- Macknade Fine Foods

A few words from Reads

David Pitchford, Owner of Read’s Restaurant & Rooms, reflects on the last 40 years of working with us…

Read’s is now in its 42nd year, having started in the bankrupt mini-market that many of our customers will remember in the little village of Painters Forstal back in 1977.

Rona and I clearly remember the day that Basil & Stella of the Neame family came into the restaurant and got chatting about a new venture that had just started along the Ashford Road selling fresh fruit and vegetables. It was being run by their daughter Patricia and her new husband Renato.

Always anxious to pursue freshness and quality, Rona and I made our way over there to be greeted by a tanned young Italian in the middle of a field, dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, who was bent over double (as he always was) picking the most beautiful fresh raspberries we had ever seen.

We said we would take all he had and he led us back to a small corrugated iron shack that doubled as the shop, office and warehouse where he presented us with a whole tray. They told us that they would grow whatever we wanted. That was the start of a business relationship that was to last to the present day.

Renato and Patricia used to operate very much in the same way as Rona and I back in those days and used to do pretty much everything themselves. Sometimes when we were unexpectedly busy at the restaurant one of us would get in the car and speedily drive over to them in order to quickly replenish our supplies. Renato would always stop whatever he was doing and run out in to the field in all weathers and pick some fresh produce for us to get us out of trouble.

They still help us out in a very similar way to this day, even though our respective businesses are so much bigger these days. Rona and I look forward to the continued success of Macknade Fine Foods and wish everyone well on the 40thAnniversary and for the future.

Kindest regards,
Rona and David

About Read's

Read’s Restaurant & Rooms is located right next door, at Macknade Manor, and has been trading under the watchful eye of Rona & David Pitchford for 42 years. Set in an elegant Georgian manor house, the restaurant has a fantastic reputation for its food, drink & ambience, with a menu featuring seasonal dishes cooked by David & his team. There are also six charming bedrooms with their own unique style and character if you wish to stay the night. You can find out more about Reads here.

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