The market town of Cupar is leading on a unique project that is launching a series of food and drink trails, helping to share information on close to 300 businesses across north-east Fife.
The project – driven by Cupar Development Trust with support from the Regional Food Fund – has been delivered by the team behind CuparNow, Scotland’s award-winning digital improvement district.
Food & Drink Trails Fife includes a searchable site where users can filter to discover eateries, producers, pubs and retailers – and they can also select by ‘speciality’ as well as the type of venue.
Each business featured on the site’s map has a pin which, when clicked, opens their own page showing location, contact details and – if they have them – links to their own digital and social media channels.
Cupar Development Trust has steered the project – working with Destination66, the local company behind CuparNow. Bill Pagan, CDT Chair, explains: “Our area has an amazing food and drink offering and it helps to drive so much in our local economy. What began as a discussion around Cupar and almost 40 businesses in the sector grew to consider how all our area’s food & drink might be best showcased on a digital platform.”
Bill adds: “Cupar is north-east Fife’s historic market town. In medieval times, it was at the centre of what was known as the ‘liberty’ where all produce from the area had to be sold at the town’s market. Today, our district mirrors much of that ancient ‘liberty’ and we are very proud to be showcasing all that is available to those living in and visiting this corner of Scotland.”
The site - https://www.foodanddrinktrailsfife.co.uk/ - is now live and features “bite-size” written trails taking visitors on circular journeys – each starting and ending in Cupar. They include The Ports Trail, taking in Newport and Tayport; the St Andrews Trail – visiting the home of golf; the East Neuk Trail – focusing on Kingsbarns, Crail and the villages of Cellardyke and Anstruther; the Largo Law Trail – circling the Law to explore Lundin Links, Lower Largo, Kilconquhar, Earlsferry, Elie, St Monans and Peat Inn; the Howe Trail – discovering the villages across the Howe of Fife to the Lomond Hills – and the Taycoast Trail, heading north from Cupar to the River Tay and visiting Gauldry, Lindores and Newburgh.
One of the area’s most iconic food and drink companies, Luvians – with shops in Cupar and St Andrews – welcomes the initiative. Emili Fusaro says: “We are so proud to be part of the thriving food and drink scene in Cupar and its surrounding area. This region offers an abundance of products and services of the highest quality, making it a destination for visitors from all over the world. This new site is an excellent tool to help them navigate all we have to share.”
Moira Henderson, Chair of Cupar & North Fife Local Tourism Association adds: “Food and drink is an essential part of Cupar and North Fife’s offering to visitors. The new site is a terrific asset not only enabling visitors to find links to providers in one place but also for businesses. It has created a resource where they can promote their produce and services to an ever-growing audience as well as to make use of the site’s content for networking - creating new partnerships for improved engagement across the sector."
Daphne Biliouri-Grant, Chair of Tourism St Andrews, has supported the initiative since the outset and says: “The last two years have been extremely challenging for the hospitality industry. Businesses in the sector across our region are very much looking forward to the return of The Open to St Andrews this summer. The spotlight will result in benefits long after the Championships ends, and to have a site that features close to 300 food and drink businesses will be of great help to visitors - whether they are from close to home or overseas."
The Trails are being launched this week as part of an event in Cupar where information is being shared on the countdown to this summer’s Open Championship. CuparNow is hosting the drop-in Engagement Session at the Castlehill Community Centre on Thursday (12th May) from 3pm – 6pm. Attending will be those organisations intrinsically involved in the delivery of this year’s Open – including the R&A, Police Scotland and Fife Council. Between 4pm-6pm, a food & drink showcase featuring seasonal produce from Cupar’s businesses will be delivered by Fife Food Ambassador, Christopher Trotter.
A new printed guide for the Food & Drink Trails will also be available from the day. Simon Baldwin of Destination66 says: “Working with numerous partners and stakeholders, we are taking this initiative forward to help support our area’s food & drink sector.” Simon adds: “In a short space of time, the new site has had thousands of page views. Naturally, the vast majority using the site are close to home, but around 25% of the traffic is from potential customers overseas. We have had visitors from people in more than 100 cities across 22 countries … and that’s before our official launch. The potential for the site is tremendous – as it is for those businesses featured on it.”
Any business featured on the new site is able to feed through amendments and updates to their listing via an online form that’s been shared - https://bit.ly/FoodTrailQuestionnaire Similarly, if any business is not listed and believes they should be, they can use the same form to submit their information.
For those featured on the Trails who wish to help promote them, QR codes have been created for the main site and for each individual trail. These can be downloaded and used via this link - https://bit.ly/FoodAndDrinkTrails-QRcodes