(ZIZ News) — Restaurateurs, Food & Beverage Directors, Food Vendors and Chefs, were among those present at the Department of Agriculture’s Agro Processor Showcase on Thursday leading up to Restaurant Week 2016.
While at the Agro-Processor Showcase event, ZIZ discovered developing business relationships between hotel owners and members of St. Kitts Agro Processors Cooperative.
Consultant for The Ministry of Tourism, Kathleen Pessolano described the networking scene at the event.
“The restaurants were really interested, really excited about the products here and actually several of them set up meetings with suppliers so that they can discuss real partnership in terms of starting to work with these suppliers to supply their restaurants and also their gift shops. There are some really great success stories that came out of today”, Pessolano said.
Member of The St. Kitts Agro-Processor Cooperative and owner of Sweet Little Things, Anastasha Elliott said events like the showcase give small businesses a great deal of exposure.
“We are a small business so we don’t have a big marketing budget so little stuff like this help us a lot because it gets us out, it gets us known, it gets us some publicity and for a small business you want that”, she said.
Shortly after speaking with Elliott, one of the owners of the Ottley’s Plantation Inn, Nancy Lowell explained how she networked with “Sweet Little Things”.
“Well I have an appointment with ‘Sweet Little Things’. They just have a lot of products that look interesting and she’s going to bring some samples over to me and if we feel we can add them to our recipes and to what we serve to our guest and give them more of a taste of local flavours, then we will do that,” she said
Lowell said she prefers to use local products at her hotel.
“We would like it if people go home with products that were made in St. Kitts not China. You can make a pencil in China and stamp St. Kitts on it but that doesn’t mean it was made in St. Kitts. I would be much happier if everybody brought home, things that were made in St. Kitts”, the hotel owner expressed.
The Agro-Processor Showcase aims to give local food producers a push into the spotlight and bridge the gap between supply and demand for local products across the Federation.