden, Managing Director of Owens Coffee, welcomed Michael Gidney, CEO of Fairtrade Foundation, Sue Errington and Alison Derrick of Fairtrade Devon, Cllr Alan Spencer, Mayor of Ivybridge, Cllr Matt Steele, Town Councillor, District Councillor and Chair of Ivybridge Chamber of Commerce and Eleanor Hoggett, a Geography teacher at Ivybridge Community College to the roastery.

Lorraine Bridden commented on the visit: “We were thrilled to recently welcome The Fairtrade Foundation’s CEO Michael Gidney and the Fairtrade Devon team to the Roastery, along with our other special guests. We are proud to say that our coffee range has been certified by the Fairtrade Foundation since 2010.
“We support Fairtrade so that we can help promote ethical and sustainable business practices, improve the quality of life for farmers and their families and contribute to the development of communities worldwide.” 


Michael Gidney’s visit was part of an exploratory two-day trip to the county to find out how the Fairtrade organisation's team and hard-working volunteers in the region have created such a success in Devon as a Fairtrade county in the UK. Michael Gidney commented on his visit to Owens Coffee: “Congratulations to everyone at Owens Coffee - you’ve created something really special and impactful. A fantastic opportunity for people to come and learn about the people behind the products - and you made a wonderful cup of Fairtrade coffee!”

Currently, there are 17 Fairtrade Communities (either confirmed or going through the application to become a Fairtrade Community) within Devon. All are supported by volunteers who are actively working with schools, colleges, councils and businesses in their areas. Ivybridge is in the process of regaining its own Fairtrade Town status, and this visit emphasised why sourcing Fairtrade coffee really matters at so many important levels. The group saw first-hand how Owens’ Fairtrade-certified coffee beans make their way from growers around the world to the cups of their customers. Over breakfast, they discussed ethical sourcing practices and Fairtrade's commitment to empowering farming communities facing pressing climate change challenges.

They talked about how Owens Coffee has collaborated with Fairtrade Devon to support the educational work they do in the county, giving them a local example to connect back to, in the form of the relationships Owens has established with their partners, coffee growers and the coffee they produce. While sampling Owens Coffee, the group spoke on the importance of conscious consumer choices and watched the highlights reel from the Jabulani documentary telling the story of this Rwandan single origin, which is roasted by Owens in collaboration with Plymouth's Diversity Business Incubator.

Michael concluded that The Roastery is an excellent facility to showcase Fairtrade efforts in Devon, and by sharing coffee farmers’ stories with customers visually, through the conversations Owens is having, and at a face-to-face level, it’s helping to meaningfully connect people to the value of Fairtrade.
Owens Coffee is proud that its dedication to transparency, quality and ethics helps to bring the power of the Fairtrade mission to life. 

The Roastery - a purpose-built, state-of-the-art facility designed to have a low environmental impact - has been home to Owens Coffee since 2018. This is where they clean-roast, package and distribute their organic and Fairtrade coffee across the UK, both to consumers and businesses. As well as the new coffee shop, The Roastery also houses a shop, contemporary training facility and events space where visitors are welcomed, with tours and tastings for wholesale customers, and professional barista training. A range of coffee experiences and masterclasses can be enjoyed by coffee enthusiasts, including their Latte Art Essentials Workshop.

Beery Head Charity Brew: Total Revealed

Family-run Bays Brewery in Paignton is toasting the news that its charity brew Beery Head has raised a grand total of £1,350 for Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust (TCCT). The brewery joined forces with TCCT this Summer to launch a special-edition charity brew that paid homage to Torbay’s most designated heritage site of Berry Head – a National Nature Reserve.

Sold in bottles, casks and beer boxes, the gorgeous golden ale provided a true taste of the British coast having been made using hops sourced sustainably from UK shores. The charity tipple sold out in record time, with beer lovers quick to snap up the local beer inspired by the stunning coastal headland of Berry Head with its abundance of rare wildlife and Napoleonic Fort.

Director of Bays Brewery, Peter Salmon, said: “Being a local, family-run brewery we’re always looking at how we can give something back to our community and we were delighted to create a distinctly local ale with our friends at Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust.

“Beery Head proved a hit among Bays drinkers and we are incredibly thankful for their support in helping us raise such a fantastic amount for a conservation charity that looks after some of the beautiful spaces we are fortunate enough to call ‘home’.”

Kat Sobey, Marketing & Communications Manager for TCCT, said: “We’re a conservation charity and all fundraising efforts such as this make a big difference to our Trust, enabling us to care for over 1,700 acres of Torbay’s green spaces.”

The Paignton-based brewery teamed up with TCCT again in October this year for its popular Big Scarecrow Trail, donating a fisherman-inspired straw creation around the theme of sustainability.

As well as TCCT, the Paignton-based brewery has supported a number of other top Devon charities throughout 2023 with its limited-edition ‘charity brews’ concept.

Completing the charity line-up is Bays’ festive favourite Jingle Ale, available now with 5% of every pint and bottle sold helping raise funds for Torbay Holiday Helpers Network (THHN).

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