Cherry Godfrey were thrilled to take part in this 2022’s ‘Riverfest’: a free, fun community event at Newport Harbour. This year, we wished to raise as much money as possible for the Mountbatten Hospice – and what better way than to tickle the tastebuds? Luckily, we have a skilled chef within our team… 

Back after a temporary hiatus due to Covid, the Isle of Wight’s popular Riverfest went off with a bang! The weather was lovely and there was a real buzz in the air, with families and locals mingling on The Quay and enjoying entertainment, music, food and more (everything from marching bands to vintage cars!). 

This year, the Cherry Godfrey team manned a food stall in support of Mountbatten. We felt honoured to be able to give something back to the community, and in particular to raise funds for the wonderful work carried out by this Isle of Wight charity: the leading provider of palliative care on the Island, and a great source of support for people with life-limiting illnesses (and their loved ones). 

We were supported ably by our brilliant team, who helped with food preparation, buying ingredients, and serving customers on the day (and a particular thanks to Jenna Skillen, our Quality Control Administrator, who brought her mum’s homemade cakes to our stall for us to sell, too!). At the helm was Director of Group Operations Graham Thoume, who donned his chef’s hat and whipped up a mouth-watering Chicken and Prawn Jambalaya for diners to purchase! The dish was a huge success, with customers clamouring for the recipe and coming back for seconds, and thanks to everyone’s hard work we raised £800 for Mountbatten. 

After the event, we caught up with Graham to find out a little bit more about his role at Cherry Godfrey and his thoughts on the day!

Hi, Graham. First of all, a huge well done for your cooking triumph at Riverfest! But before we find out more, can you tell us a little bit about what you do at Cherry Godfrey?  


I’m the Director of Group Operations - so I’m responsible for Human Resources, Compliance and Risk, and Information Technology for the Group. 


What do you love about Cherry Godfrey? 


I love that Cherry Godfrey is a family-run company which focuses on the local community. I like our unique customer service ethos: we really care about the individual customer. It’s a great place to work, and I have many lifelong friends here. 


Tell us more about the recent Riverfest event. Why is it important to Cherry Godfrey to support local events and charities?  

Cherry Godfrey, first and foremost, is here to serve local customers, and as a company we focus strongly on the community around us. It’s therefore very important to us to help local charities at events like Riverfest. 


You volunteered to be the chef at the event – we hear it was an excellent day! Did you enjoy it?   

I really enjoying cooking for large numbers so it was great fun - I have done it many times before. And hopefully I’ll be back for next year’s Riverfest… I’m already planning the menu. I quite fancy trying my hand at a hog roast! 


What do you love most about cooking – have you always been a keen cook?  

Yes! It’s been my passion for years. Most of all, I love to see people enjoying the food I cook - I think it’s the best feeling in the world. 


Graham Thoume                                                      Lee Taylor                   

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