Food Services Is celebrating a twenty year partnership of
supplying Greggs PLC with new product development services
Catherine Tuff at TFC has been developing new
products for sandwich fillings to subsiduary Pettigrews of
Kelso regularly for two decades now and the relationship continues
as strong as ever. TFC have designed and developed nearly
all the products produced in the Kelso factory. Pickles, sauces
and relishes from here are delivered to Greggs nationwide.
Catherine said, "Its great to be part of
success story. Developing new products for the take away market
is challenging in these highly competitive times but enormously
exciting and satisfying. We work well together, complementing
the Greggs national HQ NPD department in Gosforth."
Greggs is the leading bakery retailer in the
UK, with almost 1,600 retail shops throughout the country,
serving freshly baked food to six million customers each week
so there is always lots of development work to satisfy changing
In a recent management report, Ken McMeikan,
Greggs Chief Executive has reported that 20 new shops have
opened and 42 refits were completed in the last quarter. Total
sales in first 19 weeks to 12 May 2012 were up 4.3%.
Rally treated to 'Dishes to Drive for...'
TFC Food Services pitched up at the Motor Caravanners
Club's Scottish Rally weekend in Kelso to deliver a live cookery
demonstration to over 200 members.
Springwood Park played host to over 400 motor
homes during four days in early June with vans traveling from
afield as Northern Ireland and Cornwall. They enjoyed a packed
programme including trips to Edinburgh and many onsite activities
such as a Ceilidh and live bands.
Catherine Tuff presented an hour long cookery
demonstration featuring surprisingly simple but exciting dishes
that can be whipped up in the limited space available in a
motorhome. The food was very well received and after the demonstration
the enthusiastic audience was invited to taste the finished
dishes and take home the recipes to try on their next trip.
said, "It was fun to demonstrate to people on holiday,
especially when they were exploring the local area. I could
tell them all about the wonderful produce we have in the Borders
and how to get hold of some of our specialities such as Champion
Haggis and Selkirk Bannocks". She added "I was particularly
keen to do this demonstration as we have a motor home ourselves
and spend many happy days traveling round Scotland, buying
local foods and cooking them up in the 'van. Its surprising
how easy it is to put together a wonderful meal in a mini
camping kitchen with a little imagination and inventiveness!".
launch new Food Tourism workshops at Borders Tourism Fair
A new food workshop was launched by TFC at the
Borders Tourism Fair held in Springwood
Hall at the Border Union Showground, Kelso in March.
The latest training workshop is based around
the findings of the recently published TIS Food & Drink research
and is called "Local Food
Update - keeping pace with customers changing tastes". It
explores the current expectations of visitors when they come
to Scotland and will feature local food cookery demonstrations
by Catherine Tuff to illustrate the key points.
Food and drink make up 16% of all visitor spend
so its an obvious step to upsell menus and local produce in
today's competitive market. This course will give
operators the edge and put into practise all the vital statistics
uncovered by the latest research at VisitScotland and Scottish
Enterprise. There are numerous opportunites for businesses
to delight visitors and the course will explain 'seven
quick ways to make money from your food offering'.
For full details of the course, prices and workshop
dates get in touch.
Eating for youngsters at Safe T in the Park
TFC Food Services delivered eighteen, 30 minute
healthy eating workshops to Borders teenagers starting the
new term. More than 270 fifth year pupils from nine high schools
across the Borders attended the annual event in Kelso. All
the students were able to see three simple but effective,
low cost, meal ideas and taste the results. Catherine Tuff,
demonstrator, explained "The ideas aimed to be straight-forward,
using familiar ingredients,
but with a healthy twist. It was really important to get over
the message that a healthy diet doesn't need to be dull, expensive
or teenage-unfriendly, but is vitally important at this crucial
stage in their physical and emotional development."
Jade Thomson from Jedburgh Grammar School said:
“I put my name down to attend this event and have found it
really interesting. We have moved on to a different topic
every 30 minutes and have been involved in Road Safety and
cooking too. It’s great to do this away from school and to
learn how to cook and produce a meal quite cheaply.”
The event, which takes place during September
each year and prepares pupils in the Borders for their future
life, was organised by the Scottish Borders Community Safety
Partnership and brought many agencies together to offer an
action-packed, informative day to the pupils. Along with TFC
Food Services, other workshops were delivered by NHS Borders
and Up2U Peer group/GATE, Citizens Advice, the Red Cross,
Penumbra, Alcohol and Drugs Partnership, Lothian and Borders
Fire and Rescue Service, Road Policing, Lothian and Borders
Police and the Safer Communities Team.
The two days were built around interactive,
fun workshops where social, environmental and quality of life
issues were explored. Apart from Healthy Eating these included
Sexual health, Managing debt, First aid, Coping with stress,
Alcohol and drugs, Fire safety, Road traffic and road safety.
Richardson, Community Safety Officer, said: “This is a great
opportunity for S5 pupils to engage and be informed by the
wide range of service providers who have taken part in the
event. It helps to break down some of the barriers and also
gives the pupils a chance to mix with their peer groups from
different Border towns.”
Nicol, Chair of the Community Safety Partnership, said: “We
aim to make the Borders the safest place to live, work and
socialise in Scotland and are keen to involve teenagers at
an early stage.”
Chefs Local Produce
Demonstrations at Carfraemill
Scottish Borders Food Network recently launched
it's new members' directory at a popular Chefs Showcase Producers
of local produce heralded the production of the latest comprehensive
Borders food and drink providers at the Lodge at Carfraemill.
Chefs from all over the Borders and the Lothians came to see,
taste and enjoy the best food and drink the Borders can produce
at a special event designed to promote food tourism in the
Three top demonstrators,
including Catherine Tuff of TFC Food Services presented contemporary
starters, main courses and desserts using the finest local
delicacies, while a trade display showcased many small scale
and artisan producers from the region. Professional chefs
were tempted to sample their wares and see for themselves
how these would enhance their menus.
The new directory features 25 producers and
36 places to enjoy eating their produce, listing details of
businesses from Eyemouth to Newcastleton
to Peebles. Chairman Jo Sutherland, said, "The Network is
delighted to have hosted this exciting event. We've enlarged
the membership in 2010 and the new directory lists 13 additional
producers and 10 new establishments. A lot of hard work goes
into producing and serving the superb food as we have in the
Borders so to present it to the trade is a real treat". The
demonstrations ran simultaneously throughout the event, with
dishes including Twice Baked Cheese Soufflés; Loin of Borders
Lamb on a Potato Galette, Parsnip and Beetroot Dauphinois,
with a Minted Lamb Jus Reduction and an Assiette of Border
Scottish Borders Food Network was set up in
2006 by and for food related businesses. Members have a commitment
to using, producing and showcasing the world-class local food.
Buying food locally helps to safeguard the supply
of quality produce from Borders' family farms and to preserve
the stunning landscapes of the region. The latest directory
helps readers find out about the excellent products we have
in the area and to discover where and when to buy locally.
Andrews Skills Academy - TFC Delivers Contract Training
TFC has been working in Fife with employers
and individuals who want to improve the experiences of their
Catherine Tuff, as a REHIS-approved trainer
has been contracted to deliver the food hygiene course in
At the first course in March, fifteen employees from guesthouses
and hotels, cafes and restaurants and even Fife Council, attended
the training day and all of them passed the final test. Employers
were delighted; their staff received the necessary training
as well as achieving a nationally-recognised qualification,
and the size of the training group meant that individual costs
Launched in 2008 the St Andrews Skills Academy
is part of an initiative, St Andrews Partnership, to make
St Andrews a better place to work, live and visit. To this
end, the St Andrews Skills Academy sought organisations which
provide training for those involved in tourism, hospitality
and customer services.
The St Andrews Skills Academy is a non-profit, unbiased, one-stop
shop for tourism and hospitality training. TFC Food Services
have been chosen as a registered St Andrews Skills Academy
training provider, gaining visibility as an organisation as
well as targeted marketing for training courses, and a level
of trust from potential clients.
TFC Food Services have delivered
several REHIS Elementary Food Hygiene courses over the past
months in the Royal Burgh of St Andrews and more are planned
for delivery in 2010. Venues for the open courses have included
Rufflets Country House Hotel and the Champions Room at the
Golf Links Practice Centre.
TFC moves 'Into the Light' in Sunderland
each school term during 2009/2010 TFC Food Services is delivering
a series of healthy eating sessions to classes in a NE Playing
for Success project. Based at the Sunderland AFC Foundation's
centre, the magnificent Stadium of Light,
the project managed by the city council, combines sport
with study, helping youngsters to make the most of their potential.
TFC joined up with the PFS team to encourage children to
learn more about a healthy, well balanced diet and showed
ways to make sure everyone eats their 5-a-day fruit and vegetables.
Catherine Tuff led the sessions which allowed the children
a chance to see how to prepare food safely and hygienically.
Around 90 pupils from eight different primary schools in
the local area took part in making their own Mediterranean
cheese kebabs, fresh mango and strawberry smoothies and wholemeal
sunflower seed muffins.
Catherine commented "I was seriously impressed
by how much these 9-11 year olds already knew about unprocessed
foods and how important they are in our diets. They really
enjoyed getting hands-on with the food preparation and loved
eating the fruits of their labours at the end of the sessions!".
She added "The Playing for Success project is really
progressive and the venue at the Stadium of LIght is stunning.
No wonder the children can't get enough of it".
April - November 2009
Bazaars served up in key tourism destinations
Catherine Tuff has been demonstrating exciting
Scottish breakfast dishes to tourism operators. The events
are part of the Food Tourism Scotland initiative, supported
by Scottish Enterprise, which is organising free, innovative
and practical workshops on improving the quality of breakfasts
in guest accommodation across Scotland. Events have taken
place in Loch Lomond, Edinburgh, St Andrews, Aboyne, Aberfoyle
and Pitlochry with more scheduled. Suppliers mini trade and
tasting fairs have also been staged for delegates to access
local produce during the sessions.
The workshops feature Catherine and two colleagues,
demonstrating simultaneously on different themes in a new,
informal 'bazaar' format enabling all delegates to see three
different demonstrations during the course of the half day
workshop. Feedback has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic with
delegates keen to taste all the dishes and check up on techniques
for incorporating the dishes onto
their existing menus. The three demonstration themes are Contemporary
Scottish, Signature Dishes and Vegetarian Breakfasts.
"The breakfast service, especially in a
small establishment, can be very pressurised and we are aware
that any new introduction needs to be easy to prepare and
serve during this busy period. We are delighted that our tips
and ideas have given many delegates new inspiration on ways
to refresh their morning menus" said Catherine, "The
inclusion of local produce is a great way to improve quality
and add a valuable USP".
Cobbles Inn, Kelso - Overall Winner 2008, Scottish Borders
member of Borders Food Network
TFC supports the setting
up of new regional food group
The network brings together local, small
scale, artisan, farm-based food producers and Borders
chefs and caterers. Everyone is keen to make the most
of the food tourism opportunities that the Scottish
Borders can offer from its unique larder of fresh foods.
group of Borders' caterers and chefs were inspired by
a two-day visit to Ayrshire and Arran made on a learning
journey organised by TFC for VisitScotland. The
businesses were so in impressed by what they saw had
been achieved they immediately wanted to form a local
network to enable working partnerships and effective
promotion. They aim to market the Borders as a place
to enjoy superb locally produced food. The Borders
Food Network has just been formally constituted
and will be hosting an exciting 'Meet the chefs/producers'
trade event in September 2008.
Membership continues to grow and the group
welcomes the wider Borders catering trade to come along
to its regular meetings. Get in touch for more
Moves on Michelin
TFC Food Services has completed
a project to assist top regional eating out establishments
to achieve recognition from UK restaurant guides.
The approach was based on objective mystery
visits to evaluate each establishment before working
with the kitchen and management teams to raise culinary
standards and take advantage of opportunities identified.
Catherine Tuff used her extensive experience
as former chief inspector of the Taste of Scotland guide
to help clients refine and improve their dishes and
Catherine said "Its very important for
a restaurant to remain competitive and contemporary
in its approach. Consistency of quality is one of the
hardest things to achieve in this business. One way
to do this is to objectively review what the kitchen
is putting out on a regular basis. With the trend towards
increasing use of quality home produced ingredients,
provenance is proving to be a real selling point."
A key aim was to attract the attention
of Michelin guide inspectors and to this end, correspondence
with the guide editors was initiated. The project results
proved to be the basis for persuading the guide that
a visit to the area would be beneficial.
promotion proves a tasty winner
The Shop Local, Eat Local
campaign, co-ordinated annually by Scottish Borders
Council and Radio Borders proved as popular as ever.
This year, to help locals plan and shop for their
festive food, Catherine Tuff of TFC Food Services coordinated
weekly on-air radio interviews with a series of local
food producers. The live discussions discovered fascinating
facts about Borders food production - much of it hand
made and artisan. Better still, the producers invariably
brought along excellent samples for tasting so that
all the delicious flavours could be shared with the
Catherine then compiled an original recipe
for each interview, using the featured produce and this
was posted on the radio's website. From smoked salmon
starters, pastrami rarebit, spicy turkey risotto and
tasty vegetable dishes to traditional Christmas goose,
it certainly tempted the tastebuds. To see the recipes
Each of the producers offered seasonal
goodies for the Shop Local, Eat Local Christmas Hamper,
which proved tempting for many Radio Borders listeners.
More than 1,200 responses were received to the questions
presented weekly for the competition. The lucky winner
of the £300 food hamper came from Peebles.
Alasdair Hutton, Convener of the Council,
presented the winner with the hamper just before Christmas,
along with Catherine Tuff of TFC Food Services. Councillor
Hutton commented: "I am delighted to present the Shop
Local, Eat Local Christmas Hamper to Elizabeth. We have
always had an impressively wide range of high quality
food producers in the Scottish Borders and I am very
pleased to see their produce is now more widely available.
With the delicious recipes
provided by Catherine Tuff, I hope more people will
be inspired to try them and buy all their ingredients
Training Restarted by top trainers
of Scottish Borders Tourism Training
Borders Tourism Training Group launched
its new programme of training courses at Drumlanrig's
Tower, Hawick. The meeting,
organised by Ann McAvoy of Corporate Training and Catherine
Tuff of TFC Food Services, marked the re-instatement
of an informal tourism network set up to deliver specialised
seminars to everyone in the Borders tourism industry.
The group has initiated a wide range of open training
courses covering many topics.
The informal group offers competitively
priced training for both open & in-house short courses
& will work with you to find the most cost effective
way for you to develop your team. Whatever your tourism
training needs, we can customise a highly effective
course to suit you and your staff. Choose from:
Customer Service, Trainer Training,
Team Building, Management Skills, Staff Recruitment
& Development, Customer Loyalty, Quality Standards,
Selling Skills, Creative Culinary Skills, Restaurant
Service Skills, Menu & Kitchen Management, Mystery Guest
programmes, Local Knowledge, Food Hygiene & Welcome
Overseas & much more..
Catherine said "We've had a really good response
to our ideas for the programme and everyone is keen
to get the courses going again. This area has always
been enthusiastic about tourism training so we are
picking up where we left off 18 months ago". Ann added
"We're looking forward to delivering what the businesses
have told us they're looking for. The industry now
wants to work together to ensure that these courses
are available to anyone who wants to book a place.
They recognise that training is the quickest way to
achieving a quality tourism experience". Get
in touch for more details.
Tourism Borders businesses take on 'Learning Journey'
TFC guides tourism operators
on a discovery tour in the South West of Scotland
Tourism businesses from the Scottish Borders
undertook a two-day 'Learning Journey' to Ayrshire &
Arran to discover ways to improve the quality of their
food product and learn from best practice.
Entitled 'Pub Grub to Gastro Pub'
the trip, organised by TFC, aimed to inspire food tourism
businesses in the Borders to explore a wider use of
fresh local products and find quality service methods
to boost trade. A delegation of restaurateurs, hoteliers
and chefs led by Catherine Tuff of TFC Food Services
were welcomed by businesses from both Ayrshire & Arran
during their Food Tourism 'Learning Journey' of the
region. The area had been identified within the Scottish
Borders Tourism Action Plan as an exemplar in food tourism.
Kerry Waddell, Proprietor of Oblo Bar
Bistro said "I was really looking forward to this learning
journey as I value the importance of visiting other
businesses to gain inspiration and motivation from like-minded
individuals. The visit did not disappoint; it was refreshing,
encouraging and motivating to meet people in the industry
who were passionate about their business and who had
worked in partnership with others to establish or enhance
quality, great service and produce. "As a result of
the trip we will be building on our relationships with
our suppliers; enhancing and strengthening staff development
and training; and developing menu's and marketing strategies
working in partnership with suppliers and other businesses."
The group visited food tourism-related
businesses in Ayrshire & Arran including; The Island
Cheese Company in Brodick; the Arran Distillery, the
SAC Auchincruive Farmers Market Shop; and Dowhill Country
Fayre; and were given tours of the businesses plus tastings
and presentations at gastro pubs, as well as the opportunity
to learn about the area's long-established links between
suppliers and caterers.
Catherine Tuff, Eating and Drinking Trade
Representative for the Scottish Borders Area Tourism
Partnership said; "The trip went very well and we certainly
made good use of the time. All our hosts were first
class and the group were delighted with the event. They
have all indicated that they have been inspired by the
partnership working they witnessed and wish to use and
promote more local produce as a result. They found the
trip focused their business planning on finding ways
to improve the quality of products that they serve,
and in turn use this to build on business success. As
a result of the trip the group are keen to build up
a Borders Food Network, inspired by the successful model
they have seen. "
The 'Learning Journey' aimed to inspire
Borders businesses to think more seriously about food
tourism and how to use it to attract customers as well
as achieve great business relationships with local suppliers.
It was an excellent opportunity to network with experienced
Ayrshire & Arran businesses who have contributed to
the successful food tourism product within the area.
"In the Borders, we are always keen to
learn from others in improving the quality of our hospitality,"
said Fiona Drane, Area Director, VisitScotland Borders
"Ayrshire & Arran is a terrific model of an area where
tourism businesses work in partnership to provide a
first-class experience for visitors, so we were able
to learn a huge amount from this visit."
Banquet 2005 Highlights
Borders Banquet took place from 28th October to 6 November
2005 and this year's ten day feast of
entertainment, local culture and fine food has been
the best yet.
New events for 2005 included an opening
Banquet Gala Dinner in the spectacular setting of the
state dining room at Thirlestane
Castle in Lauder which dates back to the thirteenth
century. Also new this year was a fabulous Dine
Around the Borders initiative which will enabled
locals and visitors to eat out at over 16 of the Borders'
finest restaurants for just £15 for three courses -
with a complimentary dram of Glenfiddich single malt
thrown in. Over 150 Banquet events also included a special
appearance by Glasgow playwright Liz Lochhead as well
as a mix of themed menus, whisky, beer and wine tastings,
meet the chef events, music and theatrical performances.
The entire programme continues to showcase
the very best of Borders produce from seafood freshly
caught off the Berwickshire coast and fish from the
region's majestic salmon and trout rivers to locally
reared meats, fresh Borders vegetables and speciality
launched to the trade
VisitScotland's new food grading scheme
was launched to members of the tourism trade on Burns
Night. TFC Food Services have assisted in developing
some elements of the new scheme, drawing on our experience
as Chief Inspector at the old Taste of Scotland scheme.
The new scheme is to be tested in pilot form until
the middle of the year, when following a review, wider
participation will be encouraged. First results show
TFC Launch New Website
The TFC Food Services website has been
radically redesigned and now features many new items.
Its easier to navigate and the signature logo appears
on all pages, so you always know where you are and
can easily retrace your steps if you need to. The
new contact form makes sure that your enquiry is carefully
logged and the recipe pages will offer updated inspiration
and tempting food photographs as the months unfold.
Borders Banquet 2004 - Building
from 2004's event prove it continues to build on its
The emphasis was themed around quality local produce
with sponsorship support from 'preferred local suppliers'
· 100 original meal events were staged with over 3500
· financial impact generated by each establishment has
increased by nearly a third.
· average spend per head increased by 53%
income generated over the 10 days = £354,000.00, despite
public funding reduced by over a quarter.
· total establishment sales of £83,000 ·
spend per bednight increased by 11%
· business activity boosted by ave of 41%.
· the event was sponsored by local food producers and
· Visitors = 50% local, 14% from central belt, nearly
16% from NE England and rest of Scotland
· Customers: 1 in 3 trying new establishment, 2 in 3
were new to the Banquet
Borders Banquet a huge financial success
The Borders Banquet 2003, project managed and originated
by TFC was a huge success in the event's third year.
The Banquet is now established as a valued festival
in the Borders annual calendar. In partnership with
SE Borders, 37 local businesses participated over ten
days in early November. They included inns, restaurants,
hotels, visitor attractions and cafés. The programme
listed nearly 130 meal events and over 6000 covers were
Total sales generated in participating establishments
in ten days grew by 138% in 2003 (a 200+% increase on
the first year's event in 2001). The economic impact
to the region of the event is estimated to have increased
to £370,000.00 (£37,000 per day during the festival).
The number of covers served was trebled
over the previous year's Banquet. The average number
of bednights sold per establishment also increased.
A wide variety of original and quality events were offered
in each participating establishment.
In 2003 food and drink sales were up 123%
to £3650 per establishment with total sales up by 120%
and 26% of all customer query cards carried comments
using the word 'excellent'.
Comments from Participants
* Generates business at a quieter time of the year -
(Burts Hotel) several businesses commented on the effectiveness
of the event
* Great opportunity for businesses to work together
to improve profits for all (Selkirk Glass)
* Our event was a huge success and feedback suggests
the participants thoroughly enjoyed the food, service
and atmosphere (Oblo Bar)
* The local PR was good and would make me want to be
involved again. (Wheatsheaf Restaurant)
* Everybody thoroughly enjoyed our event and have asked
us to do it again - we already have bookings! (Black
* Good promotion for the hotel - generates business
even after the event has finished (Philipburn House
* Excellent tool to promote the Scottish Borders (Peebles
* A good way to promote our business (Mayfield Bar;
Oscars Wine Bar)
* Great for business. The Banquet is a very popular
and well run event (Caddy Mann)
Business was improved by an average of at least 28%
for the time of year. Total sales generated were up
massively over the previous year. Overall, the number
of people taking part in Banquet events grew by nearly
three times the number in 2002.
Scottish Borders Banquet Participants in 2002
Caddy Mann Restaurant, Jedburgh
The Caddy Mann chef Ross Horrocks, reported
a great success with the Banquet. "The first two
days (Mon/Tues) we served over 70 covers each day for
lunch - the restaurant only seats 40 covers - and for
the rest of the event we served around 40-50 covers
Chef, Ross, said "it definitely brought
in new custom and we would be looking to take part in
any further event". The recipe cards were in such
demand that they had to be reprinted.
Woodlands House Hotel, Galashiels
a delighted Boudina Coetzer (the new manageress)
of the Woodlands House Hotel told us "the event
was a huge success (music, whisky nosing, & local
produce dining evenings). We served 60 covers (the restaurant
really takes a max. of 40 covers). I felt the marketing,
PR and advertising was very good - it really worked
Ednam House Hotel, Kelso
Anne Brookes, manager of the family run
hotel said that "due to overbooking (we had to
turn away 38 people) we plan to run another event due
to the huge success of the Authentic Gourmet Dinner.
Over 50 people attended the first event during the Banquet
and we have had many very favourable customer comments.
The loved it, especially the Border Banquet menu covers."
Old School Tearooms, Bowden
by St Boswells
Chef proprietor Carolyn Boardman commented
"We had a very good response from our customers
and good feedback. Several customers booked for both
the events at the establishment. In fact it proved so
popular that we ran a third event after the Banquet
to take the overspill of bookings".
Food Buyers Guide
TFC Food Services were contracted to compile the 2001
Buyers Guide to Food and Drink in the Scottish Borders
for Scottish Borders Council.
A fully printed guide was produced in
a few weeks and was successfully distributed at IFE
in London last spring.
The enlarged guide is a valuable resource
listing all the local producers of food and drink, ideal
for anyone seeking to purchase quality local supplies.