As Autumn starts to show its face it means the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drinks Awards are on the final countdown to the Awards Dinner and revealing more category finalists. This time it’s the turn of Healthy Food and Wellbeing, One to Watch, F&B Achiever, and Food & Drink College Student of the Year!
The Food & Drink College Student of the Year Award is aimed at students aged between 16 and 21 currently undertaking a full or part-time food/drink-related course at a Northamptonshire college (Moulton, Northampton or Bedford). It is designed to recognise students showing drive, commitment and passion for the sector, those demonstrating exceptional progress in skills development who are keen to learn and who are a young ambassador for learning about food and drink. We are delighted to have the University of Northampton as a new sponsor for this category and who will kindly offer our Gold Award winner 1:1 careers coaching.
Head of Events, Tourism & Hospitality at the University of Northampton, Inva Reic, commented after the judging: “This year’s Food and Drink College Student of the Year category was brimming with exceptional talent. Each and every candidate had a unique story and their passion for the food and drink industry really shone through. This made the judging panel’s decision really challenging! We are very grateful for the interest shown by the students this year. All of this makes us very hopeful for the future of Northamptonshire’s food and drink sector and we are also very excited to see what all of this year’s finalists do next in their careers.”
Finalists for the Food and Drink College Student of the Year are:
Cohen O’Dell, Northampton College
Chloe Matthews, Moulton College
Alex Mundey, Bedford College, Corby
Dante Newman, Bedford College, Corby
Cara Payne, Northampton College
Thomas Walshaw, Moulton College
Back for its 2nd year, the Healthy Food & Wellbeing Award is sponsored by Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust. This category is in 2 parts and is designed to recognise producers in Northamptonshire who manufacture healthy food, and also those businesses and organisations who provide healthy food and wellbeing initiatives for their staff (defining ‘healthy food’ as those lower in fat, salt and sugars which can be used as part of a balanced diet).
Richard Clinton, CEO of Delapre Abbey said “There was a good level of entrants this year, and fantastic to see such diversity across the products and workplaces we were judging. Great to see such a high level of passion with wonderfully tasting produce.”
Finalists for Healthy Food and Wellbeing of the Year are:
Organic Wheatgrass Juice, Britt’s Superfoods
Bresaola, Northampton Charcuterie Company
Chocolate Super Shake, Nasty Vegan
Carrot Cookies, The Loving Chef
Mango Explosion Granola, Salma Soulful
Businesses and Organisations:
Silverstone Circuits Ltd
Sol Havens CIC
One to Watch, a category aimed at food and drink manufacturers or hospitality businesses who are less than 5 years old, and is designed to recognize their potential for major growth. Their future significant impact on the market is also taken into consideration as well as how this will raise the profile of Northamptonshire at a regional or national level.
Category sponsor Kim Osborne, Technical Accounts Manager from Whitworth Bros Ltd enthused: “Once again the level of entrants for the One to Watch category was outstanding. The dedication and enthusiasm from every one of the finalists made me proud to be involved. Northampton is continuing to raise the bar to show what can be achieved. I’m delighted to pass on my congratulations to all the finalists for their achievement.”
Finalists for One to Watch are:
Royal Oak, Naseby
Santina’s Wood Fired Pizza Co.
The category of F&B Achiever is designed to recognize a person who has made and/or continues to make a significant contribution to the sector. This may be awarded early in someone’s career, as recognition of original or creative ideas, or later, when someone has established a consistently outstanding record.
Category sponsor Jenna Bruce, Legal Director at Howes Percival says “A really strong set of finalists, so different, which made it a real challenge to judge. Their individual achievements are impressive in different ways. They are all such champions for the county using local suppliers and establishing themselves within the county and potentially internationally!”
Finalists for F&B Achiever are:
Joe Buckley, The Tollemache Arms, Harrington
Glenn Newman, G&D Newman Ltd
Steve Reid, Friars Farm
Nigel Wagstaff, Houghton Hams
Whites of Earls Barton
The winners will be announced on 1st November at Royal & Derngate.
For more information on the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2023/24, please visit www.northamptonshirefoodanddrink.co.uk.