Getting Connected at The Table Café

On 29th July we took a trip to the Table Café to hear how to be successful in sustainable food from a host of urban producers; showcasing and tasting their local food produce ahead of Sustain’s Urban Food Fortnight. An incredible networking opportunity, the event also provided the chance to forge long-term buyer-supplier relationships.

Here are some of the speakers’ top tips, including some from our own head of membership – Ylva Johannesson:

Food Chain

  • Do your homework – look at what drives the chef, what the menu is like, what their customers are like
  • Be shameless – ask restaurants to tag you on Instagram – they should be proud of where they’re getting their produce from
  • Find a partner – there are lots of good restaurants doing good things and you could be more impactful together
  • Join Food Chain to make industry connections

SRA

  • Learn about your supply chain – is the produce being sourced locally? Seasonally? 
  • Don’t shy away from contacting larger organisations – working with them could significantly increase your exposure very quickly
  • Remember that you are doing a good job – people are increasingly interested in buying locally as businesses prepare for a post-Brexit climate
  • Join us and our network of likeminded, sustainable members!

Eleven 98

  • Promote your business effectively using social media, newsletters, influencers    
  • Consider how attractive your venue is – is it ‘instagrammable’? Well-decorated?
  • Do something that you don’t normally do – host a debate, or an interactive game?
  • Ensure communication between kitchen and front of house is effective – to make sure event proceedings run as smoothly as possible
  • Join us – we showcase produce growing in the borough, giving local growers a platform!

Hackney Herbal

  • Target your audience – consider the type of person, which platform, what time
  • Use hashtags that are specific to your subject to gain greater visibility with a more relevant audience
  • Get ideas from your competitors – why did their most recent campaign go well? What could they have done better?
  • Build momentum – promote your event ASAP as soon as the details are finalised
  • Use your closest partners and networks – they will be most likely to promote your events and attend them, make them feel valued!

Silo (leading by example!)

  • We don’t have any bins – not even a recycling bin – to ensure zero-waste
  • Inspiration is nature – in nature there is no bin
  • We go straight to farmers for our dairy products
  • We make yoghurt from milk rather than buying
  • We compost anything that customers don’t eat goes into an anaerobic digester on-site
  • We upcycle as much as possible – food waste becomes compost; single use wine bottles are crushed and turned into crockery, plates

Karma

  • Don’t be afraid to fail if you’re launching something new
  • Accept that you need to try things, to keep your team motivated
  • Promote our logistics-free app – customers can find local restaurants and cafes on the app and buy discounted leftover food

Dalston’s Soda Co.

  • Use the internet – there will be a forum out there for you to help you scale up
  • The more work you do yourself, the more likely an expert will help you
  • Remember that you will sometimes need to compromise
  • Consider whether your product is mechanically repeatable?
  • You’re only as good as your suppliers! 

Hiver Beers

  • Think about popular, ‘trending’ foods – right now shrubs are popular – and try to pick up trends before they’ve started
  • Crickets are set to be the next big trend in food – get ahead!

Keats Community Organics

  • It’s worth paying for food thats in high demand when it’s of exceptional quality

hackney herbal herbs