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21/11/2012 14:26


What do the following have in common: Essex-grown saffron threads, a hot chilli jelly made by a Perthshire builder, French onion soup from Shropshire and a Somerset cider flavoured with orange & raspberry? None of them troubled the best-seller charts in this year’s Fine Food Digest Best Brands survey, the results of which you can read on pages 5-12 of this turn-of-the-year special edition. Yet each has been flagged by fine food experts as a potential star of the future, showing the breadth of products still emerging from small kitchens across the UK despite a prolonged economic slump. Best Brands is our second annual review of the most highly-rated speciality food and drink products in the country, as chosen by buyers in delis, farm shops and food halls and by judges in regional, national and international award schemes. Like last year, it shows that, aside from a bit of shuffling of positions, the established elite of fine food continue to do the business for specialist stores nationwide. Names like Tracklements, The Fine Cheese Company, Rouzaire Brie de Meaux and Montezuma’s – some of them now familiar to supermarket shoppers too, at least at the Waitrose end of the market – continue to dominate. Just below them, regional favourites (like Teoni’s cookies) and cult classics (Womersley fruit vinegars) are starting to spread nationally and vie for the top slots. But this year, as well as quizzing readers of FFD and visitors to the Speciality & Fine Food Fair for the Best Brands survey, we’ve asked 10 specialist buyers and food writers – Harrods and Fortnum & Mason among them – to tell us the best emerging products to pass across their own desks since last January. The results are fascinating, ranging from nationally known names like Willie’s Cacao, which added a few useful range extensions in 2012, to complete newcomer Rubies in the Rubble, a tiny London-based ethical producer, championed by Fortnum’s Sam Rosen-Nash, that is helping reduce food waste and create valuable jobs in the capital. Alongside the producers, great and headed for greatness, we’re also celebrating the best speciality food stores in the country, with full details of 2012’s Olives Et Al Deli of the Year and Le Gruyère Cheese Counter of the Year winners. As Masterchef’s Gregg Wallace might say, fine food doesn’t get much better than this. Mick Whitworth, Editor

Best Brand Survey Emerging Brands Wholesalers’ Top Sellers Deli of the Year Cheese Counter of the Year National & Regional Award Winners

5 12 23 26 40 46

Sangita Tryner, owner of Olives Et Al Deli of the Year winner Delilah Fine Foods, with her own selection of product from our Best Brands survey listings. Photograph by Richard Faulks. EDITORIAL Editor: Mick Whitworth Assistant editor: Michael Lane Art director: Mark Windsor Photography: Richard Faulks, Isabelle Plasschaert ADVERTISING Sales manager: Sally Coley Advertisement sales: Becky Stacey, Gavin Weeks Circulation manager: Tortie Farrand Chairman and publisher: Bob Farrand Managing director and associate publisher: John Farrand THE GUILD OF FINE FOOD Membership secretary & director: Linda Farrand Administrators: Charlie Westcar, Julie Coates, Karen Price Accounts: Stephen Guppy, Denise Ballance t: 01963 824464 Fax: 01963 824651 e: w: Published by: Great Taste Publications Ltd and The Guild of Fine Food Ltd. Fine Food Digest is published 11 times a year and is available on subscription for £43pa inclusive of post and packing. Printed by: Blackmore, Dorset © Great Taste Publications Ltd and The Guild of Fine Food Ltd 2012. Reproduction of whole or part of this magazine without the publisher’s prior permission is prohibited. The opinions expressed in articles and advertisements are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or illustrations.



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Top in the Shops The second Best Brands Survey shows that the big names are still the best sellers. MICHAEL LANE drills down into the responses from FFD’s retailer readership for a more detailed picture.

Oils & Vinegars


1st Seggiano 2nd Deli-cious 3rd Olives Et Al 4th Womersley

1st Brie de Meaux* 2nd Le Gruyère AOC Joint 3rd Colston Basset Stilton/Montgomery’s cheddar 4th Isle of Mull cheddar Joint 5th Godminster cheddar/Snowdonia cheddar

Last year’s top two traded places, with Seggiano’s extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar edging on-tap specialist Deli-cious’s flavoured balsamics and oils. Olives Et Al’s own-branded olive oil bagged third place, and fruit vinegar specialist Womersley was fourth, with specific mentions of its raspberry vinegar, which was named one of the Top 50 Foods in the UK & Ireland in Great Taste 2012. What these results don’t show is the popularity of rapeseed oil, which would have taken top spot if the votes for the many different brands were combined. The list of producers – including Great Ness, Farringtons, Summer Harvest and Gold from the Wold – reflect the truly regional nature of this product.

INTERVIEW David Harrison, co-founder, Seggiano There’s not much to making good olive oil, says Seggiano’s David Harrison. It’s about “good olives, picking them at the right time, milling them correctly and storing them correctly.” The Seggianese olives – a variety found on the Tuscan farm Harrison and partner Peri Eagleton have owned for nearly 30 years – just happen to be very good. This “very delicate, creamy, nutty oil”, produced from their own olives and those of neighbouring farms, is the foundation of the Seggiano brand first established in 1994. He points out that some of

*Includes a number of producers, chiefly Rouzaire and Donge

the oil’s appeal to the British consumer is its lack of bitterness even during the early harvest. Harrison himself is still involved at every step of the production process from the harvesting of the trees (some are 1,000 years old) using 40ft ladders through to putting the corks in the bottles. Not only does this close relationship with the sou rce guarantee retailers high levels of provenance and quality but it also gets them a good deal. That stands for the oil, the firm’s lauded balsamic vinegars and a host of Italian products, which it now supplies direct to the UK trade. “We can offer a quality oil at a lower price. Rather than it being on the shelf for £20 it’s on there for £11,” says Harrison, adding: “When I’m talking to an Italian I’m not just talking in Italian I’m talking as a farmer and producer.” While Harrison acknowledges that, these days, price is everything, that does not mean he will compromise. Even the tiniest ingredient is checked with suppliers so that labelling will be correct and a product will taste as good as it can. “You could take any one of our products in any category and that will be the best in the category. Our customers, both punters and shopkeepers know that we’ve always put ethics and integrity at the top of the list.”

The top three here won’t surprise anybody, especially Brie de Meaux (from various makers) taking first place. But there are several positive signs for British cheesemakers further down. The rest of this top six shows, encouragingly, that the speciailty sector is still doing the business when it comes to service and quality by selling farmhouse cheddar in the face of widespread discounting and cheapening on the part of supermarkets. Further down the pecking order, there is a lot more variety in the British cheeses that retailers are successfully selling than in Continentals. Lincolnshire Poacher, Ford Farm cave-aged cheddar and Ticklemore’s Devon Blue were among those just outside the top five, followed by a host of farmhouse producers.



BEST BRANDS SURVEY 2012 Tea & Coffee

Breadth of range seems to be the secret to success in this category. A number of retailers praised teapigs’ entire collection but there was a variety of named bestsellers, from its conventional Everyday and Earl Grey lines to fruit blends and Mao Feng green tea. Taylor’s of Harrogate has the advantage of producing both tea and coffee, and while the brand is stocked by virtually every major retailer in the country its Yorkshire Tea and cafetière coffees are still winners for independents. Union Hand-Roasted proved to be the most popular coffee brand but the results included a number of local artisan roasteries and mainstream brands like Illy.

Jams & Preserves 1st Cottage Delight 2nd Rosebud Preserves 3rd Tiptree 4th Thursday Cottage Joint 5th Kitchen Garden/Ouse Valley/Pickled Village/Hawkshead Relish In a closely fought category, Cottage Delight came out on top, with a number of retailers naming its classic strawberry extra jam as a top seller. Strong support for Yorkshire-based Rosebud Preserves’ Seville marmalade helped it pip Tiptree and sister brand Thursday Cottage to second. While the top of the tree is made up of national suppliers, there was a proliferation of producers nominated, hence the crowded fifth place. Below them are a number of smaller producers (including several we didn’t recognise) demonstrating the continued importance of provenance and local sourcing to delis and farm shops.


INTERVIEW Gary Johnston, sales director, Cottage Delight

1st teapigs 2nd Taylor’s of Harrogate 3rd Union Hand Roasted Coffee


Despite amassing a range of around 700 lines, spanning a host of categories, the products Cottage Delight began making nearly 40 years ago remain a cornerstone of the business. Jams and chutneys were some of the first products founder Nigel Cope developed in his home kitchen and today the category accounts for nearly a quarter of the Staffordshire-based firm’s sales. “Success comes from our homemade taste,” sales director Gary Johnston tells us. “Our production methods remain the same – small batch production, hand-poured strawberry jam and so forth. We are experts in our core business and, as always, our focus is on taste beyond everything else.” Johnston says Cottage Delight will have new jams and chutneys in 2013 following on from the success of lines like the Sherry Trifle jam launched this year. “There is a critical balance between our much loved existing products and bringing new concepts to market. “New product development is an essential part of our persona. We are known as leaders in innovation.” Johnston says additions and improvements to the catalogue are now expected of a brand that has grown to be one of the most recognised in speciality food and drink. He adds that this reputation is a result of Cottage Delight’s “essential” independent-only policy and backing up its marketing with in-store tastings. “Ours is a story based on passion for taste and quality, which has never been distracted by the pressures of supplying the supermarkets. “We succeed because we are differentiated, because we support the independent retailer, and because we promote the taste and quality of our products to our consumer.”


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BEST BRANDS SURVEY 2012 Pickles & Chutneys 1st Tracklements 2nd Cottage Delight 3rd Ouse Valley Tracklements was a long way out in front of the other brands in this category. This was largely down to votes for the Wiltshire-based firm’s signature onion marmalade, which has become an ever-present on independents’ shelves up and down the country since its launch in 1999. While Cottage Delight’s repertoire covers a good number of categories these days, the outcome of the survey shows that it continues to excel in its core areas. The producer’s sweet apple chutney was highlighted several times by respondents. Ouse Valley’s cheeseboard chutney was a product mentioned frequently last year and its continued popularity in 2012 bagged the Sussex preserve specialist third place.

Chocolates & Sweets 1st Montezuma’s 2nd House of Dorchester 3rd Divine chocolates 4th Green & Black’s 5th James Chocolates In a repeat of last year’s result, south coast chocolatier Montezuma’s was the clear winner in this group. In particular, its range of bars garnered strong support from respondents, especially the darker varieties. There was very little to separate the other brands in a category dominated by larger producers. Of the numerous local and smaller scale producers nominated, Somerset’s James Chocolates was the most popular among retailers.

Biscuits 1st The Fine Cheese Co. 2nd Artisan Biscuits 3rd Teoni’s Cookies 4th Border Biscuits 5th Fudges As was the case in last year’s survey, savoury lines received the bulk of the nominations in this category. Of these, the majority of votes were for The Fine Cheese Co and its sister company Artisan Biscuits, although they have traded 1st and 2nd places. Fine Cheese’s Toast for Cheese received the most votes while the Miller’s Damsel range of crackers, made by Artisan, was another of the most frequently mentioned products. Border and Fudges are clearly still staple brands for many speciality retailers but the surprise entry this year was Devon-based Teoni’s Cookies, whose shortbreads and dipped cookies were both highlighted as top sellers.

Distributors Joint 1st Cotswold Fayre/ Hider Foods 2nd The Cress Company 3rd Brindisa 4th Rowcliffe Joint 5th Fratelli Camisa/ DW Holleys It’s interesting to see Cotswold Fayre and Hider – traditionally seen as serving the south and north of England respectively – tying for first place. Scotland’s The Cress Company, the newest firm in this list, is clearly gaining a foothold in speciality food and has recently opened another depot south of the border. That said, retailers are also very happy with the service they receive from Continental food specialists.



BEST BRANDS SURVEY 2012 Crisps & Snacks 1st Pipers Crisps 2nd Tyrrells 3rd Olives Et Al 4th Burt’s Chips 5th Yorkshire Crisps It may look like a small shift but last year’s runnerup, the staunchly independents-only Pipers Crisps, has nabbed top spot from Tyrrells. Despite its growth into the multiples and export markets, as well as acquiring vegetable crisp producer Glennans (last year’s third place), Tyrrells continues to enjoy a large share of the independent retail sector. Nominations for Olives Et Al’s range of snack products, including its Habas Fritas, ensured that the crowded speciality crisp sector didn’t completely dominate the list.

Drinks 1st Fentimans 2nd San Pellegrino 3rd Luscombe 4th Belvoir Fruit Farms Joint 5th Breckland Orchard/ Bundaberg/Orchard Pig After a tight contest last year, Fentimans was the clear winner this time around in a category full of big national and international brands. Every one of its traditionally styled core range (ginger beer, Victorian lemonade, Dandelion & Burdock and Curiosity Cola) was flagged up by retailers as their best-selling drinks. Elderflower-flavoured products, including Belvoir Fruit Farm’s elderflower cordial and Luscombe’s elderflower bubbly, were highlighted across the board as were locally produced apple juices. Despite their size and global reach, Nestlé-owned Italian brand San Pellegrino and Australian ginger beer Bundaberg clearly have some cachet in the speciality sector.



INTERVIEW Alex Albone, founder, Pipers Crisps Being named the best speciality snack brand ahead of your rivals is bound to put a smile on your face but it’s not the only the only reason Alex Albone has to be cheerful. Pipers founder tells us that his firm is on course for year-on-year sales growth of 30% by the end of its financial year in January. Its Lincolnshire factory is running 24 hours a day and Albone is currently looking to add to his 46-strong workforce by hiring five more sales staff. “In this devilish world of depression and recession it’s nice to think that we’re a company that’s recruiting,” he says. Set up less than a decade ago, “selling 20 boxes of crisps to a mate with four pubs”, Pipers now supplies in the region of 3,000 outlets across the retail and foodservice sectors. Albone is keen to stress that his principles have never changed. “We separate ourselves from the crowd. We make our own crisps, in our own factory and have done so from Day One,” he says, adding that there’s plenty more market share out there, without chasing the volume orders that some of his competitors have. “There are lots of places where you can find packets of crisps but I can guarantee what you’re not going to find is a packet of our crisps in Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda or Waitrose.” Albone says that being named a Best Brand, along with continued sales growth, justifies the decision last year to overhaul his pack design – a move intended to improve visibility and project a clearer message. Next year, he plans to master the use of social media and hire those five new sales people as well as looking at more export business.









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treasure HUNTERS Sam Rosen-Nash Fortnum & Mason Looking after the savoury grocery ranges at F&M’s famous Piccadilly store, Sam Rosen-Nash (left) is one of the speciality food market’s most influential buyers and is a regular judge on the annual Olives Et Al Deli of the Year competition.

Rubies in the Rubble chutneys “Rubies in the Rubble was started by a disillusioned hedge fund manager, Jenny Dawson. She wanted a job that would contribute positively to the environment and people around her. Jenny started making chutneys using waste fruit and veg from markets that would otherwise be thrown away, and employs staff from disadvantaged backgrounds who would otherwise find it hard to get work. Her aim is to build on this model in other parts of the country. We think her chutneys are delicious and are a really positive addition to our condiment offering.”

Isabelle Plasschaert

Forage Fine Foods spices and ingredients “A range of rubs, spice blends and other store-cupboard ingredients – wild, seasonal, sensational and bursting with flavour. From wild seasonings to sweet syrups, these magical products celebrate our food heritage and capture the essence of the changing seasons.”



EMERGING BRANDS Every speciality food store needs its core range of big sellers, but what are the Best Brands of tomorrow? We asked 10 influential buyers and food writers to reveal their best new additions of the last 12 months

Neville Jones Bodnant Welsh Food Centre, North Wales Neville Jones is business development manager at the recently opened Bodnant Welsh Food Centre in the Conwy Valley. He says the brands featured here are selling strongly alongside local primary produce like 28-day dry-aged Welsh Black beef and the Bodnant Estate’s own lamb.

The Potted Game Co potted meats “A partnership between two young chefs, Jemima and Rory, who say they are ‘united by a shared love of British food and indeed all things edible – especially produce purloined from the wild’.” English saffron “In the Middle Ages, England was one of the greatest producers of saffron – the world’s most expensive spice – before Europe and the Middle East became the centre of the trade. Now, English Saffron, a small family business, has reintroduced the art of saffron cultivation to Essex. English Saffron is sweet, with its heavy honey perfume and deep golden colour.”

Cwt Caws Peli Pabo goats’ cheese “This delicious, creamy, awardwinning Welsh cheese is marinated in sunflower oil and comes in three flavours: plain, garlic and chilli. It’s a unique Welsh product, with subtle hints of the goat – not overpowering.”

Duke of Delhi snacks “A range of delicious snacks, based on Indian street food, using authentic Indian flavours with an element of British spirit. They include Orange & Nut Delhi Mix, Honeycomb & Nut Delhi Mix and the most unusual – but best-selling – Chocolate Chunk Delhi mix. Duke of Delhi was started by a brother and sister team, drawing inspiration from their native India, and the brand now sells really successfully at markets as well as in Fortnum & Mason.”

Pant Glas blackcurrant & liquorice jam “A beautiful, unique jam and a Welsh True Taste gold award winner. Infusing the liquorice into the blackcurrant gives it an original, nostalgic flavour – not to be missed.”

Smoke & Pickle French onion soup “This is a new version of a great classic, cooked for many hours in the traditional way, with sweet caramelised onions combined with red wine and beef stock.” Fine Feathers quail eggs “Quails eggs are more nutritious than chicken eggs. They’re smaller but contain higher levels of protein, calcium, iron, Vitamin B1 & B2, and contain HDL, the ‘good’ cholesterol.”

Daffodil layered yoghurts “These yoghurts, made with local Welsh milk, look different, as they’re packed in clear pots, so customers can see exactly what’s inside.”



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William Curley Chocolates “William Curley’s exclusive Belgravia boutique is only a stone’s throw from our shop so listing him as a concession partner made perfect sense to us. The quality and presentation of these exclusive chocolates blew me away when I first tried them. In particular, seek out the rosemary & olive oil, Japanese black vinegar and Yuzu chocolates. William combines these alternative flavours to his couverture of choice, Amedei, to produce glossy, delicate, perfectly balanced results.”

Harrods, London As purchasing manager for Harrods’ food halls, Scott Winston was a Great Taste supreme judge in 2012 and a member of our Feed The Dragon buyers’ panel at Harrogate Speciality Food Show. His new additions this year include many specialities that other retailers won’t be getting hold of, such as mince pies and hedgerow fruit preserves developed exclusively for Harrods by food writer Rose Prince. Others are available to the wider trade… Hobbs House Bakery bread “We recently listed artisan bakery Hobbs House of ‘Fabulous Baking Brothers’ fame. The guys are fantastic and the bread is even better. My particular favourite is Country Grain Loaf, packed with flavour from the linseed, oat flakes, sunflower and sesame seeds.”

Blu ’61 Cheese “This soft, cows’ milk blue from La Casearia Carpenedo, based near Treviso in Italy, was a revelation to me when I first tried it. It’s aged for 60 days before being matured in red wine, and is packed with rich flavours and character.” TWG Tea’s Silver Moon green tea “Singapore brand TWG burst onto the tea scene a few years back. Their delicate flavoured teas are truly amazing and have been a big hit with our customers. The Silver Moon green tea is a particular favourite of mine, displaying a typically mellow green tea character.” En-k by Kaviari “Some products are always presented in a traditional format, which really highlights things that come along breaking the mould. En-K was that product for me this year. The 10g ‘shots’ of good quality farmed Bari caviar are presented in a unique, custom designed tin, available in vibrant and sophisticated colours. They have many applications, from gifting to dinner parties, and are really fun.”

Paul Castle

Bath Harvest cold pressed rapeseed oil. “This looks amazing on-shelf as well as being fantastic to cook with. A smooth, fresh, mild taste gives the hint that it‘s a true rapeseed oil without that overpowering greasy texture often experienced in poorer quality oils.”

Farringtons Farm Shop, nr Bristol Many of the best new lines of 2012 at the multiaward winning Farrington’s were own-label products, says business manager Paul Castle, but here are some of this year’s other stand-out additions.

Bear pure fruit Yo Yo rolls “Our sales of these new-design products just go from strength to strength. The wording on the product is just excellent, and the fact they say ‘with no added nonsense’ just sums it up.”

Saison condiments for cooks “Great flavours, plenty of testers and a really versatile product to cross-merchandise. When customers smell the ‘sniff me’ testers you see their taste-buds working overtime.”

Mrs Crimbles gluten- and wheat-free products “These are high quality in taste and look, so you’re not treating customers with allergies as second-class citizens. The care that has gone into these products is apparent from the words used to describe them: ‘Let’s bake love’, and with more and more people suffering with intolerances this is a growing market.”

GS Food pesto “The pesto Simon Richardson provides for our deli is amazing. The texture is robust, giving you the experience of each ingredient coming together in one delightful flavour. The basil and pine nuts are easily indentified with just a hint of garlic, none of which excludes the smooth flavour of the Pecorino Romano cheese.”

Heavenly Hedgerows preserves & liqueurs “These are hand-made artisan products with excellent fruits and berries turned into the most amazing jams, preserves and even sloe gin.”



EMERGING BRANDS Susan Low delicious. magazine Food journalist Susan Low is deputy editor of delicious. magazine, the monthly “unashamed celebration of food”, and a regular judge in the annual Olives Et Al Deli of the Year competition.

Abby Knight Suffolk Food Hall, Ipswich Abbie Hall is food hall manager and chief buyer at the Suffolk Food Hall, and is described by the farming family behind the business as a ‘Suffolk food star’. At only 24, she supervises over 50 staff and runs grocery, delicatessen, off-licence, chocolatier and gift departments with combined annual sales of £1.5 million. Bonny Mallows “Whether for a winter warmer or a summertime treat, these handmade marshmallow pops from Bonny Confectionery are really original.”

Belazu Balsamic Pearls “Another innovative product from a well-regarded brand. These pearl-like balsamic droplets look beautiful and, when bitten into, have a great tangy pop on the palate.”

The Potted Game Co potted meats & fish “There are lots of mediocre patés out there, so the range from the Potted Game Company are commendable for the high quality of the meat and fish they use, and the subtle but well-considered spices and flavourings.” Juna juices “These pure-fruit tropical juices are astoundingly good. Three of the range of four juices, made from Colombian fruits and berries, taste like nothing else in the UK, and the fourth, mango juice, puts most other examples in the shade.” Sipsmith Summer Cup “Until recently there were few alternatives to Pimms, easily the best known fruit cup around. The Sipsmith boys have brought the gin-based concoction bang up to date, spicing it up with the likes of Earl Grey and cucumber flavours.”



Bacon Jam This is produced by Patchwork on behalf of Eat 17, a north London restaurant business. So is it a jam, a spread or a relish? Who cares – it’ll sell well, and, although ambient, it sells even better from a multideck.” Ooomeringues “It’s not often that we have complete unanimity on a proposal at our weekly product review meeting, but we did about these handmade meringues from mid-Wales.” English truffle oils “Made with English truffles and Cotswold rapeseed oil, and supplied by The Truffle Hunter, this is something for those who delight in all things local – and it’s a good hamper upsell.”

Diane Brown Provender Brown, Perth, Scotland Diane Brown’s beautiful deli in George Street, Perth, is regularly listed among the best speciality food stores in the UK.

Hebridean Sea Salt “White, crunchy sea salt flakes that melt in the mouth. The salt is handharvested in small batches using Hebridean seawater, and despite its hefty price tag (£2.99 for 150g), has been out-selling the better known brands since we introduced it in the summer.” Katy Rodgers artisan dairy yoghurts “It’s great to have finally found a range of really fantastic, locally made yoghurts. These are produced on a farm in Stirlingshire with milk from their herd of British Friesian cattle and contain nothing artificial.”

Jules & Sharpie’s Saucish “It’s been a busy year of change for local heroes Jules & Sharpie [Julie Field and Frances Hopewell-Smith have sold their hot pepper preserves business to Thursday Cottage] but the sales of their halfsauce, half-relish continue to ‘hot’ up.”  Seggiano fig balls “These are not totally original, but they’re new to us. They complement cheese and charcuterie and (allegedly) are great served warm with mascarpone.” Mic’s Chilli BBQ sauce “Made in Co Wicklow in Ireland, this barbecue sauce proves that new products don’t need to be original, they just need to ‘do it’ well.”

Raw chocolate by Ailey Mae/ IQ Superfood chocolate “Claiming superfood status, raw chocolate seems to be the big new thing. We’ve introduced two new ranges, both Scottish but both very different. Ailey Mae’s has a gorgeous, ganacheytexture and comes in wonderfully exotic flavours such as pistachio and rose. The IQ range has more of a traditional brittle texture and is made with single-origin beans sweetened with coconut blossom nectar.” Braes o’ Gowrie sparkling nonalcoholic elderberry wine “From the mad but lovely people at Cairn O’Mohr, this is a red alternative to the longer established sparkling elderflower. It’s fresh and fizzy and, although slightly sweet, is not at all sickly.” Willie’s Cacao fruit range “More of Willie’s wonderful single-origin chocolate but this time with additions – hazelnut & raisin, orange, and ginger & lime.”

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EMERGING BRANDS David Greenman & Debbie Atherton Arch House Deli, Clifton, Bristol The owners of the 2011-12 Olives Et Al Deli of the Year have tried to focus on local, niche suppliers in 2012, so many of their favourites are from the South West. “All these local producers have been keen to back up their products with tastings at the deli,” says David Greenman.

Robert Thain The House of Bruar, Blair Atholl, Perthshire Selling everything from jewellery to shooting wear, The House of Bruar is Scotland’s most prestigious independent store. Its food hall, where Robert Thain is food buying manager, is described as “a true Mecca for the gourmet”.

The Bath Food Company chutneys “It was very important to Lisa and Nick Smith of the Bath Food Co to create a range that was not standard ‘off the shelf’ items. These chutneys match what we’re looking for in new products: they’re local, beautifully packaged and, most importantly, they taste fantastic.” Heavenly Hedgerows liqueurs and preserves “All Heavenly Hedgerows’ produce is collected in and around Keynsham, just outside Bristol, and bottled in ‘treat-size’ jars within a day of picking to retain all the goodness that fresh fruit provides. We currently stock their vodka, jam and honey.” Norcotts flavoured ciders “When Chris Norcott brought in a local cider made with elderflower, it was ticking so many boxes that we had to give it a go. We now stock four of the range: elderflower, cranberry, pear and orange & raspberry. We already stock Sheppy’s cider and these new ciders are made with their help, so we knew they would be great.” Artisan Kitchen preserves ”The Artisan Kitchen preserves, jams, marmalades and pickles are handmade and homemade – literally – in small batches in a big copper pot bubbling away at the heart of a small Gloucester kitchen. We loved the range of unusual but really tasty flavours, including raspberry & chocolate jam, Seville orange cacao marmalade and tutti frutti jam.”   Saison salts and sugars “We’ve worked with Richard Mabb before with his Gustosecco [dry rice and grain mix] products and now we're stocking his latest creations of flavoured salts and sugars.”

Nevis Bakery apple & cinnamon cake “Established over 25 years ago, this awardwinning bakery has just created another fantastic product, this time pairing the flavours of apple and cinnamon into an incredibly moist and light loaf cake.” Cawston Press sparkling juices “This year Cawston Press has extended its original blends of juice to sparkling, bottled versions. We’re stocking sparkling cloudy apple, sparkling apple & rhubarb, sparkling ginger beer and sparkling lemon & lime. The apple & rhubarb is something a little different – a fantastic combination of sharp and sweet.”

Allan’s Chilli Jellies “Created by Allan Ferguson – ‘Allan the builder’ – in Abernethy, near Perth, this is the ultimate in chilli jellies. There are few out there that are as packed with flavour as this one. Relatively mild on the heat scale, the traditional chilli jelly is outstanding with ham, paté and stir frys or spread on cheese-on-toast. There’s also a hot chilli jelly for those who love a bit of a kick – plenty of heat without compromising on a fantastic flavour.”

Jane Curran Woman & Home magazine A member of the 2012 Great Taste supreme judging panel, Jane Curran is food editor of Woman & Home

Kent Crisps beef & Spitfire Ale crisps “I just love the utter ‘Britishness’ of these, thanks to the link with one of our great family-owned brewers.” The Potted Fish Co’s Old English potted crab. “I hope this does well – we need more people to eat our British crab rather than seeing them exported.”


Highland Bay frozen seafood “Highland Bay Seafood is the latest brand launched by Moray Holdings, which has been around since the 1950s. It calls Highland Bay “the home of gourmet Scottish seafood”. Fish and shellfish can be difficult for independents to handle, but Highland Bay is freezing the freshest and highest standard Scottish seafood, sustainably fished, to maintain a “fresh out the sea” quality. The range we’re carrying includes freshly frozen wholetail breaded Scottish scampi and, for something more extravagant, a whole, cooked, wild Scottish lobster – full of meat and packed with flavour.”

Hollows Alcoholic Ginger Beer “Refreshing, and a perfect drink to have with a curry.” Glenilen Farm handmade country butter “Couldn’t be more of a treat with a slice of Irish soda bread. Just how butter should taste.” Sipsmith Summer Cup “This is a turbo-charged Pimms, way punchier and more grown-up than the big brand.”

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Here’s a look back at the products that 2012’s Fine Food Digest's Delis of the Month couldn’t live without

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Thursday Cottage is famous for our lemon curd and we sell more than any other product we make. Perhaps the secret to success is the fact we start with whole fresh lemons which we juice and zest by hand. The result is a wonderfully lemony curd that has an army of followers both at home and abroad. Available in all good farm shops, delis, garden centres and food halls countrywide. thursday cottage ltd trewlands farm tiptree colchester essex co5 0rf Telephone: 01621 814529 Fax: 01621 814555



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Picked & packed We’ve found out which fine food brands have performed best for retailers in the past year, but what about their wholesale suppliers? We asked three top distributors to tell us about their current best-sellers.

Bespoke Foods Piers Adamson is MD of speciality food and drink importer Bespoke Foods. Alongside products from the firm’s more well-known brands like La Mortuacienne cloudy lemonade from France and French’s Classic BBQ sauce, Adamson says a number of newer lines have been selling well. San Marcos Mexican salsa “A key new performer for Bespoke Foods this year is the authentic Mexican range, San Marcos. Produced and packaged in Mexico, all products are made from traditional recipes and give the true taste of the country’s cuisine like this Mexican salsa, made with tomato, jalapeño peppers and coriander.” Clamato tomato juice cocktail “Created in California in 1969, Clamato is a popular drink ingredient in Canada, for the Bloody Caesar, and in Mexican beer cocktails called Cheladas. This tomato and clam based cocktail can also be used as an ingredient when cooking a variety of dishes.” Making Christmas Special small DIY gingerbread man kit “Following on from the success of larger gingerbread kits, our smaller 180g kit has performed extremely well this year. They are made by the Pertzborn family who have been producing gingerbread in Germany for generations. It’s do-it-yourself fun for all the family.”

Cotswold Fayre A variety of products have done the job for Cotswold Fayre in 2012, according to sales & supplier manager Robin Tyler. The list of top sellers features consistent performers like Prestat chocolates (this year’s big hit was sea salt caramel truffles) and Wessex Mill flours as well as newcomers to the distributor’s catalogue. Wild Appetite Eager Drinks “These New Zealand“There are no added made savoury, cooking, artificial flavours or dressing and dessert preservatives and these sauces stand out from are the only quality the crowd with their pressed and squeezed intriguing flavours and range of 1litre juices vibrant tastes. They also that do not need to look great on the shelf. be refrigerated until The best selling lines opened. Top sellers are the strawberry & include naturally sparkling wine chocolate sweetened cranberry sauce, avocado & garlic juice and cloudy apple dressing and the not-forjuice. Eager also produce the-faint-hearted Hot As juice drinks (250ml chilli sauce.” wedges) for children.” Crosta & Mollica The Curry Sauce Company “Introduced in “Britain's love of curry shows no January, this range sign of declining, and these sauces of authentic Italian and breads make it so easy to cook bakery goods has one at home. The bestselling lines quickly proved are Korma, Tikka Masala and Rogan popular with many customers. The most Josh sauces, and plain naan breads. They work particularly well for our popular lines are crostini, bruschettine customers that have a fresh meat counter.” and linguette.”

Heart Distribution Midlands specialist Heart Distribution continues to champion the region’s producers and give them a route to market. While recognised brands like Mr Trotter’s pork scratchings and Purity Brewing Co are on commercial manager Caoire Blakemore’s list of top sellers, it also features several smaller firms. The Soupery selection case “Soup sells and this alternative to Covent Garden gives our independents a point of difference. It is made using British (where they can) seasonal veg, which means the range refreshes to suit the seasons. Mixed cases make it easy for retailers to buy to suit their customers’ tastes.”

Madécasse Sea Salt & Nibs (75g & 25g) “Madécasse, another successful new brand for us this year, create ethically sourced single origin chocolate bars This, coupled with the interesting flavours available (like Sea Salt & Nibs) has seen it sell well.”

Coopers gourmet sausage roll “Bringing fresh life back to this household favourite, Coopers is one of our tastiest products. They are handmade using the best local ingredients, giving stores a unique range to sell.” Wenlock Spring still water “Bottled water is always popular, so a regional British offer was always going to be popular. As it is drawn from the spring in Much Wenlock – the name of one of the Olympic mascots – it’s been topical this year. This product is keenly priced and available in several formats from glass to plastic, sports cap to flatcap.”

Croome Cuisine Hereford Hop cheese “Hand blended, this is flavoursome and looks great. The hops around the outside make it an attractive addition to any cheeseboard.” Fatherson Bakery fairy cakes “Everyone likes cakes. Fatherson’s packaging conveys traditional farmhouse baking, and their quality makes customers return for more.” The Flavoured Butter Company garlic & parsley butter “It’s one of those products that makes your mouth water when you see it, whether you’re imagining it on garlic bread, potatoes or steak. It’s unique and incredibly versatile so staff can easily talk to customers about it.”



Just one of the compliments you can enjoy with Wright’s Bread Mixes Make your own delicious bread by hand or bread making machine Available in most supermarkets/Farm Shops and Fine Food Stores Why not try our great tasting, easy to make cake mixes too? visit our website

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Revisiting our Italian offer 1 200 ed in don d n . Lon s fou Italy o wa oved to C l ern i h a O t r m u t e I x o e S er Oliv glia, nd good s aft u The r P a e fi y e in issed not a few y hom dIm I ould n c m a u UK hat from hen, yo the ch t u t n i use m k l i wn o Bac ” so o ve o t i l y n o e ed t n di for m I decid he virgi fe ingre t i ing long t and t “li por t my fore m e i B arke d . ow te ends rough M ere. I n i star r f h o y d t B m in s an om and stall rown fr taurant a open ss has g f res e ion o ry. n t i c s e u l t uct b se coun prod o, ly a e t p h n p t e i u s ss onn nc acro his a ather, N ly s t i l r e o f d f d mi s gran s like fa ssion a y olive p m the My ree m t t o a r e f . v k s s li oo dnes stem eated o till l e fon yIs tr a m o d a h o w .T th s bers t wi mem har ves ng duri anco ilo M Dan

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One of the projects we had this year was to look closely again at our Italian cheese range and were pleased to appoint our own Agent in Italy to ensure we have a comprehensive and top quality selection. Paolo has really come up with the goods and we have a superb Parmesan maker in Ambrosi who provide us with whole cheeses, 2kg cuts, wedges, grated and shaved options. The Taleggio by Casarrigoni is premier quality with a sweet buttery flavour and the Gorgonzolas, both sweet and picante hit all the right notes. Our 125gr Buffalo Mozzarella now from Cantile comes in a tub to avoid damages and we have extended the Mozzarella range to include 125g cows milk Mozzarella ‘cherries’ as well as 125gr Buffalo bocconcini. The real star is the Burrata which is available to order because of its short life but they are only in cases of 6 and have become a “talking point “ as customers are ordering in advance for this cream enriched cows milk Mozzarella. 01892 838999

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DELI OF THE YEAR The third Deli of the Year competition, run by Olives Et Al, again put the spotlight on some of fine food retailing’s brightest stars. The national and regional winners spoke to MICHAEL LANE and MICK WHITWORTH

Winner Delilah Fine Foods, Nottingham When FFD interviewed Sangita Tryner in September 2012, just a week after winning the 2012 Olives Et Al Deli of the Year title, she sounded more than a little nervous. Just when she should have been celebrating her victory, she was preparing to move her muchadmired Delilah deli and café from its established site in Nottingham’s Middle Pavement to a new, vastly bigger space in Victoria Street. Would the move work, or would she alienate too many regulars and over-stretch herself financially and operationally? When we speak again in December, she doesn’t sound nervous, just a bit knackered – in a good way. “The shop is so busy,” she says. “It has been the maddest two months. We’ve opened a monster,” The ‘old’ Delilah was a 1,000 sq ft deli-café with that Aladdin’s Cave feel that comes from cramming the maximum number of deli specialities into the smallest space. It’s bestloved feature was a central, nineseater deli bar, where locals could pop in during the day or evening for a glass of wine, a sandwich, a plate of tapas or a full meal, prepared by the deli’s multi-skilled, foodie staff. The ‘new’ Delilah, on the other hand, is at least four times the size, with a15-seater bar and a further 50-plus cover sit-down eating area. Tryner and her husband Richard have bought the freehold to the grand former HSBC bank at 12 Victoria Street, and added a mezzanine floor where diners can overlook the core retail area. With limited funds remaining after the purchase, Tryer has reused a number of the shopfitting elements from the original store, helping to ensure that the awardwinning look and feel of the Middle Pavement unit have been successfully carried over. And despite all the extra floorspace, the retail section still has the same sense of plenty, as you can see from the images printed here. “I think I’ve only had one customer say they didn’t like the move,” says Tryner, “and that’s because the old shop was so much more convenient for them. It’s no distance really [the shop has only moved a few hundred yards] but I can see that if you’re on a lunchbreak it might be a bit further to walk. And because we’re busier, it might take a bit longer to get served. “But with 90% of people, you can almost see their jaws drop as they walk through the door. They tell


DELI OF THE YEAR us it’s like being in New York.” Locals seem relieved that the overall feel of Delilah has not changed. “The kind of comments we’re getting are, ‘I’m glad to see you’ve kept the cheese counter’. And of course, we have much the same team of people working here. So the ethos is: ‘The same, but bigger’.” Back in September, Tryner was adamant she wanted to bring the old Delilah into the new space, rather than start with a clean sheet. In particular, that meant preparing food freshly using ingredients from the deli and varying the offer regularly, not becoming a glorified sandwich bar with a stripped-down corporate-style menu. Given the number of café-restaurant covers she has now added, this has proved challenging. “We’ve stuck to our principles, and that unfortunately means that if there are 70 covers all sitting down at once it’s going to take time to serve everyone. But if they want ready-made stuff they can go to Pret round the corner.” Tryner sees the deli and café operations as inseperable. “When I look around London I’m stunned by the way that places like Villandry have gone down the foodservice

route and taken out their delis.” She wants Delilah to stand for “the true essence of a deli, where it’s all about the quality of the product rather than the number of tables you can turn”. If that means waiting a little longer to be served, so be it.

Sangita Tryner, pictured below with deli manager Nik Tooley, says: ‘If customers want readymade stuff they can go to Pret round the corner’



BEST OF THE REST Best Deli in the West Midlands Truffles, Ross on Wye, Herefordshire “The amount of stock we carry is quite high. We’re packed to the rafters,” owner Richard Mayo tells us, but that hasn’t stopped him shopping around and tweaking the offer at Truffles. “We’re checking margins all the time and always looking for new suppliers,” he says. “Some of our cheeses are local but with the national cheese suppliers you have to compare [prices] all the time.” Mayo admits that he has tried some new categories that haven’t worked out. He introduced baby food this year thinking it might appeal to the numerous regular shoppers with pushchairs and prams but sales never took off. Mayo also dabbled with fruit and veg this year but lacked room in his chillers for a profitable volume of stock. Herefordshire’s most famous exports, cider and perry, have served Mayo well this year. His five-shelf feature display, 30 bottles long, now houses 100 lines from 21 different local producers. Customers have also embraced Truffles’ range of 40 loose herbs and spices, which Mayo sells “cheaper than Schwarz refills in the supermarket”. | 01259 751846 FINE FOOD DIGEST BEST BRANDS 2012-13


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Best Deli in the North East Haley & Clifford, Leeds Val Berry’s deli is one of two returning regional champions this year. While a year-on-year 10% sales increase on an otherwise struggling street is a testament to Berry’s strong relationship with customers and suppliers, there have been a few changes. The main difference this year has been the addition of a breakfast bar to accommodate more café customers. “I have always been clear that we're a deli with a couple of tables rather than a café,” she explains. “However, we watched people come in day after day,

see our tables are full, and leave, which is pretty heart-breaking.” The upshot, says Berry, has been a noticeable increase in sales and the re-jig has made the small deli look bigger. Haley & Clifford has also expanded its catering repetoire with a discreet ‘Bring a Dish’ service that has proved popular with customers hosting dinner parties. The deli’s chefs will prepare food on a customer’s own dish and party guests will be none the wiser unless the host confesses.

Best Deli in Northern Ireland Arcadia Delicatessen, Belfast Arcadia is the other deli in the competition to have retained its regional crown. Mark Brown, who runs the business with wife Laura, says this is partly to do with using Facebook and twitter more – a plan he revealed to FFD last year. “The votes came online. I was banging on about social media last year and it’s getting more important.” Brown says that social media is the only way to encourage a younger generation of shoppers to come into Arcadia. “The problem with delis is the intimidation factor and you need to overcome it,” he says. “The younger generation has grown up

with Tesco and they’ve lost the art of going and asking for 100g of this or a half pound of that.” This Christmas, the Browns’ have begun selling hampers from their website, and it’s a move that has seen orders flood in. Hamper sales have also led Brown to pursue another avenue after his ‘local’ hamper outsold the other varieties by some distance. With products like Broighter Gold rapeseed oil proving such a hit he is looking to go even more local and has enlisted chefs looking to make money on their days off, to make soups, pies and cakes to sell in store.

Best Deli in the South West Sue Belcher, Bloomfields Fine Foods, Highworth, Swindon You know you’re doing something right when the local MP is willing to go on the record about his love for your scotch eggs. Politician Justin Tomlinson has also name-checked Bloomfields in the House of Commons as a local success story. Ever since she set up this branch of Bloomfields (there is another deli in nearby Shrivenam and a café in Watchfield near Swindon) in 2009, owner Sue Belcher has strived to keep her food miles as low as possible. While her team make a good deal of products in-house, including the famous scotch eggs, Belcher also sources a range of goods from small producers within

a 30-mile radius. Alongside traditional “local” lines such as rapeseed oil and honey are items like her recent find: handmade doughnuts from Stroud. “At the beginning I had to go out to find people at farmer’s markets and try to persuade them to supply our shops,” says Belcher. “Now they are coming to me.” The uniqueness of these products means she can get good margins but not everything has been an instant hit. She has also persevered with notoriously tricky organic vegetables and is now beginning to see some sales.



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DELI OF THE YEAR Best Deli in Wales Ultracomida, Aberystwyth Shumana Palit was shocked to find a review on TripAdvisor praising all five Ultracomida restaurants. Quite an achievement when you’ve only got two. For Palit, who runs Ultracomida with partner Paul Grimwood, this was testament to the strong brand they’ve grown through their two deli-restaurants in Aberystwyth and Narberth as well as a specialist Spanish food wholesaling business. “The stronger the identity the better you will do,” she tells us. Determined to avoid becoming an identikit deli, Palit and Grimwood have created a unique

mix of Spanish foods, which they also sell to other delis, as well as French and Welsh products.“If you’re in an inner city it may make more sense to specialise in one thing,” she says. “Customers can go across the road for Italian food or down the road for cured Eastern European meat. In the middle of nowhere like us, it’s really important [to have a mix].” While Palit says the diversification of Ultracomida, particularly the restaurant side, has helped maintain the delis, they still remain the “heart of the business”.

Best Deli in the North West Delifonseca Dockside, Liverpool Two-outlet retailer Candice Fonseca says setting up a delirestaurant on Merseyside was easier the second time around. “You realise the things that will make you money and the things that don’t,” she says. “And you already have a network of suppliers and servicing engineers.” Even so, her newer outlet on Brunswick Quay is a different proposition to the Stanley Street shop and restaurant in the city centre. Fonseca says that Dockside is targeting a different type of customer: families and middleaged couples that live in the suburbs south of Liverpool. “People want to be able to drive and park outside. That was the main reason for choosing the location,” she says, adding

that the size of the former Harry Ramsden’s site allows her to provide a “complete shop” including a wine section, fresh produce and a butchery concession run by local firm Brough’s, as well as the restaurant element that is so crucial to the Delifonseca formula. While Liverpool One shopping centre and the council’s decision to reverse the traffic direction on Stanley Street have affected footfall at the original store, Dockside has no such problem. The 90-space car pack outside is a big draw for customers, and the office building and Travelodge that share it with Fonseca also boost trade in both the shop and the restaurant.

Best Deli in the South East Butchers Hall and Country Grocer, Forest Green, Surrey “We consider ourselves a proper farm shop. A lot of farm shops just buy things in and sell them on but it is about our produce,” says Lucinda Perks, who runs the Butchers Hall and Country Grocer with her sister Vicky Gotto. As well as meat reared on the Gotto family’s farm, the store also produces its own charcuterie, hams, terrine and pies. Bread and cakes are also baked daily. Not bad for an operation that began as a small shop in the family’s pub, The Parrot Inn, seven years ago. Now it is housed in a 1,500 sq ft barn next door. Perks admits that not every single item is grown locally but



being “too puritanical” would limit basket sizes, especially given the shop’s remote location. The pub has helped promote the farm shop as well as reduce wastage while the original shop within the pub is now used as “emergency shop” and diners can also pick up pre-ordered food on their way out. In the next 12 months, Perks plans to start wholesaling the meat and charcuterie produced in-house and will also set up an online shop. “You always have to look for new ways to make money. Diversification is the only way.”

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DELI OF THE YEAR Welcome to the ‘Independent Republic of Me’

Best Deli in London The Alberts Deli, Richmond Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day at The Alberts Deli in Richmond, south west London. Whether it's the ‘Full Alberts’, waffles with maple syrup or butties for passing commuters, early morning trade has helped the deli “not only survive but thrive”, according to manager CathySue Hope. When Hope opened the deli “in the depths of depression” at the end of 2008 with Janice Timothy, who also owns Grove Park Deli in nearby Chiswick, she says it was tricky to work out what customers wanted. Within 18 months, she had installed a couple of induction hobs, two small ovens and two small fridges. The demand for food produced in-house, particularly breakfast, is partly fuelled by the deli’s location. Everyone who lives in Richmond’s Alberts area – essentially a series of cul-de-sacs – has to pass it on the way to the station. While trade is steady throughout the day, with the coffee machine going “non-stop from 7:30”, Hope is always looking to keep her food and stock fresh. “You can lose customers, not because there’s anything wrong, but because they want change,” she says. “You have to keep something evolving and changing, even if the core product is good.”

Best Deli in Scotland The Scottish Deli, Dunkeld This store, which has been a deli under the Robert Menzies name for more than 50 years, is the second of Alec Cruikshank’s two Scottish Delis. Its shelves are filled with “Scotland’s finest produce coupled with international delicacies” with one of its specialities being cheese from north of the border (it claims to have one of the largest selections of any deli in Scotland). The Dunkled outlet also has a separate wine room, featuring both everyday and “fine” wines. As well as its range of local artisan products, the business has its own production kitchen making soups, ready-meals and baked goods for sale in the shop. The Scottish Deli prides itself on making “The Best Sandwiches in Scotland”.

ambience. Oh, and actually making eye contact with the customer. “They’re not trying to copy someone else,” Henschel says, “or to be all things to all people. They have very fixed ideas of what their Running a great independent shop should be, and that’s what food shop takes a supersized makes them successful.” portion of self-belief, Deli of the He adds: “You can almost see it Year organiser Giles Henschel in their body language. They can be tells MICK WHITWORTH quite blunt, but they’re also busy, bustling and focused.” A second common factor is in It’s three years since Olives Et Al the store layout, Henschel says, launched the Deli of the Year whether in the larger units like scheme, but 2012 is the first year Liverpool’s Delifonseca Dockside or in which the company’s co-founder, the smaller stores like Alberts Deli Giles Henschel, has visited every in Richmond, south-west London. regional winner, from Arcadia “They almost all set out their shops in Belfast to The Scottish Deli in in the way Capability Brown would Dunkeld and The Albert Deli in have designed a great garden: every London. time you turn a corner it opens Although he oversees the judging up a new vista. The best shops process, Henschel has distanced have sight-lines that lead your eye himself from the final decisiontowards something inspiring, and making to overcome the inevitable you’re constantly accusations of discovering bias toward Olives something new.” Et Al clients. (For At Delifonseca, the record, this he says, while there year’s national are no floor-tochampion doesn‘t ceiling fixtures to buy her loose olives completely hide from the Dorset sections of the company.) But this store, island shelf September, with units have been all the winners carefully angled safely announced, to “nudge you Henschel hopped towards different into his Saab sightlines”. convertible and hit Olives Et Al founder There’s also a the road, not just Giles Henschel common theme in to deliver a big vinyl the way this year’s banner for each winners merchandise their ambient winner to display outside their shop, shelves, using two or more facings of but to get a first-hand feel for what the same product to create a block makes Britain’s best delis tick. of colour and provide visual impact After what he described as “an without the potential confusion epic trip covering 1,442 miles, three and clutter of some ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ flights, two hotels and one couch”, outlets. Henschel concluded the best delis “For me, the most successful have just two or three characteristics displays were the ones with multiple in common. And the biggest of facings,” says Henschel. “They never these is a level of self-belief among just had a single facing. Ultracomida their bosses that would make [in Aberystwyth] used multiple Napoleon blush. facings in spades, and nearly all of “All these deli owners are Sangita Tryner’s products at Delilah running a little fiefdom – an were at least double-faced.” ‘Independent Republic of Me’,” This year’s winners range from he says. “They’re all very focused urban stores to a food hall in a on what they want to do and how converted barn behind a pub in they want to do it, they believe their rural Surrey. Most, Henschel notes, judgment is right and they don’t have one important advantage in give a stuff about what’s going on common: free parking, or at worst elsewhere.” easy access from a car park. Applied to a less successful Even those that don’t have the retailer this might be a criticism. ideal location or the ideal space In the case of the Deli of the make the very best use of what they Year finalists, it means they’re have. “I remember being taught, not constantly looking over their ‘You need to write your own history, shoulders at what the supermarkets not sit back and let it happen to are doing. Instead they concentrate you’,” he says. “And these people on the key points of difference really make the best out of what for any deli: displaying food with they have.” style, selling it with enthusiasm and knowledge, and creating a unique



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Now in its second year, Le Gruyère AOC’s Cheese Counter of the Year competition honours the best cheese displays that UK independents have to offer. PATRICK McGUIGAN checks out the winners


Paxton & Whitfield, Jermyn Street, London

Rhuaridh Buchanan, manager of Paxton & Whitfield’s Jermyn Street store, says it’s important to have a “grand presence” of cheese in a shop

With over 200 years of history under its belt Paxton & Whitfield is the undisputed grand old lady of British cheese retailing. The flagship Jermyn Street store is looking pretty spry for her age as well after a sympathetic facelift last year, which saw the shop completely refurbished. What was once a narrow gloomy space has been reborn as a bright, contemporary shop, which still does a good job of referencing its illustrious history. Concerns that Paxton & Whitfield traditionalists would not appreciate the new look have proved to be unfounded. “We were keen not alienate our long-standing customers and the refurb was absolutely welcomed by them,” says manager Rhuaridh Buchanan. “I think they like it because it’s lighter and there’s more space. It’s been laid out so that more of the shop is accessible to the customer. There’s more space to look around and interact with staff. We’ve seen double figure sales growth since we reopened.” Whole and half truckles of cheddar and wheels of Gruyère and Parmesan are stacked in theatrical towers that run almost the entire length of the shop, while dozens of pretty little soft cheeses are laid out in specially designed open chillers. It’s a visually stunning display of thousands of pounds worth of cheese, which owes much to the fact that the business has a thriving wholesale business with London restaurants and hotels. Buchanan explains: “It’s really important to have that grand presence of cheese in the shop, but your display can only be as big as your turnover of product will allow. “The wholesale guys take their stock from the shop floor, so we turn it really quickly. It means that a whole truckle of Montgomery’s on the counter will actually only be there for a few days.” The extra space provided by the refurb has helped push the product range from 140 cheeses to around 180, many of which are brought on in the new temperature-controlled maturing room in the basement. Cheese accessories, such as ownbrand chutneys, biscuits and beers, are also given more room to shine in the new shop. Around 60-70% of the cheeses are British, sourced directly from

producers. “We own all of a day’s production each month at [cheddar makers] Westcombe and Montgomery’s. It means we can grade cheeses that fit the Paxtons’ profile, which will be different to what you’d find at, say, Neal’s Yard. Our Montgomery’s is the most savoury and meaty of our cheddars. The Westcombe is much more fruity and creamy with more acidity. We want those different profiles. When they are grading their cheeses, Tom Calver and Jamie Montgomery have a good idea what’s going to suit us.” Paxtons also buys many of its European cheeses directly from producers on the Continent, including its Parmesan and Mozzarella, while famous French fromagerie Androuet acts as a bridge to many others. These close relationships with cheese-makers extend to helping producers develop new products. Cropwell Bishop’s new dolcelatte-style cheese Beauvale was trialled at Jermyn Street before being launched nationally. “It was a way for them to dip a toe in the water,” says Buchanan. “It initially only came to the London shop for a month or so, so it was in a really confined area where you could monitor customer reactions. We’ve also developed a few of our own cheeses, such as Aldwych, which is lovely little young bloomy rinded cheese from Pete Humphries [of White Lake Cheeses]. Those relationships are hugely important.” Sourcing good product is only one part of what makes a winning cheese counter, however. Staff who know their stuff and look after the cheese properly are arguably just as important. To this end, Paxtons has an in-house training scheme, which involves employees visiting cheese-makers and regular tasting sessions. Customers at the Jermyn Street store soon find themselves caught up in conversation with the enthusiastic staff, who are quick to offer tasters accompanied by interesting nuggets of information about the cheese and where it comes from. It all adds up to an engaging, exciting shopping experience, which is a world away from picking up a lump of vacuum-packed block cheddar from a strip-lit supermarket aisle.



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The Cheese Society, Lincoln No matter how you slice it, this shop in the heart of historic Lincoln has every angle covered when it comes to cheese. There’s a diverse cheese counter, a fantastic array of cheese accessories and a café where the menu pays full homage to cheese with double-baked cheese soufflé, raclette and fondue. Even the shelves are lined with great cheese books. Set up in 1997 by Kate O’Meara, the shop shows that small can be beautiful. The counter measures just a few metres across, with another fridge at the back of the shop, but it still manages to stock around 80 cheeses, 75% of which are British. “I’m always on the look-out for new producers and new cheese. I track them down and get them to send me samples. I try to deal directly with producers when I can,” says O’Meara. She is a devoted cheese enthusiast, who is constantly reading up on the subject and has been on cheese-making courses. This enthusiasm is passed on to staff with regular on-the-job training and tasting sessions, which translate into perceptive customer service. “Working out what a customer will like is a bit like being a doctor and assessing someone’s symptoms. If they say they like mild, I know not to prescribe Stinking Bishop!” she says. “You can tell by people’s expressions when they are tasting as well. People will always say something tastes fine, so you have to read their body language.”

Owner Kate O’Meara is always on the look-out for new producers and new cheese

Best of the Rest

Aston Marina Farm Shop, Stone, Staffordshire Houseboaters who moor up at Aston Marina regularly stock up with cheese from this farm shop, restaurant and café, which is headed up by Helen Webb and her partner. Specialising in regional cheeses such as Eccleshall Red and Mr Moyden’s Blue, the counter is neatly laid out and does a good job of cross selling with other parts of the business, including the restaurant and in hampers.

The Cheese Hamlet, Didsbury, Manchester The Cheese Hamlet has been serving cheese and other fine foods to Mancunians since 1960. Today run by John Axon, the shop has an unusual eye-catching display on wooden shelves behind the main counter, which is split 60/40 between British and Continental cheeses. Different age profiles of the same cheese add interest, as do some quirky additions such as Norwegian Gjetost and locally sourced Burt’s Blue. Service is prompt and charming as you would expect from a familyowned business.

The Cheese Place, Prestwich, Manchester Kath Armitage at the Cheese Place proves there is more than one way to make a great display of cheese. Instead of a traditional serve-over counter, this modern store showcases its cheese in multideck chillers. Customers are able to browse the range of 100-plus products, many of which are locally sourced, at their leisure with staff on hand to assist when required. Sandwiches, wedding cakes and a massive selection of chutneys, crackers, beer, wine and bread add to the experience.

Cheese Please, Lewes, East Sussex Fiona Kay is a true ambassador for local and British cheeses. Her high street shop stocks over 100 different cheeses, a quarter of which are sourced from within Sussex. This is backed up by an array of accompaniments, including wine, bespoke chutneys, crackers, knives and boards. Hampers and cheese cakes for weddings are also an important part of the business. Staff are trained in-house before taking the Cheese Guild Diploma, all of which helped the business win the Sussex Food Shop of the Year award in 2009 and 2010.




Doddington Hall Farm Shop, Lincolnshire This amazing Elizabethan mansion just outside Lincoln is also home to a popular farm shop, café and restaurant. The cheese counter, headed up by Michael Lemmon, champions local producers, such as Cote Hill, Stichelton and Goatwood Dairy. The region’s famous Lincolnshire Poacher is also well represented

Third Place The Guid Cheese Shop, St Andrews After working at New York cheesemonger Murray’s and spending time in the maturing rooms of Mons in France, Svetlana Redpath certainly knows her cheese. Originally from Russia, Redpath’s small shop in St Andrews reflects this expertise with a 60-plus selection that balances Continental and British cheeses including a good showing from Scotland. “Educating customers about cheese is something that I learned


with standard, vintage, double barrel and smoked varieties. Lemmon’s friendly demeanour and good product knowledge, combined with informative labels and pretty displays on grey slate, mean the cheese counter is an important driver of sales in the busy shop.

The Liverpool Cheese Company Southport Market, Lancashire Ian and Vickie Tomlinson have long run a successful cheese shop in Woolton, Liverpool, but branched out with a new venue in the refurbished Southport Market earlier this year. Complementing the market’s popular butchers, fishmongers and greengrocers, the shop stocks around 200

in Murray’s,” she says. “People in America are big foodies, but don’t always know what they’re looking for, so they like to learn about the cheese on the counters. People in Scotland are similar.” A concise range of wines and beers has been picked to match the shop’s cheeses and regular tasting evenings are held in-store for customers. Redpath, who was also a judge at the final of the World Cheese Awards, says her long-term ambition is to set up her own maturing room so she can control the quality and age of the cheese she stocks.


cheeses, 75% of which are British. The cheeses are clearly labelled and well organised with serving and recipe suggestions on the ‘cheese of the week’ blackboard.

Macfarlane’s Clapham, London If only every neighbourhood had a deli like this on their doorstep. Robert Marsham’s shop is a treasure trove of gourmet delights,

which is centred on a thoughtfully constructed selection of around 80 cheeses. Despite space being at a premium, Macfarlane’s manages to cover most of the classic British and Continental cheeses, while also stocking some less familiar names. A Reserve Gruyère sits next to an unusual Swiss cows’ milk cheese called Cironé on the counter, which is also populated by a small herd of plastic cows.

Svetlana Redpath, who was a Supreme Judge at the 2012 World Cheese Awards, offers a balanced selection of Continental and British cheeses, including many from Scotland







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Hall of Fame Oils & Vinegars Great Taste Best Speciality from Northern Ireland & 2012 Supreme Champion Moyallon guanciale Hannan Meats

Peter Hannan: ‘Last year, several of the multiples phoned, but we know our place and we have an obligation to our people’ Just over three years ago, Peter Hannan made the decision that would ultimately lead to his firm developing its most highly acclaimed product to date and taking the top prize at Great Taste 2012. It certainly made good business sense when Northern Irish firm Hannan Meats acquired Moyallon Foods, an Irish company known for its wild boar, venison, duck, specialty sausages and dry-cured bacon. “We had watched and admired them from a distance,” says Hannan, whose firm is based just a stone’s throw from last year’s Supreme winner McCartneys of Moira. “It was a natural bolt-on to


our business because we didn’t do our own bacon.” It turned out to be a brilliant move, because this new part of the business would end up producing 2012’s Great Taste Supreme Champion, Moyallon guanciale. Hannan first started producing this cured pork jowl, often used for carbonara in Italy, because it was requested by a restaurant customer, who was already buying pallets of his Moyallon-branded Italian sausages. “When we started, we were using recipes from Italy,” says Peter Hannan. “But then we thought, maybe we could make it a little better and put our own thumbprint on it.”


The unsmoked bacon is cured for three weeks in a blend of salt, sugar and spices to create a stronger, richer flavour than pancetta but a more delicate texture. Although the exact recipe and process is a closely guarded secret, red wine and garlic are also added to boost the flavour of a product that keeps well and improves during its six-week shelf life. While Hannan Meats has taken around a dozen Great Taste awards for its bacon since 2010, it has also picked up a host of stars for its steak, pork and lamb. And with the arrival of a state of the art dry-ageing, humidity-controlled salt chamber on site there are likely to be many more awards to come. It

is the first of its kind in Europe and Hannan is using it to age beef loins, ribs and rumps. Despite all the success and the increased profile that comes with supplying top chefs and bagging numerous Great Taste accolades, Hannan will not be drawn into chasing a quick buck. “Last year, several of the multiples phoned, but we know our place and we have an obligation to our people,” he says. “Mark Hix uses 200 to 300 bacon chops per week and I don’t want to take them away from him and give them to Marks & Spencer. “We're focused on foodservice and good hotels and restaurants where our friends and clients are.


Looking to fill your shelves with the best products? Here’s our pick of 2012’s award-winning food and drink from across the UK

Best Welsh Speciality Trealy Farm Charcuterie, Lamb carpaccio

Best Irish Speciality Oliver Carty, SV smoked rack of bacon

Best Speciality from the North of England More? The Artisan Bakery, Sourdough Miches

Best Imported Speciality Jamones Juan Pedro Domecq, Jamon Iberico de Bellota

Guild of Fine Food Lifetime Achievement 2012 Nigel Cope, Cottage Delight

Best Speciality from the South West & Ambient Product of the Year The Bay Tree Food Company, passion fruit curd www.thebaytree.

We don’t want to sell our souls just for some money. It works and we don’t want to change.” It’s that sort of approach that has resulted in a fiercly loyal customer base. “We still have the first five customers we started with in 1989, we would take it personally if we lost a customer,” says Hannan. While he is a meat man first and foremost, Hannan has got his eye on the wider picture and has recently invested in En Place Foods, which specialises in chutneys and flavoured oils. “Our aspiration is to create a family of fine foods,” he says. Given his track record, you wouldn’t bet against it.

Best Scottish Speciality Donaldsons of Orkney, hot smoked salmon

Best Speciality from the Midlands and East Anglia Thornbridge Brewery, Jaipur IPA

Best Speciality from the South East 1 Chef 4U, Gizzards Confit

Woman & Home Great Taste VIP Award 2012 Paul Kelly, Kelly Turkeys

Speciality Producer of the Year Simple Simon’s Perfect Pies

Best First Time Entrant Momo Cha Fine Teas




Wales the True Taste

Other added value meat products Trealy Farm Charcuterie, Merguez salami with Welsh lamb

Soft drinks Jus, Cox's Orange Pippin juice

Alcoholic beverages Tipsy Fruit Gins, damson liqueur

Cheese – Small Producer Trethowan’s Dairy, Gorwydd Caerphilly

Dairy and Special Taste Award Just Rachel Quality Desserts, honeycomb ice cream

Jams, Marmalade and Honey Pant Glas Bach Preserves, blackcurrant & liquorice jam

Prepared foods Just Crisps, black pepper & sea salt crisps

Special Dietary Options Munchcake Gluten Free Goodies, gluten-free carrot & pecan cupcake

Beer, Cider and Perry (under 10% ABV) The Hurns Brewing Comp, Blodwens Beer

Bakery & confectionery Cake Aspirations, vanilla fudge

Desserts Lodge Farm Kitchen, sticky toffee pudding

Cheese – Large Producer Carmarthenshire Cheese Company, Carmarthenshire White


Condiments & preserves Kit’s Kitchen, Sweet pickled red cabbage

Prepared meats The Cotswold Traiteur, Sri Lankan Black lamb curry

Wine, Spirits and other alcohol (over 10% ABV) Condessa Welsh Liqueurs, sloe gin

Condiments, Sauces and Chutney Inner City Pickle, Mostarda di Frutta

Best retailer Legges of Bromyard, Herefordshire

Other Speciality Foods Claire's Kitchen, lemon curd

Confectionery (including Chocolate and Fudge) Siocled Moethus Sarah Bunton Luxury Chocolates, Earl Grey tea chocolates

Local Sourcing Cwmcerrig Farm Shop

Proud to announce three more Great Taste Awards for 2012

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Dell’ami prides itself with at least 20 years’ experience sourcing the finest Olives, Oils and Seafood working with local artisan producers from around the Mediterranean. We select the finest ingredients to bring you a fresh product that simply brims with Mediterranean Passion, Prestige and Provenance. For more information or a copy of our latest brochure, please email info@dell’ or call 0207 819 6001 Exclusively available from: Cheese Cellar

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Taste Gold...

Award winning  Scottish  Smoked  Seafood.    

Since the  40’s  our  family  have  been  traditionally  smoking  locally  caught   Scottish  Seafood  on  the  west  coast  of  Scotland.  Why  not  try  a  taste  of  tradition   today?       Our  products  make  any  occasion  complete  and  make  a  fantastic  gift  to  family,   friends  or  as  a  personal  treat!  

Oak Smoked  Salmon  –  Hot  Roast  Smoked  Salmon   Smoked  Shellfish  –  Smoked  Trout  –  Smoked  Mackerel   Succulent  Oak  Smoked  Kippers  -­‐  3*Gold  Award  Winner  

3 Great Taste Gold Star Awards Highly Commended Quality Awards Red Cabbage & Beetroot Finalist Grocer Awards Mashed Potato & Dauphinoise Potatoes


Order online  today  for  FREE  UK  DELIVERY! 50


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NATIONAL & REGIONAL AWARD WINNERS Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards

Meat (Red, White & Game) Macsween of Edinburgh – Microwaveable range: '60-second' haggis and '90-second' black pudding

Food Service Product of the Year Cuddybridge Apple Juice – apple juice range

Drink (Alcoholic & Non-Alcoholic) Traditional Scottish Ales (VC2 Brands) – Double Espresso Premium Caffe Beer (6% abv)

Bakery & Cereal-Based Product Lazy Day Foods – Belgian chocolate tiffin, millionaires shortbread and chocolate ginger slice

Confectionery & Snacking Nairn's Oatcakes – Oaty Bakes in single and multi-packs

Product of the Year and Dairy Product Katy Rodgers Knockraich Farm – pro-biotic natural, raspberry, and rhubarb yogurts

Fish Loch Duart – oak roasted flaky salmon, oak smoked salmon, hot smoked salmon with honey & thyme

Business of the Year Borders Biscuits

Soup, Preserve, Accompaniments CCS Estates – Cullisse Highland rapeseed oil, Cullisse mixed pepper & spice marinade

Grampian Food Forum Innovation Awards

Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards

Taste of Grampian local independent retailer of the year Castleton Farm Shop

Best new retail product (businesses up to 25 employees) Tilquhillie Fine Foods, Maple Syrup Tillyjack

Inverness-based Angelic Gluten Free’s range of cookies was voted Best New Product, while Culisse Highland rapeseed oil was named Best New Business.


Kam’s South American Products Ltd is proud to introduce Kam’s Hot Pepper Sauce. This fiery delight is a great addition to any dish. It can be used as a marinade or simply to pep up a meal. Kam’s Hot Pepper Sauce is also a versatile product and complements any food or drink. This product is all natural and does not contain preservatives & food colouring. We are now the fifth generation in our family to carry this recipe forward. Come and discover how Kam’s Pepper Sauce can add a little spice to your life!



Ilkley Brewery proudly hand-crafting gold medal winning ales in the heart of Yorkshire 01943 604604 Twitter: @ilkleybrewery



Since establishing G’s Gourmet Jams in Abbeyleix, Co. Laois in 1998 Helen Gee and her family have built up an excellent business, increasing the range of preserves, relishes and chutneys. All the range are homemade, handmade with only two ingredients: fruit and sugar, hand stirred in small saucepans to preserve the top quality taste and flavour of these traditional recipes. In 2011, the ‘Abbey Farm’ range introduced – a young fun and quirky family brand which had been previously missing from the market – with Little dollops of fruity happiness in every jar, there’s something for everyone. Building our success at Great Taste 2012, the 3-star award-winning Rhubarb & Ginger Jam was launched in Fortnum & Mason, London in September.


01840 214106




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ri e Award winning artisan charcuterie hand crafted in Cornwall

Salami | Coppa | Bresaola | Pancetta | Prosciutto 18/9/12 4:55 pm

final quarter page advert 100mmx141mm

Colston Bassett Ad 19/11/2012 10:49 Page 1

Shropshire Blue

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'Award winning Novus Tea' If you don't stock Novus Tea, perhaps you should? Call now for a free sample.

C≤ebrating Outstanding Cheese and a co-operative of farmers since 1913

We are not the only one's who think it's great, with consecutive Great Taste Awards from 2009 - 2012 2012 - Six Great Taste Gold Awards achieved. The must have Tea product of the year

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For more details visit or call 01621 776179.




The World’s Original Marmalade Awards

Cranfields Foods’ pink grapefruit marmalade was the only product to win a coveted Double Gold at this year’s Marmalade Awards.

British Bottlers’ Institute Competition Gran Stead’s Dark & Mellow ginger wine won a gold medal while its Light & Fiery version won a silver.


Telegraph Magazine Best Small Shops in Britain Supreme Champion, World’s Best Unpasteurised Cheese and Best Spanish Cheese Dehesa de los Llanos, Manchego DO Gran Reserva Best PDO Blue Cheese Produced by Igor, imported by C. Carnevale, Gorgonzola Dolce DOP Creamy

The Alresford, Hants, branch of deli chain Caracoli was chosen by columnist Rose Prince as ‘Best for Food’ in the Telegraph Magazine’s annual competition.

Best Welsh Cheese Trethowan’s Dairy, Gorwydd Caerphilly

Exceptional Contribution to Cheese John Webb Best Le Gruyère AOC Fromage Gruyere, Le Gruyère AOC 1655 Best Canary Island Cheese Finca de Uga , Untado en Pimenton Duro Best British Cheese Two Hoots Cheese, Barkham Blue

Best Italian Cheese Azienda Agricola Gritti Bruno E Alfio, Blu di Bufala

Best Australian Cheese Berrys Creek Gourmet Cheese, Oak Blue

Best Central & Eastern European Cheese Paška sirana, Dalmatinac

Best American Cheese Rogue Creamery, Rogue River Blue

Best Cheese entered by a Provision Trade Federation Best French Cheese member Produced by Arnaud, imported by Wyke Farms, Just Delicious Extra QST/Cheese de France, Comte AOP Mature Cheddar


Best Irish Cheese Inagh Farmhouse Cheese, St Tola Ash Log

Best South African Cheese Fairview Cheese Company, Blue Rock

Best New Cheese Sélection Walo von Mühlenen, Rotwii Bärgler (Red Nose)

Best Mature Cheddar Fiscalini Cheese Company, BandageWrapped Cheddar


Taste of Staffordshire Good Food Awards Food Manufacturer of the Year Bertelin Farmhouse Cheese

Local Food Retailer of the Year Brown & Green, Trentham Shopping Village

Meath based Lir Chocolates are celebrating the sweet taste of success having won 2 gold stars for our GUINNESS TRUFFLE BAR at Great Taste, the Oscars of the food industry organized by the Guild of Fine Food and another for our RASPBERRY ROYALE WATER BASED GANACHE truffle. We are delighted with these awards as it reinforces our position as Award Winning Chocolatiers and we are delighted to work with GUINNESS to produce this award winning delicious chocolate bar. We have enjoyed developing Guinness chocolates from three delicious bars and truffles to sumptuous Fudge Cups.

Liven up lunch,

with a little crunch. Nothing sets off your lunch like the crunch of our thick cut, delicious, traditional British crisps. That’s why at Corkers we’ve grown our own variety of luscious potatoes in rich Fenland soil. Expertly sliced and sprinkled with a taste of England, they’re sure to add a kick & a crunch to any lunch. Call us today on 01353 699 000 or email:

award winning chocolatiers /officialcorkers



Honey Seeds



They’ve made it. Trealy Farm, Best Welsh Speciality

Donaldsons, Best Scottish Speciality

Thornbridge Brewery, Best Speciality from East Anglia & the Midlands

1 Chef 4 U, Best Speciality from London & the South East

Hannan Meats, Supreme Champion 2012

More? The Artisan Bakery, Best Speciality from the North of England

Oliver Carty, Best Irish Speciality Jamones Juan Pedro Domecq, Best Imported Speciality

The Bay Tree, Best Speciality from the South West

So you can enjoy it. Food and drink producers take the Great Taste Awards seriously. They know it takes more than 350 foodies over 40 days of blind-judging each year to decide which products should carry the coveted Great Taste gold stars. This year’s experts included chef and restaurateur Mat Follas, TV presenter and chef Gizzi Erskine and top food buyers from Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges and Harrods. But there’s only one judge who really matters. And that’s you. |


International Cheese Awards

Local Food Award Suffolk Food Hall Wherstead, Ipswich, Suffolk

Supreme Champion Kaserei Champignon/ Elite Imports, Montagnolo MAN MONTAGNOLO AFFINE CROWNED SUPREME Affine PION AT 2012 INTERNATIONAL CHEESE AWARDS

Taste of the West Awards

Deliciouslyorkshire Awards

A GERMAN MONTAGNOLO AFFINE CROWNED SUPREME CHAMPION AT 2012 INTERNATIONAL AWARDS Champion Product 2012 and Best of Meat and Poultry Lovaton Farm, Dexter x Devon T-Bone Steak

Best Newcomer and Best Fish & Seafish Staal Smokehouse, Hot smoked salmon

Best Confectionery Sciolti Chocolates, Madagascan Bourbon vanilla truffles

Best of Savoury Preserves Hillside Speciality Foods, celery pickle

Best of Desserts Figgy’s Puddings, Christmas Pudding

Best New Product 2012 Capreolus Fine Foods, Bay Cure bacon Best of Cured Meat Capreolus Fine Foods, pancetta

Best Innovation Gordon Rhodes, The GR Range

Best of Fish Tregida, oak smoked kipper

Best Sweet Preserve Black Sheep Brewery, Mashtun marmalade

Best of Cider Healey’s Cyder Farm, oak matured cyder

Best of Cheese Sharpham Partnership, Ticklemore Goat

Best Bakery Side Oven Bakery, granola

Best Savoury Condiment Curry Cuisine, Luxury mango chutney

Just Desserts, Landlord cake

Best Retailer of Local Products Keelham Farm Shop

Best Wholesaler / Distributor Cryer & Stott Cheesemongers

Best of Confectionery Lick The Spoon, The Nut Box

Best of Wines, Spirits & Liqueurs Bramley & Gage, Crème de Cassis

The Carol Trewin South West Producer of the Year Award 2012 The Exmouth Mussel Company




Supreme Product and Best Dairy St Helen’s Farm, goats’ butter


2 0 12-


Best of Beer Quantock Brewery, Wills Neck




The highest awarded Christmas pudding at Great Taste 2012!

All of our christmas puddings are made with a passion for quality, perfection and most importantly taste. They are all lovingly handcrafted using the finest vine fruits, the highest quality of nuts and spices and local manx ingredients. They are matured using a fine champagne cognac for a minimum of nine months. Pre-order your puddings for 2013: Please contact Cocoa Red, Isle of Man, “A Division of Berries�

Telephone: 01624 838384

A must HAVE for All discErning dElis....

What A Pickle! prides itself on a uniquely delicious and eye catching product, which has proven to be a firm favourite in delis across the country. For more information, please call 01584 876694, or visit our website.

Award Winning

Sourdough Breads & Artisan Bakes Baked and delivered fresh to restaurants, cafes and delis across London and beyond.

020 8457 2098 58



BBC Food and Farming Awards Tom Calver (left), maker of Westcombe Cheddar in Somerset, was named Best Food Producer at this year’s BBC Food and Farming Awards. Calver’s dairy won the award jointly with Pump Street Bakery in Orford, Suffolk. The other two finalists in the category were Cornwall’s Deli Farm Charcuterie and Pembrokeshire-based Porthgain Shellfish.

Wensleydale Creamery’s Wensleydale Blue was named Supreme Champion at this year’s awards. www.wensleydale.

Soil Association Food Awards

Cold Beverages Luscombe Organic Drinks, Sicilian Lemonade

Baby Food Organix, Goodies carrot cake soft oaty bars

Savoury Snacks Gilchesters Organics, original spelt biscuits

So Baby Organics, butternut squash & orange purée

Sauces and Ingredients Hambleden Herbs, Khmeli Suneli seasoning mix

Chocolate and Confectionary The Booja-Booja Company, Raspberry Ecuadorian chocolate truffles and Hazelnut Crunch chocolate truffles

Pies, pizzas, pasties Brocklebys, organic picnic pork pie

Riverford Organic homity pie

Sweet Preserves Grow Wild, Seville orange marmalade

Cheese Bath Soft Cheese, Wyfe of Bath

Sweet Snacks Doves Farm Foods, organic fruity oat biscuits

Pasta and Rice Sharpham Park, organic pearled spelt

Cakes and Morning Goods Rude Health, Morning Glory porridge and The Granola

High Weald Dairy, Sussex Slipcote



AOC, the sign of special products... A traditional cheese

The cheese of western Switzerland, with a delicate, distinguished flavour. Made since at least 1115 AD in and around the small town of Gruyères, today it is still produced by village cheese dairies in western Switzerland according to the traditional recipe. Le Gruyère AOC owes its characteristic delicacy and flavour to the top quality raw milk produced by cows fed on grass in the summer and hay in winter, coupled with the skill of the mastercheesemakers. No less than 400 litres of fresh milk are needed to produce a single wheel weighing around 35kg. During the slow maturation process, which takes several months in special cheese cellars, the wheels are turned regularly and rubbed down with saltywater. The maturing process lasts between five and 18 months.

Each cheese is systematically identified by the number of the mould and code of the cheese dairy. The day and month of production are also noted on the wheel. These black markings are made with casein, the cheese protein. No artificial additives are involved here either.

Le Gruyère AOC takes pride of place on any cheese platter. It makes for a delicious desert and can be used in tasty warm dishes. What’s more, no real fondue would be complete without genuine Gruyère AOC.

From this time on, the name ‘Gruyère AOC’ and the code of the production facility appears on the heel of each wheel of Gruyère AOC as an effective way of preventing fakes and guaranteeing authenticity. This technique employs branding irons, which give an indentation in the wheel. It is this marking that makes it possible to identify and trace each individual cheese.

The humidity and rind washing process develops the characteristic appearance of the cheese and assists in bringing the cheese into full maturity. This is what gives Le Gruyère AOC its famous, distinct flavour. It’s no great surprise that this authentic gift of nature is appreciated by cheeselovers throughout the world. Cheeses from Switzerland. Switzerland. Naturally.

Best Brands 2012-13  
Best Brands 2012-13