We’re proud to have Leeds Indie Food onboard as a collective partner, here’s what they are all about in their own words, there’s even a deal for members with their creative agency Chapter 81 to boot…
Who we are…
Leeds Indie Food started out as a bespoke festival and has grown to become a home of food, drink, produce and more. Throughout the year we work with traders, venues and vans to curate unique events and supply food and drink to some of the UK’s most iconic venues.
Leeds Indie Food Festival
Six years ago, a group of dedicated lovers of food and drink, bored with run-of-the-mill stalls of generic fayre on the festival rounds, thought there must be a better way to celebrate the unique, quirky, and distinctive independent businesses of Leeds.
Leeds Indie Food Festival was born, and has grown into an 18 day extravaganza of unique food and drinks experiences. Every year, the independent food and drink producers and purveyors of Leeds get together to showcase, sample and celebrate the independent spirit of gastronomy in Leeds, and what has now become the go-to guide for all that a food festival could and should be.
From bakers, butchers and brewers, to Michelin-starred chefs and sommeliers, we take our festival-goers on a tour of independent Leeds. Down cobbled streets, through winding waterways, even deep into forests, there’ll be pop-up street food, sit down meals and huge feasts across many unusual, temporary spaces, and secret locations. Our festival features over 50 well-curated events each year, with something to suit every budget and taste, all offering memorable experiences and an opportunity to explore a side to the city even the most seasoned local didn’t know existed.
If you’re visiting us from afar, be prepared to forget everything you thought you knew about Leeds, as we introduce you to communities and cuisine from Poland to Pakistan, Spain to Syria, Turkey and many countries of Africa, all in one city. For the home tourists expect to see old favourites collaborating with guest chefs to create new menus; familiar streets and arcades fit to burst with unusual street food; tours and tutorials taking in beer, natural wine, craft gin, and thirst-quenching cocktail concoctions. Put your holidays on hold – in May Leeds is the place to be.
Eat North sees the Summer weeks filled with food, beer, music and chilled out party vibes come rain or shine. Family-friendly, pet-friendly and just all round welcoming Eat North rolls up the shutters of North Brew Co’s Leeds brewery, and fills up the car park with the smell of food glorious food. From themed events such as Seafood North and Christmas North to the summer staples, Eat North offers a range of street food traders the chance to fill up the hungry bellies of more than 6,000 happy customers per event.
Launched in 2018 Chow Down is a unique food, drink and cultural concept that works with small towns and cities to highlight and programme their most iconic venues and celebrate their heritage. A laid-back, family-friendly blend of street food, art, culture and music, Chow Down currently runs as a summer programme in Leed’s Temple Arches, but has previously regaled Halifax’s historic Piece Hall, and brought life to the ancient walls of Lincoln Castle. With a roster of street traders spanning the length and breadth of the country and partners across culture, music, entertainment and arts we can curate a festival programme to suit the needs of any space, shining a light on our historic treasures. For traders we attract thousands of hungry customers per event depending on the size of the venue giving you an opportunity to meet new customers, network with other traders in the industry and get your brand noticed by events managers and producers.
The last year…
The pandemic led us to switch from festival to community, focussing on amplifying independent food and drinks businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis and communicating how these businesses were adapting so that the general public could lend their support.
Time and rapidly changing information were the biggest challenges here, as we concentrated on collating information from various sources to create accurate listings on how each independent business was responding and made sure the festival’s followers online were kept informed of changes.
Our quick response to this was key, as was our clear communication on social media. In a matter of hours, we were already turning what would have been event listings for the 6th Leeds Indie Food festival, due to launch 16th March, into a listings directory; one place where people could find information on whether indies were operating as usual, closed, offering take-out and deliveries, or selling vouchers and merch. We created the listings as a work in progress, adding more businesses as they adapted their offerings.
The Leeds Indie Food social channels were also used to amplify the voices of independent businesses, and with a lot of noise around the COVID-19 outbreak Leeds Indie Food became a leader – a place to look to for up to date, relevant information on supporting independent businesses in Leeds.
Community spirit has always been at the heart of the festival, and with this in mind we opened our phone lines to businesses needing advice, offering help with writing statements and using our huge knowledge of the indie food scenes to give advice where needed.
We wouldn’t have got through the trials and tribulations of 2020 without plenty of in-kind support from our friends in the wider independent business community in Leeds, not least Chapter 81.
Chapter 81 is a creative content agency, specialising in food and lifestyle. As a collective, they are a team fit to deliver any objective and have over 75 years of combined experience within the hospitality, music, construction, retail, broadcast, and fashion industries.
Chapter 81 wants to see independent food and drink vendors get back on their feet and back to what they do best as soon as possible. They are offering their creative services from £500 per day. All you need to do is provide a clear brief of what you want, and we will set to work with photo, video and copy. Whatever you need, wherever you need it.
Get in touch!