Hope & Glory at H&C Expo 2018: A Collection of High Points
Hope & Glory Tea were headline sponsors of the inaugural H&C (Hospitality and Catering) Expo in Wales. Held at the Celtic Manor Resort on 17th and 18th July 2018, the event brought together carefully curated suppliers and industry movers and shakers, from top chefs to elite hoteliers, contract catering giants to enlightened training providers. Bharat and Nina Chudasama felt enriched by the experience.
As relative newcomers to the billion pound UK hospitality sector, Bharat and Nina Chudasama were on the lookout for a high-impact, high-profile industry showcase for Hope & Glory Tea. They were choosy. Hard work, determination — and an outstanding product – had already catapulted Hope & Glory into an exclusive tea partnership with a number of established hospitality businesses. They had a brand to nurture and protect.
Still, in order to grow, the founders of Hope & Glory Tea knew they had to explore fresh channels to market. Preferably those that would bring them into direct contact with the right people to help Hope & Glory lead their ‘tea revolution’.
‘We needed the opportunity to meet industry leaders whose professionalism and high standards were such that they’d want to serve only the very best quality tea to their customers. They’d also want to educate them to never again settle for less. These were the people who would get what we were trying to achieve at Hope & Glory,’ says Bharat.
Bharat and Nina had never invested in a conference and exhibition before, although they had sponsored a number of prestigious events in the past, mainly B2C platforms such as The Boodles Tennis Championships. They gingerly stepped into the unknown, reassured by Denis Sheehan, publisher of H&C News, organisers of the conference. Denis would see to it that Hope & Glory’s ‘Devoted to Tea’ stand enjoyed prime position at the entrance of the exhibition hall.
Nina says, ‘We chose to become headline sponsors of the first H&C Expo for a number of good reasons. First, it came highly recommended by people we trust. Second, it is always great to support something ambitious and new. We can relate to that and will never forget Hope & Glory’s first supporters.
‘Third, apart from the A-list companies and individuals that the organisers were able to attract as speakers and participants to the masterclasses, demonstrations, round table discussions and symposiums, there was a Charity Golf Day and auction that raised money for two fantastic charities, The Clink, which prepares ex-offenders for life outside prison, and Foxes Academy, a school that equips youngsters with special needs with real employability skills. I was so proud when Bharat bid for the afternoon tea at Buckingham Palace donated by CH&Co Group.’
Bharat adds, ‘Another reason for getting involved is we completely agree with the conference theme, which was “Future Proofing Hospitality”. It’s in our interests as ethical suppliers that we are part of a sustainable industry with a trained and responsible workforce that passes the baton to every new generation.
‘The event was multi-faceted and touched on a number of key issues. We sponsored, with Beyond GM, the Sustainability Round Table, where I was able to express my belief that success starts with engaging the youth on sustainability, harnessing young minds. We may have missed a generation or two, but many of the youngest kids today live and breathe sustainability. They may one day be the ones to turn around and educate us.’
Bharat made a point to attend the Women in Hospitality symposium where the likes of Wendy Bartlett MBE, Executive Chairman of Bartlett Mitchell; Pervin Todiwala, Co-Patron and Operations Director of Mr Todiwala’s Collection; Chantelle Nicholson, Chef Patron of Tredwells and Group Operations Director of Marcus Wareing Restaurants; Romy Gill MBE, Chef Patron of Romy’s Kitchen; Sara Jayne Stanes, CEO of The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, and private chef Daksha Mistry spoke on issues facing women in the industry.
‘It is a shame we live in a society where women still have to fight to be heard,’ Bharat says.
Both Bharat and Nina single out the first Chef Mentor Awards Dinner founded by Chef Cyrus Todiwala OBE of Cafe Spice Namaste as a high point of H&C Expo 2018. Over 200 attendees heard Albert Roux named the winner of the special Peter Hazzard Award. Hope & Glory had also sponsored the Contract Catering Chef Mentor Award, a distinction that went to Chef Colin Gray of Capital Cuisine and the Culinary Association of Wales.
‘The evening was memorable too because I got to meet and chat with the amazing Harry Murray, Chairman of Lucknam Park. He is a legend of the hospitality industry but we spoke about cricket. A true gent.’
The conference was also an opportunity to hear Peter Ducker, CEO of the Institute of Hospitality, lead a discussion and debate with students on the future staffing of the industry. ‘At H&C Expo, many of the key players of the industry were gathered under one roof, discussing the critical topics,’ Bharat says.
To cap an already successful event, it was announced just before the conference closed that Hope & Glory had been chosen by Innovation Den judges CH&Co Group to go on to the next stage.
‘As always, we live in hope and rely on hard work, our great team and our great tea to bring us glory,’ quips Bharat, ‘But already, in terms of exposure, good will and contacts, we could not have asked for a better first exhibition experience. It bodes well for the future.’
Written by Gina McAdam