From the editor


While we may not have been spending as much on those little extras, food and drink has gone from strength to strength. A couple of quid will buy us a nice coffee, a few more and you can push it to a sweet. There’s pleasure and escapism to be had in an afternoon at a café, a restaurant meal, or a trip to a favourite farmers market. However you look at it, we transform the necessity of food into pleasure, and it needn’t empty the account.

Signs that the food industry in all its incarnations is thriving, is evident in the noise around pop-ups, new restaurants and exciting new producers. And not surprisingly, it’s the sector that’s been dubbed a key ally in rejuvenating town centres. October saw the first meeting of the Distressed Retail Property Taskforce, born out of Mary Portas’ government consultation six months ago. The group will meet and chat about how to turn it all around, based on Portas’ recommendations. But nowhere in the group is there a representative for the food and drink sector. Instead it’s a mix of property consortiums and banks who’ll inevitably fall foul of their missed trick later down the line. Should the group cast their eye across the buzz of recent months, they’d see there is money to be made and spaces to be filled in the short-term, semi-permanent and revolving restaurants and supperclubs.

The sector’s keeping it exciting for both the people that want to eat good food, and for the communities whose locality they reside in. Portas recommended less red tape to encourage market start-ups. Let’s hope her suggestions allow the independent food sector to keep on flourishing.