THE OWNER of a Pershore restaurant has spoken of her delight after being chosen by a school to supply its meals under a new Government scheme.
Rachel Etherington, who owns The Deli @ Pershore with husband Craig, will be serving up the plates with a range of local produce for children at Abbey Park First School through the Universal Infant Free School Meals scheme which takes effect from September.
The scheme, which was announced earlier this year, requires all children in Reception, Year One and Year Two from all schools to receive free school meals.
Based in the High Street, the family-run restaurant opened in 2012 and has since catered for adults only.
But now Rachel and Craig can expand their business for children too after the school’s headteacher David Johnson offered them the role.
The restaurant gave youngsters at the school a taste of things to come last Monday (June 30) when they held a Taster Day at the school’s playground.
Rachel told the Observer: “Being involved with Abbey Park First School and this new school meal scheme is really exciting for us and we are looking forward immensely to the times ahead.
“Since we have come to Pershore we have had nothing but success and this new venture continues the great start we have had. Our philosophy has always been to cook with fresh local produce.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for us, not only to supply the children with the meals but we are also keen to educate them by coming to the school regularly and doing cookery demonstrations.”
Mr Johnson said: “Having Rachel and Craig on board is a really exciting time for all concerned and I wanted a local firm to be involved and help deliver this new Government scheme.
“A section of the new curriculum requires children to understand how food is made and where it comes from and I think Rachel and Craig will offer the school a real fresh approach which will benefit the children.” he added.