Local artisan food and drink producer awards announced

Posted 11th August 2023

Food and drink producers across the county have begun the celebrations ahead of this year’s Northamptonshire Food & Drink Awards.

The first gold, silver and bronze award winners in this year’s competition have been announced ahead of the ceremony itself on November in order to enable those in the three Artisan producer categories to promote their produce and their award during the round of food and drink festivals this summer.

“This has been an amazing year for our three produce and drink categories,” says awards director Rachel Mallows. “At every stage of judging I have received such praise for the wares of our county.  There is real innovation in these 21 products and several second stage judges just could not believe how representative they were of the county and what a strong regional offering we have.”

She tasked the judges with shortlisting between three and five finalists. “They decided on seven in all three categories.”

The winners were announced at Artisan Local Vegetarian/Vegan product category sponsor Daily Bread in Northampton. Also receiving their awards were the finalists in the Artisan Local Drink category, sponsored by J Sweeney Accountants, and in the Artisan Local Product category, sponsored by Heygates Flour & Animal Feed.

Morcea Walker, Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire and former Stricty Come Dancing professional Kristina Rhianoff , who co-owns Soo Yoga in Northampton, joined the celebrations to add their support to the finalists.  The Gold winners also go forward to the Guild of Fine Foods Great Taste Awards in 2024.

Now meet the award winners.

Artisan Local Vegetarian/Vegan Product of the Year Sponsor; Daily Bread

Bronze – The Tollemache Arms – Harrington Wild Garlic Butter; Shoots & Spores – Fresh Oyster Mushrooms; Urban Microgreens – Salad Mix; Dovely Bakery – Rose Cottage Multi Seed Loaf.

Silver – Hamm Tun Fine Foods – Northamptonshire Blue; Sophisticake Creations – Carrot, Parsnip and Pecan Cake.

Gold – Mill House – The Old Stable Yard Tea Room – Strawberry & Rose Cake.

“It means absolutely everything to me,” says tea room founder Emily Armstrong, who opened her business four years ago. “It is an amazing achievement from where I came from. Never being able to make a cake to now having an award-winning cake, it is just incredible. I could not be happier.”

Artisan Local Product of the Year Sponsor: Heygates Flour & Animal Feed

Bronze – Made by the Beekeeper – New Lodge Vineyard Chili Honey; Friars Farm – Lemon Curd; Duston Village Bakery  – Steak Pasty; F.F Tee Bakery- Northampton Cheesecake.

Silver – Hamm Tun Fine Foods – Shoetown Blue; The Boughton Estate – Boughton Estate Homemade Honey .

Gold – Your Cool – Coffee Ice Cream

“This really means everything to me – I cannot quite believe it,” says Jo Rutherford of Your Cool. “I am concentrating on using local ingredients in my products and I want to continue to do this. This is the reward I needed to show I am doing something right!”

Artisan Local Drink of the Year Sponsor: J Sweeney Accountants

Bronze – Winwick Hall Bruce Green Ltd – Winwick Hall Methode Champenoise; Phipps Northampton Brewery Co Ltd-Phipps Foundry Mild; Three Hills Brewing Ltd – Heidrun Session NEIPA; Bearly Organised Ltd – Paw Another.

Silver – Mee Blueberries – Blueberry Juice;  Wild & Furrow – Oat Drink.

Gold – Silverstone Distillery – Club 80 Navy Strength London Dry Gin.

Joe Mayhew, Silverstone Distillery – “You have a group of strangers who do not know you, they have tried your product and chosen it from many other vendors,” says Joe Mayhew, co-founder of Silverstone Distillery. “I am incredibly proud, emotional and super privileged.”

Winners in the other Northamptonshire Food & Drink Awards categories will be announced at the awards gala, to be held at Northampton’s Royal & Derngate on November 1.

For more details of this year’s competition, and for tickets to the ceremony, call Lyn Mole on 01933 664437 or email Lyn@themallowscompany.com  Follow the Awards on Twitter and Instagram at @foodawardsHQ or on Facebook at @foodawards or LinkedIn at @weetabixnfadawards.