First Kenilworth Food Festival attracts thousands

Churros and chocolate being served at Kenilworth Food Festival. Copyright: Andrew Craner Photography
Churros and chocolate being served at Kenilworth Food Festival. Copyright: Andrew Craner Photography

The first Kenilworth Food Festival held last Sunday (July 23) attracted thousands to the town.

It courted controversy when the event’s organisers CJ’s Events confirmed it none of the 50 stalls were being run by Kenilworth traders, although some of the food demonstrations were.

Copyright: Andrew Craner Photography

Copyright: Andrew Craner Photography

A rival event was set up outside Pomeroy’s in Station Road by Helen and Liddy Pomeroy, who run the restaurant, as well as Paul Crowe of Steve Crowe & Son Butchers, in protest over the perceived lack of contact with Kenilworth traders by CJ’s before the festival.

In the end, both events prospered due to the huge numbers of people which turned up on the day.

Jamie Walker of CJ’s Events Warwickshire said: “The day went amazingly well, an estimated 6,000 visitors attended with traders selling out as early as 1pm.

“The feedback we’ve received has also been great, the quality and variety of food and drink was lovely. We’d love to do it again next year.”

Copyright: Andrew Craner Photography

Copyright: Andrew Craner Photography

Liddy said: “We had a great day, and Mr Crowe had a fabulous day - he sold out twice.

“But it wasn’t about what we made - we were trying to make a point.

“I think CJ’s will be more proactive next year. We’d all like to take part in these things, we’re just not given the opportunity.”

Assuming CJ’s Events is given permission to run the festival again next year, Jamie confirmed Kenilworth businesses would be contacted by CJ’s about they want to be involved in November and December.

Copyright: Andrew Craner Photography

Copyright: Andrew Craner Photography

He added: “We want more local Kenilworth businesses involved to showcase their products and offers.

“Businesses can get involved by being part of a taste trail, advertising in a festival guide, being part of our cookery theatre, or by having a stand.”

Copyright: Andrew Craner Photography

Copyright: Andrew Craner Photography