After taking the top spot in their categories, 22 of the gold winners spoke to the Chronicle & Echo
The Weetabix Northamptonshire Food & Drink Awards is a true celebration of what the county has to offer – and the fifteenth annual ceremony was no exception.
Hundreds gathered at the Royal & Derngate on Wednesday evening (November 1) and the spirit was high from start to finish.
After scooping the top spot in their award categories, the gold winners took the time to speak to this newspaper.
Here is what they all had to say moments after learning of their newest prestigious accolades – and it is fair to say everyone was more than pleased.
1. Artisan Local Drink of the Year – Club 80: Navy Strength London Dry Gin by Silverstone Distillery
Distillery director Joe Mayhew, who was joined by fellow director Steve Hancock, said: “We’re thoroughly pleased for it. The club range has been a culmination of many, many months of hard work, design and testing. It’s been an incredibly popular brand and this is a great award to win. Being recognised for something like this is truly fantastic. We feel like we’ve got imposter syndrome. There’s some great producers out there, venues, chefs, restaurants and it’s really nice to be rubbing shoulders with like-minded individuals. We’re very pleased to be here.” Photo: Kirsty Edmonds
2. Artisan Local Product of the Year – Coffee Ice Cream by Your Cool
Business owner Jo Rutherford told this newspaper: “It’s such a fantastic evening. It’s really lovely to be here and to actually be winning a gold award is fantastic. This is a relatively new career for me. I only started making ice cream professionally about three years ago – so to have people who know their stuff saying that it’s nice is great. It’s really lovely meeting some new people, from places I’ve heard of but haven’t necessarily spoken to the people there. There’s a lovely atmosphere in there tonight.” Photo: Kirsty Edmonds
3. Artisan Local Vegan/Vegetarian Product of the Year – Strawberry & Rose Cake by the Mill House at the Old Stableyard Tearoom
Emily Armstrong, who runs both the Mill House and the Old Stableyard Tearoom shared her excitement: “It feels amazing – nerve-racking but incredible. It’s a great achievement for my business and I’m really pleased. It just sets in stone how hard it is, and how important it is for me that I didn’t give up. With everything the Mill House has been through as a whole, to actually win an award now and be seen for what I do is incredible. I hope we get better and better. It’s absolutely amazing to be part of such a great community of different people in food.” Photo: Kirsty Edmonds
4. Local Food Hero – Rick Sharpe, The Roaming Artisan
“We tour Northants with a pop up shop showcasing all the great produce,” said Rick. “It’s great, it’s a bit of a surprise. We do a lot of work in the local community and showcase a lot of produce, but it’s great to see people recognise that and want to support us.” Rick added that the award win makes the 5am bakery runs worth it. Having toured the county with the pop up shop, Rick said: “There’s some great producers around and it’s great to put my name in the hat.” Photo: Kirsty Edmonds