New group for food and drink professionals launched in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 14:04 07 July 2014 | UPDATED: 14:10 07 July 2014

First speaker: Visit Norfolk brand manager Pete Waters

First speaker: Visit Norfolk brand manager Pete Waters

Archant Norfolk

A conversation between a Norwich restaurateur and a local accountant has led to the launch of a new networking group for independent businesses that operate in the food and drink sector.

Norfolk Food and Drink Network (NFDN) will hold its first event today, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, at the Library Restaurant on Guildhall Hill in Norwich. The guest speaker will be Pete Waters, brand manager of Visit Norfolk; a fee of £10 each will be charged to cover the cost of canapés and drinks. Larking Gowen accountant Emma Arthurton said the idea for the group came out of her conversation with Jayne Raffles, who opened the Library with her husband in 2006.

She said: “It dawned on us that there was no local networking event for people involved in the food and drink industry which seemed extraordinary considering how strong the industry is in the county.”

As well as providing mutual support, NFDN’s meetings would also pull together suppliers – “everyone likes to buy local these days” – with restaurant, hotel and cafe owners.

The events will be held quarterly.

Meanwhile, professionals involved in food and drink will have another opportunity to come face-to-face with suppliers on September 23 at the Royal Norfolk Showground.

Local Flavours 2014 will be an invitation-only event for trade buyers and potential customers of the 60-plus stand holders exhibiting.

Attendees are invited from hotels and restaurants, catering firms, tourist attractions, anyone responsible for food in the hospitality arena plus food retailers, locally and nationally, passionate about sourcing produce from the region.

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