Expowest Cornwall took place from 1st – 3rd March, at the Royal Cornwall Showground, in Wadebridge. The 70mph winds and horizontal hail of Storm Jake failed to dampen spirits. Visitors came from all over, even as far as Portugal, to meet exhibitors showcasing everything from fresh produce to foodservice, bakery to business services, drinks to catering equipment, and speciality foods to sundry supplies, plus much more besides.
“We had an amazing show – three really big leads converted already and moving over to us at the end of the month”. Gabrielle Hume-Rothery, Payroll South West.
“It saves us a lot of time looking for products and companies we might need as they are all under one roof. It was a well organised and run show. Congratulations! It was also a great day out”. Terry Moriarty, Polzeath Beach Holiday Park & Chiverton Park, Truro.
As well as bringing together exhibitors and buyers, the show is a great vehicle for emerging new talent. This year, for the first time, the on-site catering was run by Truro & Penwith College. Named the ‘Bistro’, this was run by a team of hospitality students who are members of the Rick Stein Academy (programmes of study include Professional Cookery and Food & Beverage Service). The Bistro offered exhibitors and visitors a range of options throughout the day including teas, coffees and pastries for breakfast through to a substantial lunch menu with a range of options including salads, sandwiches, soups and cakes. It was a great opportunity for the students to get real hands on experience of delivering results in a b2b environment.
Tamsyn Harris, Head of Truro and Penwith College Business, commented “We were thrilled that our students were given the opportunity to run the Truro and Penwith College Bistro at Expowest Cornwall. This not only provided them with the fantastic experience of running a commercial enterprise, but also allowed employers to witness the exceptional standard of their work and get a literal taste of the impact our training could have on their business”.
The college made a number of positive contacts helping them establish and develop existing partnerships within the Hospitality sector. The college hopes to work with businesses to create new apprenticeship jobs and support the sector with wider business training.
Tamsyn continued “At Truro and Penwith College our Hospitality provision continues to grow making Expowest Cornwall a key event in the College’s calendar. The event provides a unique opportunity for us to meet a large number of Cornwall’s Hospitality employers, building on our already strong relationships to ensure the training we deliver allows our students to thrive in a professional environment“.
Jane Pyatt, Chairman of Hale Events said: “Giving Truro & Penwith College this opportunity created a direct link, at the show, between education and industry. Cornwall relies on quality hospitality staff, and what better place than this long-established and respected Hotel & Catering event, to help enable students in this field to test and hone their skills.”
With plans to develop and extend the show for next year, and the students of Truro & Penwith College once again running their Bistro, it looks like Expowest Cornwall 2017 is one to add to the diaries now! Next year’s show will run from 7th – 9th March 2017.
You can keep up to date with news about the show at www.expowestcornwall.co.uk or follow the show on Twitter at @expowest_uk. More information about Truro & Penwith College can be found at www.truro-penwith.ac.uk.