The Guild of Fine Food, established in 1995 and organisers of the Great Taste Awards and the World Cheese Awards has moved to a new HQ in Gillingham, Dorset. The new Guild House, which has a purpose-built kitchen, judging and food storage area, will enable hundreds of food judges to gather and blind taste the 1,000s of products entered into Great Taste each year.
The new HQ has larger, open plan offices which will house the Guild team of 14 permanent members of staff plus part-time helpers as needed during the Great Taste judging process. The Guild’s full range of publishing, event, training and marketing activities will take place from the new HQ including; designing and publishing Fine Food Digest, Great Taste book, Good Cheese and many other publications to support fine food producers and the independent retail sector. Also events such as Great Taste, World Cheese Awards, Harrogate Speciality Food Show and Great Taste Markets will be organised alongside product knowledge training for delis, farm shops, cheese-mongers and other speciality food retailers.
John Farrand, MD of The Guild of Fine Food and organiser of Great Taste said; “We are confident that the new Guild House will enable us to welcome judges and products through the door in equal measure! The need for a larger, more commercial kitchen and greater storage for the entries into Great Taste plus a larger training facility gave us a clear picture of the type of premises we needed. Also, we were keen to be in Dorset which is very much our home so the new building in Gillingham has answered our requirements pretty much perfectly”.
The new Guild House building, which was previously a warehouse, was transformed by Space Industries of Christchurch in Dorset. Experts in creating flexible and inspirational environments to work in, Space Industries “Understood our very specific needs, worked with us closely, continued to be flexible as we discovered new challenges with the building, and simply delivered the very best result we could have hoped for” said John Farrand.
”We have hit the ground running since we moved in and judges have already started the first rounds of judging Great Taste 2013. The kitchen is superb and it will make a huge difference to the process of cooking, serving and tasting the large number of products we judge as part of Great Taste. We are very grateful to our supporters, AGA Rangemaster and Le Gruyère for their support in establishing such a professional kitchen facility for us,” said John.
The new HQ of the Guild of Fine Food is at 23b Kingsmead Business Park, Shaftesbury Road, Gillingham, Dorset, SP8 5FB, Tel 01747 825200.