FERRY passengers travelling from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight will be able to get their hands on some delicious local products.
Nine producers and suppliers have been picked to sell their goods on board Wightlink Ferries flagship St Clare that travels between Portsmouth and Fishbourne.
The firm held a launch event last week to officially open the new shop and promote its new range.
Several local producers and suppliers set up stalls on St Clare to meet customers, hand out samples and talk about their businesses, serenaded by the Guith Shantymen.
Wightlink chief executive Keith Greenfield said: ‘Our partners were rushed off their feet giving customers a taste of everything from luscious chocolate cake and flavoursome ales to tangy garlic pickles, We were delighted to invite them on board to showcase their wares.
‘These top quality island products will also make perfect gifts for friends and family.’
Suppliers include; Island Roasted Coffee, The Garlic Farm, Wight Crystal Water, Island Ales, Island Brewery, Full Spread Sandwiches, Calbourne Classics, The Isle of Wight Biscuit Company and Medina Foods.
Chris Mousley, from Island Brewery, said: ‘It was a great opportunity to further extend our hands-on-the-water relationship with Wightlink to further develop Island Brewery’s business and exposure on the mainland, and to promote Wightlink’s support for Island businesses.’
Jenny Cawood, from Calbourne Classics, a cake company, said: ‘We are very grateful to Wightlink for supporting us in stocking our products and it’s lovely to see so many island products on board.’
The changes are part of a £45m investment in the Portsmouth Gunwharf-Fishbourne route.
A new £20m flagship, designed and built specifically for the route, with the capacity to carry the equivalent of 178 cars and more than 1,000 people on each crossing, is set to enter service next year.
The new ship, yet to be named, will be slightly larger than Wightlink’s flagship St Clare.
There will also be improvements to terminals at the company’s ports of Portsmouth Gunwharf and Fishbourne.