Manchester’s nationally acclaimed food and drink festival is the highlight of the month for various local businesses.
From the 7-17 October the city’s finest foodies congregated on St Albert’s Square and other locations to showcase their delicious treats and products to people across Manchester.
With huge supermarkets like Tesco revealing its worst sales performance in two decades, the economic slump is affecting shoppers who are now looking elsewhere for quality produce. And it seems that small local businesses are reaping the profit in Manchester.
For Robinsons the Master Bakers in Failsworth, this was the first time they had ventured to the city streets of Manchester and opened their stall. They saw it as a huge risk. However with their wide selection of breads, quiches, cakes and tarts, the family bakers stall turned hectic and busy.
Managing Director, David Robinson, said: “The store is good business because we can build a great rapport with the public and I’ve fully enjoyed it.”
Robinsons is Manchester’s oldest family run craft bakery. Since 1864 they have used traditional domestic methods to produce a range of confectionery. Now, six generations later, they have successful bakeries in Failsworth Manchester and Nuthurst Rd, New Moston.
For them, coming to the Manchester Food and Drink Festival was like having a third permanent store, added Specialist pie maker, Emma Robinson. She said: “It’s brilliant coming into town and we’ve created a whole new customer base for our business.”
The festival has managed to improve the profit and popularity of local businesses and in such difficult economic times, entrepreneurs like Mr Robinson are entirely grateful. Since their opening in 1864 Robinsons has been a member of the National Association of Master Bakers who support the industry by providing services and training to all members.
However Mr Robinson said that over the past 20 years the amount of independent bakers in the North West region has massively declined.
Opportunities like the Manchester Food and Drink Festival, to advertise his business on a wider level is now more important than ever. Mr Robinson added: “We are intending to open another stall at the Christmas Markets this year due to the positive reaction and hope to attend the festival next year too.”
Wine tastings, ales and various competitions are amongst the main events of the Manchester Food and Drink Festival. But for some that attended it was the chance to compete against big names like Tesco and Marks and Spencers in the city centre that was the obvious attraction. With such success more may turnout next year.