By Jenni Meredith

From becoming a fan park to hosting Queer on the Pier, it looks to be an exciting summer for Hastings Pier. I’m sure that locals will be flocking like seagulls to eat up the entertainment – but while you’re soaking up the sun (fingers crossed) and enjoying the atmosphere, be sure not to miss the small businesses that will be residing in the pier’s charming beach huts. There are culinary delights to suit everyone so get outdoors and support the small businesses that we all love while trying something new. 

Booyah Vitality
Booyah Vitality (@booyah_vitality) whose name you may recognise, is a family-run health drinks company. They create delicious, nutritious beverages including kombucha, turmeric shots, and dandelion coffee (yum!).

Despite a year of struggles, Booyah Vitality has gone from strength to strength with re-branding, product development, and securing listings in local businesses.

Lisa, the founder (who happens to be a naturopathic nutritional therapist) said, “I created Booyah Vitality with my husband at the beginning of 2020, and now our children both help out too. We are all about creating the right product with the best ingredients to boost immunity! We loved working on the pier last year – not only was the view fantastic, but it was great to see people after the lockdown. The impact on people’s wellbeing that having the pier open had – allowing them to be outdoors and socialise – was fantastic. After another lockdown, the people of Hastings need the pier open. It’s a great place to escape to.”

Delicious Lebanese (Arabic) food, kibbeh (kibe) on black slate stone and granite background.

Kibe (Lebanese-Brazilian beef-bulgar croquette) from Cumbia Kitchen
PICTURE: Jackie Turner

Cumbia Kitchen
Another business that I am itching to try out is Cumbia Kitchen (@cumbia_kitchen), who offer an incredible menu of South American tapas. Sounds pretty amazing, right?

The owner, Jackie, says “Most of the dishes I learnt during holidays spent on a beach on the Colombian Caribbean coast, sharing recipes with travellers from all over South America. We take the tastiest bocaditos (authentic street food) from all over South America and present them in a way that appeals to the British palette”.

Although Cumbia Kitchen is new, Jackie and the team have been cooking at local events over the last four years and were finalists in the Sussex Food Awards 2020! Everything is freshly made from locally sourced and organic ingredients. And with eco-friendly packaging and a ‘closed-loop composting system’, they’re a genuine ‘feel-good, do-good’ kind of business.

Jackie told us, “We’re excited to be moving onto Hastings Pier and launching our new brand. It’s been a difficult year for us and many others in the industry. But we’ve always had faith that this is a passing moment, a sense of normality would resume, and we would be cooking for the people of Hastings once more.”

Cumbia Kitchen will be celebrating their pier launch on 12th April with VIP discounts all week for their social media followers – so get liking!

Frankonia Bakery
Finally, you may have spotted a new bakery at The Old Custom House (19 East Parade). If you’ve had the pleasure of trying their sourdough, patisserie
or pretzels, you’ll be excited to know that Frankonia Bakery (@frankoniahastings) will also be taking up residency at the pier this summer, which means all your baked goods will be available whilst you soak up the sea air! Frankonia Bakery is an independent, wholesale artisan bakery based in Surbiton, Surrey that supplies to Fortnum & Mason, Harrods & Selfridges as well as to some high-end restaurants. 

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