Gather & Gather: My day job

With all my eulogies on India, Spain, yoga and hot eating and travel spots, you could be forgiven for thinking my life is one long, gluttonous yoga retreat. It’s not. At least not all the time. I’m pleased to say I have a day job for which, like this blog, my gathering of said wholesomely seductive treasures and trends is quite fortuitous.

In fact, as Creative Director for Gather & Gather, that’s precisely what I’m tasked to do. Unless you’ve been holed up in an igloo, the food revolution to hit the UK over the past 15 years can’t have escaped at least a tiny part of your cognitive function.

Like or loathe them, celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver and Nigella (and their promotion of packed lunches from your travels) have helped propel our dinner party repertoire far beyond the realms of Dolmio and Pot Noodle. Once the underdog of Europe in terms of cuisine, London café concepts at least, are now some of the most innovative in the world in terms of ethical sourcing, quality, menu planning and understated brand design.

No-where is this shift more evident than in coffee shops. Glossy chains no longer cut it. Instead, the more discerning British public is paying a premium for farmers market styling, locally roasted coffee and sweet-corn fritters. Starbucks is being shunned in favour of independents sporting extensive chalk doodles and an Antipodean pierced and inked barista.

In fact, the recent rollout by Taylor Street Baristas of Harris & Hoole took a severe publicity beating when news of the chain’s Tesco backers called its non-corporate roots into question.

In true Wholesome Seduction fashion, health is no longer the preserve of mung bean munchers. Again, thanks to the likes of the super brand J’me and his travels, there’s a demand for intelligent menu planning which our insides love as much as our taste buds. Given that the free-from market is growing faster than any other category (up 300% in the last decade, according to Datamonitor), it’s probably time we took note from our forward thinking, hippy mums.

So in a nutshell, when I’m not performing pool-side yoga, I’m tirelessly crusading for wholesomely seductive eating and styling at Gather & Gather. Given the feedback from our recent brand launch, I think we might be on the right track. With the help of our street food friends and coffee gurus, of course.

Don’t just take my word for it; Coverpoint Foodservice Consultants blog by Jonathan Doughty gives the full low down here. I couldn’t have put it better myself.