Why I’m proud to become a supporting member of Food Drink Devon this week…
I have a 25 year background in food and hospitality. Travel too, but it was always based around food and hospitality.
For 25 years I focused on delivering excellent, memorable experiences for clients – whether that meant redefining the Austrian ski holiday market as a luxury chalet operator, arranging holidays in the highest-end chalets or scouting out the most definitive properties in the Alps; or as a chef, cooking delicious meals using local, fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Because for me, it’s so vital that an experience is real. It’s felt. It’s authentic.
It’s what connects us to being human and what makes these moments so stand-out and special.
It’s like the classic saying “the more you put in, the more you get out”. Everyone benefits. Let me explain…
- The producer or supplier benefit as they are able to work with integrity and purpose, doing what they love.
- Their customers or consumers benefit as they can trust that they’ll receive excellent products and services.
It really is a win win.
So how do I fit in with all this now?
I’ll make it clear that I’m not the kind of person to cut corners. Neither do I believe in seeking perfection as it’s simply a subjective concept. There is no ‘perfect’; just ‘perfect ideals’.
However, I do believe in quality.
When I was a chef, for example, I focused on making delicious meals from scratch, sourcing the best local ingredients I could find.
I bicycled around Ile de Re markets, creating strong relationships with market stall holders so I could source the best artichokes, flat peaches and fish for my clients; I dealt directly with the local oyster man (Andrew Abraham) on Colonsay in the Inner Hebrides where he would leave 8 dozen oysters in a plastic bag for me to collect, hanging on a sign at The Strand car park, that separated his island of Oronsay with Colonsay at high tide; and I sourced the best quality meat I could from the retired local butcher in St Anton, Austria and he would deliver it directly to our chalet door (complete with hunting feather sticking out of his traditional hat).
Quality, sustainability and provenance are at the heart of what I believe in, both in work and home life.
So becoming a supporting member of Food Drink Devon this week is something I’m incredibly proud of.
Because supporting food and hospitality businesses who consciously live and work by this ethos is vital for the future of humanity, the future of our climate and the future of our planet.
It speaks to how we treat each other as humans, how we connect to our ecosystems, and what impact we will leave when we are gone.
But it’s not easy.
In fact, it’s often the opposite of the easy.
In a world that’s driven by high-speed commercialism and quick-fixes, taking the slower, more sustainable and often more costly route to market is absolutely a more labour-intensive conscious decision.
But it’s one which aligns business owners with their values and purpose, which I’m very passionate about supporting at Gonifas Coaching.
As a coach, it’s the people behind these businesses that truly inspire me.
They are the true heroes in this.
Working with their objectives so they can achieve their personal or professional potential is a very rewarding job and one that I’m truly grateful for.
Have a peek at some of Food Drink Devon’s incredible businesses, or get in touch with me to find out how I can help your business and your people work with quality, sustainability and provenance at the forefront of your minds.