IF you enjoy the kind of delicious local nosh you can taste in the café and delicatessen at John's of Instow and Appledore, then you will want to pay a visit to this year's Foodfest.
Anthony John and his wife Sue, plus many of their suppliers and producers, will be showcasing superb locally-grown and handmade delights
John's of Instow and Appledore has been in the food business for 70 years. It began trading in Instow during the Forties, and now the fourth generation is enjoying being at the helm. Anthony and Sue opened a second store in Appledore last year and refurbished both shops and an adjoining café at Instow.
"Our values are simply those that we enjoy ourselves as customers – quality food and drink at good value, locally-sourced, homemade and seasonal produce – and we're looking forward to showcasing these at North Devon Foodfest," said Anthony.
John's will promote several of their local suppliers at Foodfest this year, giving the public a chance to sample local treats that are in season.
One of these producers is Radley Cross Market Garden, near South Molton, which supplies crops such as green garlic, pink fir apple potatoes, pink Jerusalem artichokes and squash to wholesale markets in Bristol and London's Covent Garden. The produce is then distributed to high class restaurants and delicatessens. Owner Ant Pelly and wife Penny specialise in combining widespread horticultural expertise with a farming ethos based on sustainability.
"We only grow the best: we trial varieties for flavour and suitability before deciding on a commercial crop," said Ant. "We're famous for our garlic, particularly our green garlic, but we're entering into squash season now. We'll be proudly displaying our range of winter squashes at Foodfest."
Hallwood Fresh Veg, another of John's suppliers, will also be attending Foodfest. They own a small family farm on the outskirts of Petrockstowe and also run a farm shop and vegetable box business.
"We always look forward to showcasing our lovely produce and meeting customers new and existing," said Richard Kelsey. "It all helps to promote a real link between this beautiful region and it's wealth of wonderful artisanal food producers."
Initiated by the North Devon+ (an economic regeneration company for North Devon and Torridge), Foodfest is part of a regional campaign to support local food and drink producers.
Now in its sixth year, it's a hugely popular event. Last year there were more than 13,500 visitors, 75 exhibitors, and five top chefs from some of the most popular local restaurants.
"To have a prestigious company like John's of Appledore and Instow sponsoring Foodfest is fantastic news," said Laura Holt, marketing manager at North Devon+. "They and their suppliers are real ambassadors for the local food and drink industry, helping to promote North Devon and its produce both regionally and nationally."
Foodfest is on Sunday, October 20, 10am to 3.30pm in Barnstaple's pannier market. Free admission.