Leading the Tea Revolution at H&C EXPO 2018

Hope & Glory Tea were delighted to be a part of the inaugural H&C EXPO in Wales, held at the Celtic Manor Resort on 17th and 18th July 2018. The event brought together carefully curated suppliers and industry leaders, from top chefs to hoteliers, contract catering giants and government bodies including Food & Drink Wales.

As relative newcomers to the 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 several leading hospitality businesses. They had a brand to nurture and protect.

To grow further 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 people who could 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. These were the people who would relate to what we are trying to achieve at Hope & Glory,” said Bharat.

Bharat and Nina had never invested in a conference and exhibition before, although they had sponsored several 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 H&C EXPO. Denis would see to it that Hope & Glory’s ‘Devoted to Tea’ stand enjoyed prime position at the entrance of the exhibition hall, it did.

Nina says, “We chose to take part in the first H&C EXPO for a number of good reasons. First, it came highly recommended by people we trust who were also taking part. Second, it is always great to be a part of something ambitious and new, we like working with market leaders.

“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 organisations, The Clink Charity, which prepares ex-offenders for life outside prison, and The Foxes Academy, a training school that equips young people with special needs with real employability skills.

Bharat added, “Another reason for getting involved is we completely agree with the conference theme, ‘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 we were able to express our belief that success starts with engaging the youth on sustainability, harnessing young minds. We may have missed a generation or two, but many young people 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.

Both Bharat and Nina single out the first Chef Mentor Awards Dinner as a high point of H&C EXPO 2018. Over 200 attendees heard Albert Roux OBE named the winner of the special Peter Hazzard Award. Hope & Glory 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 MBE, Chairman of Lucknam Park. He is a legend of the hospitality industry, and I enjoyed speaking about cricket with him as well as our great industry, a true gent.”

The conference was also an opportunity to hear Peter Ducker, CEO of the Institute of Hospitality, in 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 industry’s key topics,” said Bharat.

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 to becoming one of their suppliers.

“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 and we look forward to being central to that.


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