When it opened in 2007 the Food Centre offered a conferencing facility above the main food hall. This ceased in 2013 when the conference room became a temporary cafe due to the expansion of the Centre’s cafe, Ludlow Kitchen. Since then the space has been dormant, waiting for the next stage of the Centre’s development. Plans have been approved for a new kitchenware and gift shop that will open in November. The development is being orchestrated by Food Centre Managing Director, Edward Berry, who says
‘There is definitely a growing market for culinary gifts. Customers have asked if we plan to stock more gifts but we have always concentrated our efforts on supplying the best fresh, local, seasonal and handmade food. When the conference room became available it seemed the natural choice for a gifting department.’
The room above the Food Centre has a large picture window so shoppers can look down on the main food hall. Many of the products will be supplied by local crafts people including potter Mike Fletcher from Wenlock Pottery who currently makes plates, bowls and mugs for Ludlow Kitchen. The Food Centre’s Retail Manager Charmaine Blatchford has handpicked suppliers and says
‘We are lucky to have local talent like Mike and these products will help to balance our product offering which will also include internationally inspired giftware. Our aim is give our customers choice and supply products of distinction and quality.’
The space above the main food hall will be accessible by both stairs and a lift. The new shop will also employ two new staff members growing the Food Centre’s employees to almost one hundred. Local producers will also benefit as Mike from Wenlock Pottery explains
‘The relationship I have had with the Food Centre has really helped me grow my business. My products will be for sale in the new shop and I very much hope both local shoppers and tourists will appreciate my handmade pottery.’
The new kitchenware and gift department is due to open in November and will feature specially selected Christmas products as well as kitchenware and gifts.
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