Stokesley’s first food week hailed huge success

SFW3- Market SFW4- Quorn Demo

Organisers of the first ‘Stokesley Food Week’ have hailed it a major success and are now planning a bigger event for May 2016.

North Yorkshire’s MP, Rishi Sunak, has also backed the town’s plans and praised organisers and businesses for their efforts in bringing the town together and encouraging visitors.

Stokesley Food Week ran from Saturday 3rd October until Saturday 10th October showcasing the wide variety of restaurants, cafes, pubs and other food-related businesses in the market town and businesses have reported seeing an increase in trade during the week-long event with visitors also from further afield.

The Parish Council is now in talks with business owners about the possibility of holding a special arts and food fair on the early May Bank Holiday weekend next year, featuring live music and comedy as well as food and drink events.

Stokesley Food week started with celebrations and demonstrations at the award-winning Stokesley Farmers’ Market, named the best farmers’ market in England in 2014.

In addition the town’s largest employer, Quorn, backed the event holding special demonstrations at the launch with the company’s home economists providing samples and recipe cards on the High Street.

Chefs from local restaurants, The Mill and Chapter’s Deli, were also on hand sharing their tricks of the trade and holding tasting sessions.

The week gained the support of a range of local businesses providing offers for Stokesley Food Week, including Newboulds, Stokesley Butcher’s, Chapter’s Hotel, Sorella, Howard’s, Chapter’s Deli, Stokesley Diner, Bexter’s, The Mill, the Co-Op, the White Swan and the Spread Eagle, as well as local churches.

Rishi Sunak, who became MP for Richmond in the May General Elections, praised organisers and the local community for their work arranging the week. He said: “It’s great to see the Parish Council and local community playing a leading role in organising the first Stokesley Food Week- it’s a splendid idea. Food and drink, and particularly interest in local provenance, is a growing part of our economy and I am sure the event will help related businesses in Stokesley make the most of the opportunities available. Hopefully it will lead to the holding of a dedicated food festival in due course.”

The week was organised by Stokesley Parish Council and a host of local volunteers who have donated their professional services for free, including Anna Addison Associates, Catch Design Management and Totally Stokesley.

Stewart Brennan, parish councillor, said: “The participation of our local businesses, both big and small, made this a truly great week in Stokesley. There was a great buzz about the whole week and we know from the feedback that business was brisk and turnovers were up. This is a great foundation to build upon for future events in the town, which we are already working on. I‘d like to thank all the businesses that took part and our fantastic team of volunteers who offered their professional services in PR, design and marketing.”

Ian Blakemore, parish councillor, said: “It was a truly fantastic week which demonstrated both the strength of the community in Stokesley and the desire to do more of these types of events. As a thriving market town, putting these events on is a fundamental part of the future and it was great fun too.”