HTA Catering Conference - the perfect place to find examples of how to grow profit in garden centres. You can discover the latest trends and ideas, and how to use them to improve your business.

What's on
The conference showcases best practice. You will hear from garden centres and catering specialists on what really works. We'll learn about food allergy issues and reducing customer risk. You can also enjoy live cooking and tastings, and learn about catering to customer dietary requirements. Other topics include recruitment, menu planning and the psychology of flavour. In short, we look at the things you need to grow profit. There are chances to network with speakers and staff from garden centres. There is also an exhibition from industry suppliers (save time by meeting them all under one roof) and a formal dinner to top it off. 


Day one - Strategy and operations

Chaired by Neville Stein, Ovation Business Consultants

  • The latest market information about the sector from HTA’s David Denny.
  • From dishwasher to UK Restaurant Manager of the Year, Peter Avis rose through the ranks of the hospitality industry to the rooftop heights of Branson’s prestigious Babylon Restaurant through hard work and fierce determination. As a keynote and after dinner speaker, Peter shares his passion for customer service and responsibility, and draws on his inspirational rags to riches story to demonstrate that anyone can aspire to reach whatever level they may choose.
  • Sessions from David Yardley and Keren Feeney from Klondyke and Strikes Garden Centres, Salim Sajid from Rosebourne Garden Centre and James Debbage from Green Pastures. Representing businesses of different sizes they will each talk about their catering operations and their challenges and successes.
  • Martin Christian Kent, Executive Director of People1st, who will talk about the all important topic of recruitment.
  • Fresh from a tour of Melbourne, artisan coffee world leader, coffee company Matthew Algie, will run a workshop session on best practice and the important role that a trained barista can have in your business.

Dinner speaker – Jane Devonshire, Masterchef Winner 2016

The Greatest Catering Awards 2017 – hosted by Trevor Pfeiffer

Day two - Food

Chaired by Pippa McKean, Director of McKean Consulting

  • In association with Dawn Foods experimental psychologist Professor Charles Spence from the University of Oxford will share his latest research about food psychology. Covering topics such as the way our palate changes with age and how our taste changes with the time of day this session will blow your mind!
  • Joint session Caroline Benjamin from Food Allergy Aware on the freefrom customer, and chef Dominic Teague from One Indigo, the restaurant at 5-star hotel One Aldwych in London, on why they decided to go gluten and dairy free with impressive results in terms of bookings and revenue.
  • Matt Drew, Head of Food and Beverage from the National Trust on how their catering offering is business critical to their success and profitability and key to delivering special days out for visitors.
  • Back by popular demand Mark Farnsworth and Sharon McNair from Tong Garden Centre will update delegates on their story one year on.
  • In live cooking sessions Rob Owen, Development Chef from Food Creed Services will demonstrate his latest ideas and recipes – complete with mini tastings.

Click to watch 2016 keynote speaker
- Henry Dimbleby

Adam Wigglesworth - Are conferences worth it?
We spoke to Adam Wigglesworth from Aylett Nurseries to find out his opinion of HTA conferences; and what he would say to members unsure of whether to attend. 

Who should attend?

Any garden centre catering operators, or those thinking about having a catering offering. 
Including business owners, garden centre managers, catering managers, operations managers and head chefs. 

Booking & Enquiries

Click here to book your place

Contact us

Email: events@hta.org.uk

Phone: 0333 003 3550


Headline Partner


Culinary expertise sits at the heart of Compass Group, the leading provider of contract catering and support services in the UK and Ireland,  which provides the widest portfolio of foodservice solutions in the UK. Its food programme offers a range of concepts and bespoke solutions to fit the latest culinary trends in the industry. Simon O’Shea, Business Development Director for Compass Group comments, “We are delighted to be headline partners for the HTA Catering Conference. Catering plays such an important role in the make-up of garden centres and this event presents a great opportunity to find out about the latest ideas, challenges and trends.”

Conference Partners 

Frobishers Juices Limited

Frobishers guarantees a drink that has no artificial sweeteners and is free from additives and preservatives. Choose from 9 juice flavours, along with three still and four sparkling blended juice drinks, Fusion and Classics. Plus discover Frobishers Cordials, a unique blend of the finest fruit and botanicals from around the globe.

Blue Cap Coffee

Blue Cap Coffee is dedicated to providing an authentic Italian coffee experience: simply.
With the LavazzaBLUE Capsule concept and our “free loan of a coffee machine” business model, we are able to bring together all the elements you need to deliver quality coffee - quickly, consistently and deliciously.

Matthew Algie

Matthew Algie is the UK & Ireland’s leading independently owned coffee roaster. Providing the freshest, tastiest coffee, Matthew Algie also delivers training, offers class-leading equipment and engineering support as well as industry expertise. Our sister company, Espresso warehouse, provides 'everything but the coffee', from Suki Tea, Da Vinci Syrups and Chocolate Abyss, to a wide range of snacks and all the latest barista kit.

Exhibitor Partners

Space Catering

Space are an award-winning company delivering turnkey catering facility solutions. Space work in partnership with independent operators and national chains alike and believe that every project deserves exceptional design. For commercial kitchens, bespoke countering, furniture and interior fit-out, Space offers a comprehensive solution. Whatever the brief, their experienced team will work with you to develop a scheme that is tailored to your business, intelligently designed to maximise efficiency in an engaging, functional space.

Belvoir Fruit Farms

Belvoir Fruit Farms have produced naturally lovely fruit cordials and presses on their farm since 1984; using traditional methods of fruit and flower pressing, cooking and infusing before blending with local spring water. Quality never compromised, everything in their drinks is real, natural, nothing artificial; 100% good and naturally delicious.

Tea From The Manor

Tea from the Manor brings the finest full leaf teas from the best tea gardens around the world to delight the palates of its customers at Garden Centres around the country. Their teas are ideal for your tea room, café or restaurant and for retail sale. Their loose and bagged teas are of the finest grade and taken by those seeking a first-class tea experience and passionate about tea!

The Handmade Cake Company

We bake great tasting (Award Winning!) cakes, tray bakes, loaf cakes, scones and pre-wrapped impulse cakes (including gluten free) for coffee shops and restaurants. Scratch-baked by hand at our ‘A grade’ BRC certified bakery in Berkshire, by experienced bakers for a high quality authentic finish. Pre-portioned and immediately frozen to lock-in the freshness.

Towergate (HTA Insurance)

HTA Insurance Services is an insurance service exclusive to the Horticultural industry and has been designed by HTA Insurance Services, the schemes cover garden centres, commercial growers, landscapers and other associated businesses such as concessions in garden centres. A significant number of HTA members already benefit from the scheme and it is the chosen scheme for many of the UK's major growers.

Dawn Foods

Dawn is a global manufacturer of sweet bakery products, supplying a complete line of quality, consistent ingredients and finished goods for craft bakery, manufacturer professionals and foodservice customers.

Established in the U.S nearly a century ago in 1920 in Jackson, Michigan, today Dawn remains a family owned business. They combine unmatched international manufacturing and capabilities with our expertise, commitment and innovation to create bakery solutions for people all around the world. Dawn Food's American style ingredients cover cake, brownie, cookie and donut mixes, frostings, icings and decorations, whilst we also have a range of European style ingredients such as fruit fillings, crème fillings, fonds, compounds, flavours, glazes and more. Our frozen American specialities include finished muffins, cookies, donuts and brownies, plus our award winning ‘Scoop & Bake’ frozen batters and doughs.

Providing the ingredients for life’s sweet moments!

Speciality Bread

Speciality Breads we are so proud to produce the only 100% British bread you can buy on the market today. Also it is Red Tractor certified and hand finished. They use a British rapeseed oil that is grown six miles from the bakery. From field to plate they know the journey.

CPL Training Group

CPL Training is the largest and most trusted training provider within the licensed retail and hospitality sectors. From food safety to personal licence courses, they help over 30,000 learners succeed in developing new skills each year. Their licensing department delivers a full scale application service for both personal and premises licences – completing everything on the applicant’s behalf.


Come and find us so we can help you to understand the latest food trends and service ideas, and how to use them to improve your business. “From kitchen to restaurant and beyond”, that’s Whitco’s motto, a true end to end service provider, and a unique one stop shop.


Welcome to the new world of modern artisan coffee. We source some of the best coffee beans in the world, then they’re roasted on state of the art machinery and finally we send them to Garden centres, coffee shops and restaurants all over the UK. Of course, you’ll need the right equipment for your coffee shop and our machines fit the bill perfectly. And finally, our barista training school turns eager - but often slightly green coffee shop workers - into expert baristas.

Creed Foodservice

Creed Foodservice, a leading independent, family-owned foodservice wholesaler, delivering a range of multi temperature food to caterers across the country from distribution centres in Cheltenham, Ilkeston and High Wycombe. With industry leading service levels, Creed believe in more and work with notable, national and independent garden centre groups and are the principal supplier to respected historical sites.


Glee is the UK’s leading garden and outdoor living trade retail show, focussing on building year-round profits within core product categories including Garden Care, Landscaping & Garden Decoration, Outdoor Entertainment, Pet Products, Speciality Food and Catering, Home, Gift and Clothing, Plants and a dedicated Retail Experiences section. Each year the show attracts thousands of buyers from top retailers, such as leading UK garden centres, builders’ merchants, multiple retailers, and DIY stores

Swan Retail

Swan Retail provide a proven, easy-to-use solution that gives caterers with the information they need to manage every aspect of their catering operation, offering a whole range of features designed to streamline and maximise the potential of your catering operation. Their applications provide support for all aspects of catering, including: food preparation, stock and purchasing management, financial analysis, production, nutritional analysis and sales management.

Vision Commercial Kitchens

Vision excel in assisting garden centre to introduce or develop their catering facilities. From small establishments with no catering offer to large centres with well-established catering facilities, Vision have the knowledge and expertise to assist you in taking your catering offer to the next level.’

Middleton Foods

Middleton Foods is a family owned and operated business, manufacturing quality flour-based and gluten free food mixes for the Fast Food, Foodservice, Butchery and Bakery markets. Middleton’s use the best ingredients available, using modern machinery and the latest manufacturing techniques, to produce top quality mixes at a competitive prices. Middleton’s have built a dedicated stand-alone, gluten free factory, creating an environment where all wheat products are removed, giving full control over manufacturing, eliminating the risk of cross-contamination completely. The new gluten free factory is BRC accredited and produces over 100 tonnes of naturally gluten free mixes every week.

Luscombe Drinks Ltd

Based on a farm in deepest Devon, all Luscombe drinks are finely crafted, using only the best ingredients. For Gabriel David, chairman and founder, it’s all about the taste, the ethos is simple – to be genuine, to make great tasting soft drinks, of the highest quality, without compromise.

Destiny Foods 

Destiny Foods is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers and distributors of desserts and specialist patisserie. Operating across the country, Destiny Foods supplies innovative, high quality cakes and patisserie to numerous customer categories including cafes, garden centres, restaurant groups, hotel chains, sporting venues, airlines and independent catering outlets.

In 2016, Destiny Foods merged with La Compagnie des Desserts, creating a global £60million turnover business, and bringing quality continental dessert, ice cream and patisserie ranges to the UK market.

Zeo Drinks 

Zeo are delicious all-natural, low calorie, soft drinks. Blended with natural fruit juices, exotic botanicals and a splash of spring water, they’re big on flavour, without the guilt. Drop-by and try them for yourself!’

Stand Partner

Open Retail

With over 30 years experience in Garden Centre systems your in good hands. Multi Retail software  we can handle both your retail and catering sides off the same solution. Table service, ipad order takers, kitchen printers and kitchen controller screen it is all there.

Drinks Partner

Quinton Edwards

Quinton Edwards offer a full range of property services to garden centre and horticultural property and businesses owners, banks and financial institutions. Their commercial property services include; valuations, sales/lettings, acquisitions, lease Renewals & Rent Reviews (landlord & tenant), energy performance certificates, schedule of conditions, dispute resolutions.

Media Partners

Horticulture Week
Garden Forum
Garden Trade News
HTA News

Supporting Partner

Garden Centre Association

Conference Guide


If you or your staff are unsure about how to get the most out of conferences or events you are attending, have a look at our conference guide. It's full of tips for before during and after the conference, to help you get the most out of attending. The advice is applicable to catering conference, or any other event you may be attending - just click to download.    





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