Taste Kent Magazine

Discover the tastiest food and drink from Kent – The Garden of England


Kentish Wine Prize for Caring Customer in Support Your Local Campaign

Presented by KCC Leader Roger Gough and Amanda Cottrell OBE

Following the huge success of the first #CaringCustomer appeal, dynamic organisation Produced in Kent and campaign partner Visit Kent took the opportunity to thank another #CaringCustomer as the second appeal to gain local support for Kent Food & Drink businesses ended on October 16th. The exciting appeal linked up with the wine harvest, celebrating Kent Wine.

The #CaringCustomer appeal is one of the activities of the county-wide Support Your Local awareness campaign in support of local, independent bars, restaurants, and cafes, which runs from July to December 2020. 

Image courtesy of  Tommaso Dimiddio at KMTV.
Pictured left to right Floortje Hoette of Produced in Kent, KCC Leader Roger Gough, Gail Busbridge; prize winner, Fergus Elias from Hush Heath and Amanda Cottrell OBE Produced in Kent Patron

A #CaringCustomer was chosen at random from those who signed the pledge to receive a prize as a thank you for showing their support for the appeal. Gayle Busbridge, a florist from Bridgewood in Medway, was presented with a collection of the finest Kentish Wines from The Wine Garden of England. The case of wine contained six bottles from Hush Heath, Simpsons Estate, Squerryes, Gusbourne, Biddenden, and Chapel Down (featured image). The Wine Garden of England links seven of Kent’s top wine producers to create a world-class wine trail and visitor experience in Kent.

KCC Leader Roger Gough and Amanda Cottrell OBE were present at the prize-giving which took place at Hush Heath Wine Estate on Monday 26th October. Also, in attendance were Fergus Elias Chief Winemaker of Hush Heath Wine Estate and Chief Executive of Produced in Kent Floortje Hoette.

Amanda Cottrell praised the residents of Kent for showing their support for the appeal. “It is wonderful to be able to give back to a member of the local community and show them how grateful we are to them for supporting this crucial campaign and their ‘local’”. She continued “Campaigns like these show the true Kent community spirit. Now more so than ever, it is vital that we as a county pull together to show our local pubs, restaurants, cafés, and tea rooms how valued and appreciated they are”.

Roger Gough went on to praise the county’s hospitality businesses as well as the food supply chain behind them: “By eating and drinking out, we do not just help the hospitality sector, but the wider local independent food and drink industry in Kent as well. Most independent pubs, restaurants, and cafes in Kent are supplied by local growers, producers, and wholesalers. If the hospitality sector runs into trouble, the entire food and drink industry in Kent will too. So, Eat Local and Buy Local, too!”

The Caring Customer appeal has been running since July through which customers are encouraged to eat and drink out at their ‘local’ and in so doing, help the Kent hospitality sector recover. By signing the #CaringCustomer pledge customers can show their love for their favourite Kent food and drink businesses – and demonstrate their awareness and care for fellow diners too!   The initiative is set to provide a much-needed boost to Kent’s £2.6 billion visitor economy, which has been badly hit since the pandemic.

Editor’s Notes

Those wishing to support the appeal can sign the Caring Customer Pledge in aide of Kent’s local restaurants, pubs, cafes, and hotels. In doing so, patrons will be pledging their commitment to Respect, Protect, and Enjoy establishments as each one adapts to post-lockdown circumstances. Caring Customers can proudly display the #CaringCustomer badge on their social media and are actively encouraged to share their experiences on social media and leave online reviews, using the Caring Customer hashtag.

An interactive map showing local suppliers and other useful information associated with the Support Your Local scheme can be found on the HelpKentBuyLocal.co.uk  website.

Endorsers include; The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Gadd’s brewery, Nightingale Cider, Curd and Cure, High Sheriff of Kent,  Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Chapel Down Winery, Shepherd Neame Brewery, Outset UK, Frasers, Simpsons Wine Estate amongst many others, see link for an updated list.

Produced in Kent is a trade organisation that supports and promotes food, drink, and craft businesses in Kent. By providing advice and sales opportunities to Kent’s businesses, it nurtures the rural communities in which they thrive. The success of Produced in Kent’s recent initiative Help Kent Buy Local is behind the Buy Local Southeast campaign rallying Kent, Essex, and East Sussex food and drink businesses in the lockdown and recovery phase following Covid19.

For further information, please visit: producedinkent.co.uk (consumer) or (join.producedinkent.co.uk (trade).

Visit Kent Ltd is the Destination Management Organisation for Kent (the Garden of England), welcoming 65million visitors a year, championing the county’s £3.8 billion tourism industry, and supporting more than 77,000 jobs. 

The Wine Garden of England links seven of Kent’s top wine producers to create a world-class wine trail and visitor experience in Kent. Our wine producers are a group of industry pioneers, many of who already deliver award-winning wines around the world. Visitors can discover a rich history at Biddenden Vineyards, indulge in sparkling wine at Chapel Down’s two AA Rosette restaurant, experience the making of a story at Domaine Evremond, sample world-class wines at Gusbourne, sip in the sun at Hush Heath Estate, slide down the world’s only winery helter-skelter at Simpsons Wine Estate and discover joy at Squerryes. Kent’s charming vineyards are set in some of the most picturesque corners of England. With some of the best transport links in the country, these vineyards are easily accessible and the Wine Garden of England looks forward to welcoming you. Seven different tastes, seven different stories, and a side of Kent you’ve never seen before. 


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