Small businesses, major brands unite for first trade show
A GLIMPSE into a few delicious morsels that could soon end up on Whitsunday dishes was up for grabs at Whitsunday Foodservice today.
Bringing to fruition an idea that has been brewing for more than a year, the Cannonvale business hosted a trade show featuring more than 60 suppliers from major cities and the Whitsunday community.
It was the first time Whitsunday Foodservice had hosted the event but it drew in about 250 registrations from people eager to taste and touch the products on offer.
Foodservice business development manager Dan Zealand said the event, which mimicked shows usually held in major cities like Brisbane, aimed to provide inspiration to chefs and businesses across the region.
"It's an opportunity for us to showcase our supplier network, what's out there and what's new,” he said.
"If restaurants are always kept up to date with what's new then we're continuously increasing quality.
"No-one's competitors, the more the standard of food lifts in the region, the better it is for everyone.”
There was desserts, seafood, bread, cheese, fresh produce and more on display.
Major brands such as McCain, Connoisseur and Sara Lee were among the vendors, alongside Whitsunday vendors including Fishi and Prickly Pineapple.
Prickly Pineapple's Jamie Fuhrmann said it was great to see different businesses brought together to get a sense of the foods that are available.
"You can see it, taste it and get used to what you can use,” he said.
Steve Forrester from Intercontinental Hayman Island Resort agreed it was good to supply the food first hand.
"Sometimes on the island we don't get to do that so much,” he said.
"There's a lot of small operators as well so that would give them an avenue to get in front of us as well.”
The day wasn't all about sampling food, with major prizes worth up to $15,000 also up for grabs as part of the event, including a $6000 trip to Dubai.
Businesses banded together to make the event possible, including sponsorships from Whitsunday businesses Shiift and Graphic House.
Whitsunday Foodservice general manager Pat Morrissey said the show also helped boost other businesses around town, as it brought in about 130 people from cities like Brisbane and Sydney, who were staying in accommodation in the region.
The aim is to host the event once a year or 18 months going forward.