Big ideas win awards for small food producers

Posted on May 04, 2018

The cream of Britain’s small food producers are toasting their success having taken the top awards for their produce at this year’s national Small Food Awards.

Top prizes were awarded to Juli Farkas of East Sheen Bakery (London) for her sourdough bread; Lisa Wheeler for her Venison and Fennel Salami at the Norfolk Charcuterie (Burnham Thorpe); Wyn Buick at Honeysuckle’s Nanodairy (St. Davids, Pembrokeshire) for his ‘Retirement’ hard cheese made from raw milk; and Isobel Carse for the ‘Toasted Madagascar White’, she makes at Dormouse Chocolates (Manchester).

An expert panel of judges including Shelly Preston of Ottar Chocolate and David Carter, baking tutor at The School of Artisan Food, assessed dozens of entries in the bread, charcuterie, cheese and chocolate categories on criteria including taste, texture and appearance. Winners were announced at an awards ceremony at The School of Artisan Food, based at the Welbeck Estate near Worksop, Notts, on 3 May 2018.

Run by social enterprise Virtuous Bread and The School of Artisan Food, the awards aim to recognise micro, professional food producers in the UK who are at the forefront of innovation and excellence in the food industry.

Open to micro food producers with a maximum of two people in the business, products must be produced in a non-industrial or domestic environment such as a home kitchen.

“It was great to partner with Jane Mason, the original bread angel and founder of Virtuous Bread, to host the second Small Food Awards. The School of Artisan Food promotes and supports small food as a delicious, sustainable and affordable alternative to ‘big’ food at every opportunity, so these Awards are a brilliant way of shining a light on these inspiring micro producers.” says Julie Byrne, MD of The School of Artisan Food.

Virtuous Bread is a self-financing social enterprise. Through the Bread Angels network of award winning micro-bakers and trainers, it teaches people how to bake bread and how to set up micro-bakeries.


First: Juli Farkas at East Sheen Microbakery - Sourdough

Second: Liz Wilson at Ma Baker - Porridge bread

Third: Gaye Fisher at Sticky Mitts - Merlot, fig & pine nut loaf


First: Lisa Wheeler at Norfolk Charcuterie - Venison & fennel salami

Second: Anthony Ross at Lawns Farm Shop - Chorizo

Third: Marc Dennis at Duchy Charcuterie - Beef nduja


First: Wyn Buick at Honeysuckle’s Nanodairy - Retirement – raw milk, hard cheese

Second: Sophie Williamson at Sheffield Cheesemasters - Little Mester - surface ripened soft cheese

Third: Lloyd Adams at Greensand Ridge Cheese Company - Coggepole – soft creamy cheese


First: Isobel Carse at Dormouse Chocolates - Toasted Madagascan White

Second: Isobel Carse at Dormouse Chocolates - Guatemalan 51.5% Milk

Third: Bob and Iris Solkiki at Solkiki -Marañón – Dark, 68% Peruvian

“We were absolutely thrilled to win at The Small Food Awards, it's so great to see an award celebrating small producers like ourselves. Winning an award like this spurs us on to keep creating and really helps us to grow our brand. We can't wait to see what happens next!” Isobel Carse, Dormouse Chocolates.

“I am absolutely delighted to be the winner in the bread category. I entered my most popular (and my favourite) sourdough bread. I hope my success will generate more interest in my bread making classes through Bread Angels and increase my sales in my immediate neighbourhood.” Juli Farkas, East Sheen Bakery.

“I was in the first year alumni of the diploma course at The School of Artisan Food 8 years ago. For me to come back to the place that my journey began, to win an award, means so much to me. I felt incredibly emotional yesterday as it was proved I have honed my craft and developed a great product. As soon as I walked in to SAF, just the smell of baking brought me back to a very happy place; my Narnia for a year of my life.” Lisa Wheeler, Norfolk Charcuterie.




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