Tasty Edwinstowe restaurant cooks up support for worthy causes

A contemporary restaurant that has been a tasty addition to Edwinstowe’s High Street is keen to cook up support for two causes close to its heart.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 7:09 pm
The women who lead the way at Smoke And Ice, Carol (centre) and Jess Holvey (right) and front-of-house supervisors (from left), Sarah McLafferty, Emma Morrison and Heidi Seaton.

Smoke And Ice opened for business on the doorstep of Sherwood Forest and Center Parcs last November and has earned rave reviews from locals and tourists alike.

Now it wants to give something back, and prove it has a moral conscience, by celebrating the value of women leaders in business and also by backing a project that helps victims of domestic abuse.

Two of Smoke And Ice’s three directors are women, including Jess Holvey, 25, who said: “We want to give our female members of staff a chance to shine and prove they are in the generation that can make a difference.

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The impressive exterior of the Smoke And Ice restaurant in Edwinstowe.

"We don’t care about stereotypes. We know we can achieve whatever we set our minds to. It’s time to change the dynamic of female leaders.”

Jess’s 56-year-old mum, Carol Holvey, helps to run the barbecue and Asian fusion restaurant, which also employs three female front-of-house supervisors among its 30-strong locally-based staff. They are Heidi Seaton, Sarah McLafferty and Emma Morrison.

The family business’s plan to share the stories on its Facebook page of inspirational women business leaders alerted Toni-louise Newcombe, who set up The Rope Project for women (and men) who have had to flee domestic violence.

And now Smoke And Ice has agreed to back the charity’s fundraising mission to buy a van to deliver free household items to victims of abuse, helping them get back on their feet.

Carol and Phil Holvey, who gave up their careers to run Smoke And Ice with daughter Jess.

Everyone who donates £5 to The Rope Project via the restaurant’s Facebook page will be entered into a competition to win a meal for four. Already, £600 has been raised towards a £2,000 goal.

The concept for the fast casual-dining eaterie was nurtured by the Holvey family during last year’s first lockdown when Jess had to return home early from travelling abroad after her university degree.

Carol gave up her career working with various businesses and charities, while dad Phil, 52, who is the other director, quit his lifelong job as a chief sales officer for a photocopier firm. Together, the three of them, who live in Rufford, decided to take the plunge after sharing a passion for food most of their lives.

They transformed a landmark building in Edwinstowe that used to be a Methodist Church and, more recently, Bentley’s Snack Cakes, and turned into an instant success.

There are tables for 16 covers inside, which should come into use next month when more Covid restrictions are lifted, and there is a patio area outside for 25 to 30 customers.

The menu mix of ‘Smoky Eats’, including burgers, brisket and pulled pork, and ‘Cool Eats’, including chocolate brownies, lemon meringue pie and giant profiteroles, all given a personalised, unique touch, has gone down a storm. So much so that of 119 reviews on Trip Advisor, 117 have given Smoke And Ice the top rating of excellent.

"We’ve been really lucky,” said Jess, who feels the business’s early decision to engage with the Edwinstowe community has paid off handsomely.

“”We’ve had some awesome customers. I can’t believe how many regulars we have already. We wouldn’t be in the position we are without them.

“We feel we have made friends for life.”