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Central Bay foodie destination in MediaCity launches search for Future Food Stars

Having already made one spec-taco-lar announcement about its impending arrival, MediaCity’s new waterfront dining and drinking destination, Central Bay, is now offering a launchpad for emerging food vendors to build their businesses.

Foodhall operator Blend Family, appointed to manage the 25,000 square feet of exciting foodie experiences, is on the hunt to find talented chefs and fledgling food businesses to take up residency in all five of the specially adapted shipping containers that will be forming the street vendor kitchens of Kargo MKT, part of Central Bay.

Not only will the chosen food partners be given their very own professional kitchen, but they’ll also receive mentoring on how to establish good business practices and operating systems, as well as coaching on how to develop, build, and market their brand. What’s more, for those whose businesses take off, the opportunity to expand into the main Kargo foodhall and other venues is very much on the table.

The ethos of supporting local independents is a legacy of MediaCity’s successful Box on the Docks initiative, which supports local traders. Sourcing and recruiting, local, emerging talent sits at the heart of MediaCity and Quayside’s strategy and Central Bay is set to continue that legacy.

Matt Bigland, Founder and Managing Director at Blend Family, said: “This is going to be the biggest foodhall and street market we’ve operated in the North, so we’re looking for a diverse set of food partners to be a part of this incredible space. Our goal is to bring together a community of talented chefs representing a broad range of cuisine – offering guests a trip around the globe one authentic dish at a time.

“We know from personal experience – we ran gastro pubs early in our career – how daunting your first steps into the industry can be. We love ambitious people who are willing to give it a go and nothing makes us prouder than watching food start-ups flourish in our venues. If this opportunity sounds up your street, then we’d love to hear from you.”

Central Bay and Blend Family are looking for food partners who are innovative and visionary, produce authentic cuisine, with the capability to serve up to 150 a day. As part of Future Food Stars, businesses will get access to mentoring and coaching programme ‘Recipe4Success’ through GC Business Growth Hub – successful partners will be given advice on responsible produce sourcing and employment practices.

Marc Appleton, Business Advisor Lead for Recipe4Success adds: “Starting a venture like this can be scary, that’s why it’s great that we’re working with Blend Family to give expert advice to the vendors. Recipe4Success has a long history of helping food businesses grow across Greater Manchester.

“From food safety to developing new products we’ll help guide these Future Food Stars through their journey starting up a successful foodhall kitchen business.”

Earmarked for a Summer 2023 launch, Central Bay will be one of the biggest independent food and drink operations in the North; it will house a foodhall of 13 kitchens, five street kitchens, pop-up events, indie markets, live music performances and recreation space for children, with more announcements set to be made in the coming months.

For any interested vendors, deadline for applications for Kargo MKT is Friday 9th June, 2023, through www.futurefoodstars.com and more information can be requested via foodpartners@blend.family.

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