Blog: Whiting and Hammond, keeping it local
As a family run business, Whiting and Hammond prides itself not only on providing
an outstanding customer experience but also on supporting local businesses. The
group has consistently grown and from opening the first site 10 years ago, they
now run 7 sites across Kent and Sussex from near Gravesend right down to the Sussex
coast of Eastbourne and Brighton. Food is the heartbeat of the business and its
vital that visitors are offered the best pub grub they can get to ensure those
guests are coming back time and time again to sample what’s on offer. The menus
change daily to incorporate available and seasonal ingredients. One of their main
keys to success is that fresh, locally sourced produce is used wherever possible.
When Whiting and Hammond took over their first pub, The Chaser in Shipbourne, in 2003 Brian Whiting approached local, family-run butchers, Haywards about supplying the pub with meat. It was important to Brian to stay away from large commercial butchers as quality was more important than price and quality was something that he felt Haywards could offer. 10 years later Haywards now supply all of the group pubs. Not only do Whiting and Hammond get a quality product from Haywards, but they also receive a level of service that no commercial operation could compete with. Whiting and Hammond’s loyalty to Haywards has enabled his business to grow exponentially. They have more vans on the road than ever and more staff to deal with the demand. They’re even offering apprenticeships to encourage more youngsters into the world of butchery.
Based in East Sussex, Moons Green Charcuterie is the brainchild of proprietor of John Doig, who, together with business partner Jose Azevedo, has recently started supplying delicious cured meats to our pubs. Following the suggestion of a neighbour that he start farming rare breed British pigs, John soon found himself making bacon, saucissons (salamis) and cured products from a variety of pig breeds, including Tamworths, Old Spots and Saddlebacks. Moons Green are committed to creating a collection of products that they dream might one day define British charcuterie. Our executive chef once worked with Jose and through this connection was encouraged to sample their products. As Whiting and Hammond support their business, so in turn do Moons Green support others as they use free-range meat from local farmers and local ingredients wherever possible with all their saucissons and muscle meats handmade from free-range pigs raised in East Sussex.
The chefs at each and every one of the Whiting and Hammond sites are passionate about the dishes they produce and with the guidance of executive chef James they have built great relationships with their suppliers, be it by them coming into the pub, by going out and sourcing from farmers markets etc. or by going on recommendation.
Another example of keeping it local is with fruit and veg. Most of the pubs use the same greengrocers, however The Cricketers Inn source their produce from the Meopham greengrocers, TH Brown, who are as local as you can get to the pub. They’re also part of The Meopham Cricket Club who Whiting and Hammond have sponsored.
By supporting these local suppliers Whiting and Hammond are proud and confident that they are offering their customers the best of British all year round. The suppliers are considered part of the Whiting and Hammond family and in turn they help and support each other to grow and flourish.
GASTRO MAGAZINE: http://go.epublish4me.com/gastro_autumn_2014_magazine/10059607