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Widnes bistro sees the benefits to delivering locally sourced home-made food for customers.

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Widnes bistro sees the benefits to delivering locally sourced home-made food for customers.


Published by Laura Beckett for Halton Housing Trust in Housing and also in Communities, Local Government, Universal Credit

The Olive Tree bistro, situated within Halton Housing Trust’s Naughton Fields extra care scheme, brings something different to Widnes.

The food is locally sourced from farmer’s by Gary McDonnell, owner of The Olive Tree and Empty Plates. He then sets about making all his dishes from scratch, starting every morning with freshly baked bread, home-made cakes, tasty soups, speciality pies and roast dinners on Sundays.

Cronton Farm has been operating for over 175 years, and has truly perfected growing produce of an exceptional standard, giving Gary great pleasure every time he visits.  You can see the dedication within the farm, taking great satisfaction in their produce, and then using their working partnership with the bistro to see the end results in Gary’s cooking.

Fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables ranging from four different types of potatoes to brussel sprouts on the stalk, gigantic oranges to old fashioned Qunices, and the ideas for recipes are never ending.

Gary says “It was a real delight discovering this farm on our doorstep and makes cooking so much more enjoyable using fresh local produce. It gives me great satisfaction knowing where my ingredients have come from and being able to cook with seasonal produce.”

Customers are often treated to ‘tasting samples’ at the Olive Tree when the team are trying out new recipes with the vast choice of produce, and it’s a great opportunity to be able to tell the story of where the ingredients have come from and explain how fresh they are.  By providing these tasting samples, Gary finds it encourages customers to try new recipes they perhaps wouldn’t normally go for, such as beetroot bread, tagines, jams and chutneys.

The Olive Tree has been open now for just over a year and although a hidden gem within Naughton Fields, the range of dishes and quality of ingredients is well worth a visit, whether you pop in for a cup of tea and a scrumptious cake or treat yourself to one of their speciality lunches, it will certainly have you coming back for more.

The Olive Tree is open for breakfast and lunch from Monday to Friday and for lunch on Sundays, why not pop in and try some locally sourced fresh, home-made delights!


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