The Blue Group

A thriving group of restaurants and boutique hotels headquartered in Ongar

The Blue Group, based at the Essex Technology and Innovation Centre in Ongar, are a thriving group of 4 restaurants and boutique hotels within Essex. The Blue Group

Their aim is to create contemporary, high-end dining and hospitality services, in uniquely finished venues that carry through the character and original features of period buildings applying a modern twist. They also strive to use quality, locally sourced produce where possible throughout their menus.

Success for the Blue Group

It has been a successful 8 years for The Blue Group who have seen year on year growth since they launched their first restaurant, The Blue Bridge in 2007. The company now employs over 150 staff across the Blue Group’s 4 venues and the 2 venues of its sister company ‘The Grey Group’. This success has been reflected in multiple award nominations.

“The company’s ethos is to offer the customer an exciting and sophisticated dining experience with excellence of service.”

Claire Addison, Head of Operations, The Blue Group

Growing the company from the Essex Technology & Innovation Centre (ETIC)

The Blue Group are headquartered at The Essex Technology and Innovation Centre (ETIC), in Ongar, a business incubation facility which provide office space, support businesses and promote entrepreneurship particularly with companies who employ innovation in their business. When the Blue Group needed to move to larger facilities they chose ETIC as their central point of operations for a number of reasons:

  • For its location providing quick access throughout Essex and to London via road and rail
  • To have a flexible office solution - ETIC offers an easy in easy out terms in which tenants can grow taking more space as it is needed
  • To be based in a community with other like-minded and growing businesses
  • A premise offer aligned with helping businesses grow and succeed rather than simple office provision

“The Essex Technology and Innovation Centre is ideal for businesses both in the early growth and more established stages. The front of house staff support our brand image too. They create that important first impression of our business to any new, and in fact repeat visitors we have. We can also get practical support from the centre staff and share ideas with the other business owners at the centre.”

Natalie King, Operations, The Blue Group

“The Essex Technology and Innovation Centre is more than just a business space. What businesses value most is the opportunity to share ideas and learn from other people who have been through the same early-stage experiences.”

Pam Winter, Centre Manager, The Essex Technology and Innovation Centre

About The Blue Group

The William B, The Blue GroupThe name behind The Blue Group brand is Steve Andrews, a local resident and businessman in Essex.  Steve has a background within the food and hospitality industry and was responsible for launching many well known venues in West Essex.  His ultimate vision was to create a restaurant brand that focused on high quality, exciting menus, served in atmospheric venues with a theme of traditional vs contemporary in their style.

Another key focus for The Blue Group is doing business locally – wherever possible, all the venues source their produce from local Essex Farmers and other providers to the trade.

Looking forward to 2016, The Blue Group and The Grey Group hope to develop more local corporate relationships.  They have very recently agreed a partnership with Chelmsford City Council and its leisure services, including the Riverside Ice and Leisure, located a few hundred metres from The Riverside Inn, Chelmsford.

Through similar networking and co-marketing campaigns the venues hope to work with other like-minded businesses to discuss strategic alliances for driving future growth to the Essex economy.

The Essex Technology and Innovation Centre - ‘More than business space’

The ETIC is a business centre providing high quality office space and support for businesses. It offers a choice of secure, managed office units with well-equipped conference and meeting rooms on site for start-up businesses. It also operates a virtual office service with all the benefits of an established address and associated services at a reasonable cost.

The ETIC is part of a wider set of programmes designed to help businesses to grow

“There are three business incubation centres across the county run by Essex County Council. These centres offer a stimulating, supportive and managed working environment for individuals and small businesses taking either their first steps in business and/or premises. Businesses benefit from the help and support of the centre’s business manager, links to wider services and the centre’s community of businesses.”

Pam Winter, Centre Manager, The Essex Technology and Innovation Centre

See here for more information on the Essex Technology and Innovation Centre.

See here for more information on The Essex Enterprise Centres.

Pam Winter
Pam Winter

Enterprise Centre manager

01277 368200


Helping businesses grow in Essex by successfully managing business incubation centre. This success has been achieved through networking with other business support organisations and spending quality time with early stage businesses, listening to their needs and offering the relevant support and guidance to enable them to achieve their aspirations.