Over 1000 colleagues from Waitrose and its suppliers stepped out in style to enjoy an evening of great food and networking at the Waitrose and Partners Garden Party at Dorney Court in Berkshire. The event, held in aid of industry charity GroceryAid, was hosted by Alexander Armstrong and raised an incredible £428,000 for the charity.
Guests enjoyed an innovative menu designed by Zoe Simons, Senior Brand and Innovation Development Chef at Waitrose & Partners, that truly celebrated the essence of Waitrose. Dishes were inspired by the ever-growing trend of plant based and flexitarianism and celebrated natural ingredients that can add sweet, savoury and bitter notes to create the perfect flavour.
Entertainment during the evening included pop sensation, Pixie Lott, plus fundraising games and a raffle with prizes donated from Waitrose, Pip & Nut, AMC Natural Drinks, Britvic PLC. The evening finished with music provided by DJ Jon Stone.
James Bailey, Executive Director at Waitrose & Partners said of the event: “Tonight has been an incredible evening and we are delighted to have smashed our fundraising target for GroceryAid this year. Seeing our suppliers and colleagues enjoying the delicious menu that Zoe created and networking with some of the key industry colleagues and suppliers, whilst soaking up the entertainment, has made this a night to remember.”
Outside, guests enjoyed our unique roaming entertainment whilst sampling refreshing drinks and moreish bites from our 18 sponsor companies and 9 bar activation sponsors.
Emma Heathcote-James, Founder, The Little Soap Company said: “I first came to the Waitrose Garden Party a couple of years ago and decided on the night that we would definitely bring a whole table to the next event. It is wonderful to be here tonight, and I think the event is even better than it was before. As a small challenger brand, we tend to work in silos which can become quite lonely so an event like this is an excellent opportunity to meet other brands in the industry, many of whom we collaborate with. “
Sponsors for the evening were John Brown Media, Moet Hennessy UK Ltd, Nestle UK Ltd, Stonegate Farmers Ltd, Dovecote Park Ltd, Pladis (UK) Ltd, Coca-Cola European Partners Ltd, The Silver Spoon Company Ltd (ABF plc), Kerry Foods Ltd, Greenyard Frozen UK Ltd, Greencell Ltd, Asahi International Ltd, William Grant & Sons Distillers Ltd, Bakkavor Group Ltd, Dalehead Foods, Reckitt UK (Health), Arla Foods UK plc and The Jordans & Ryvita Company Ltd (ABF plc).
Bars were also sponsored by Asahi International Ltd, Bazaarvoice Ltd, BrewDog plc, Cask Liquid/ Ramsbury Estate, Diageo plc, Pernod Ricard UK Ltd, Sipsmith Ltd, William Grant & Sons Distillers Ltd and Mirabeau.
Sirlene Torres, National Account Manager from Moet Hennessy UK Ltd said: “For me personally, I thought it was brilliant. It was the most well thought out and organised trade event that I have attended this year. The level of detail and quality of everything was first class, and aesthetically it was BEAUTIFUL. A great evening for the industry and GroceryAid. I am very pleased I was invited.”