15th Feb, 2018
Why is Leeds the Independent Food and Drink Capital of the UK?
Words by Louise @ I Like Press
Three years ago, marked the beginning of an indie food revolution; Leeds Indie Food entered the scene with a Kickstarter and a mission to put Leeds on the map as the independent food and drink capital of the UK. For many people, Leeds Indie Food introduced them to indies which were otherwise hidden away or not shouted about enough. Since then, each year is bigger and better and the city of Leeds has transformed.
Leeds has always been a destination for food and drink businesses. Europe’s largest covered market (Kirkgate Market) and a 303-year-old pub (Whitelock’s Ale House) call the city home, however, it’s only in the last ten years or so that the number of independent food and drink businesses has multiplied, resulting in other businesses flocking to Leeds. Fast.
Following the tremendous support that Leeds Indie Food’s Kickstarter received and the fact that the month-long city-wide festival is now in its fourth year, indies are now the beating heart of the city. There’s no denying that other UK cities can boast a similarly thriving food and drink scene, however, none of them can contend with the accessibility and affordability that Leeds has to offer. It’s also a compact city that runs on drive, ambition and long-standing friendships between businesses owners, who look out for each other at all costs.
Behind every indie is a passionate business owner who is following their own mission to provide people with a unique experience that can’t be found elsewhere. Indies also pave the way for how all businesses should run; sustainably, ethically and creatively. They give cities charm, attract loyal customers and create lasting memories.
Nowadays, more and more people are recognising Leeds for its renowned and much-loved indies; Bundobust, Ox Club, and Northern Monk Brew Co. to name a few. Local suppliers and producers take inspiration from their travels but also the surrounding land, thanks to the Yorkshire Dales being on our doorstep. Leeds is a microcosm of innovation and creativity and a platform for many businesses, who have started life in Leeds before conquering the rest of the UK; from Marks & Spencer’s first penny bazaar to Red’s True Barbecue, Cielo Blanco and more recently, Bundobust.
There are so many stories to tell and this May 2018, Leeds Indie Food will be back to showcase, celebrate and support these stories once again.
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