Southport B&B secures Gold Award thanks to 20,000 new recruits that have got the place buzzing. Tony McDonough reports
A bed and breakfast in Southport has won a coveted Gold Award for its sustainability effort largely thanks to its 20,000 new recruits.
Sunnyside in Bath Street has this year installed a beehive on the premises and soon, the owners promise, they will be supplying honey for guests at breakfast.
Husband and wife owners, Anthony and Larissa Duffey, have put sustainability at the heart of their business. They offer home-cooked meals, cakes, jams and even tomato ketchup made from locally sourced produce.
And all water, jams, yoghurt and fresh milk is served in reusable glass bottles. This effort, along with the arrival of the bees, has seen them become one of 25 UK B&Bs and guest houses to be awarded the globally recognised Gold Award by Green Tourism.
Anthony said: “The business is a passion and a labour of love and to get the Gold Award in recognition of our sustainability ethos was great.
“But we are always looking to build on what we do, and we have welcomed a hive of bees – a healthy swarm from the Southport and District Beekeepers Association who have been extremely supportive.
“You could say we now have 20,000 new staff members – although they are kept in a secure hive on land across from the B&B, so customers don’t have to worry.
“I have been training to be a beekeeper since September and when the bees have enough in surplus, we will be offering honey at breakfast.”
During Anthony’s 15-year tenure at the business the premises has been transformed with major renovations and upgraded rooms matched by the fruitful focus on being eco-friendly.
Its home-made jams and marmalade have become the talk of Tripadvisor and are available to buy with proceeds going to Southport’s Queenscourt Hospice.
From meat and fish to flour, food miles are kept to a minimum and in the case of fruit, vegetables and dairy goods they are bought from the Southport area.
Anthony said: “The attention to detail I would say sets us apart and something the customers notice.
“We want to do the right thing for the planet and that includes keeping the food miles down, for example our bacon used to come from Denmark, now it’s Liverpool.
“Rather than getting tomatoes from the supermarket we get them from down the road, so they are picked fresh, delicious and much better for the environment.
“We are delighted to welcome the bees so we can add honey to our menu. There really is a buzz around the place.”