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WI Meeting - April 21

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Our speaker at our meeting on the 14th April 2022 was Romilla Arber, the founder of the Honesty Group.  Like myself, I’m sure many of you have enjoyed a coffee, tea, cake or a meal at one of the local Honesty Cafés in the Garden Centre, Dummer Down or Overton.  However, I had no idea how it all started.  Romilla was born in Basingstoke and originally had a career in law.  However, since childhood she has had an interest in food and cookery as her Mum would ensure the family was well fed with home cooked food.  About 10 years ago Romilla gave up her law career to spend more time with her four children ensuring they all had tasty and nutritional meals.  However, her main interest was in bread and the fact that mass produced bread contained over 30 different ingredients, Romilla was keen to bake bread without all the additives – she bought along a few examples of food well past it’s sell by date – there was a loaf of bread 3 years old that, although hard, shockingly had no signs of mould due to the number of additives!  In 2014 the opportunity arose to buy an old coaching inn in Inkpen that also had a barn that she converted into her first bakery.  Since then, the business has expanded and as well as the bakery has two pubs, several cafés, a shop and a cookery school employing 135 staff across Hampshire and Berkshire.  Romilla is passionate about food and the ingredients used and the Honesty Group’s values are “freshly made, environmentally conscious, no chemical adulteration, honest about ingredients, adding to the community and staff welfare and skilled workforce”.  The Honesty Group is part of the “Too good to go” app which at the end of the day if there is any food left over you buy Magic Bags for £3, and they’ll contain £12 of food that would otherwise be thrown away.  Romilla very kindly bought some loaves and brownies for us to sample – and we unanimously agreed that they were all delicious.

Our forthcoming meetings are:

Thursday 12th May 2022:  Annual meeting – two of our committee members will be standing down at this meeting and it would be lovely to have some new blood on the committee, so if anyone is interested, please come along to the meeting

Thursday 9th June 2022:  Dogs with a Mission – we will be joined by one of the amazing dogs, with their owner, from Hampshire Search and Rescue.  Weather permitting this meeting will be held in a garden so please bring a chair and a glass.

If you are interested in joining us at one of our Meetings, held in the Rathbone Pavilion, please contact Carolyn Brown


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