At the recent Coventry & Warwickshire Foodie Awards, two companies that have previously been featured by Hand Crafted Drinks Magazine walked away with prestigious awards.
St Maur, the Alcester-based start-up liqueur company founded by the Earl and Countess of Yarmouth, won The Foodie Start-up Award.
St Maur, is a hand-crafted elderflower liqueur, which was originally created by the earl and countess, Wiliam and Kelsey Seymour, as a unique drink to be served to the guests who attended their wedding.
Commenting on the award, William Seymour said: “We have been aware that there is a vibrant food and drink scene in the heart of England, but The Foodie Awards has really opened our eyes to the diversity, quality, and abundance of what there is to offer right here in Warwickshire and Coventry.
“We have won awards for St Maur internationally over our first two years in business but to win here at home is a success we can be very proud of. I would highly recommend to other food and drink start-ups to enter The Foodie Awards too and help build the fantastic community we saw coming together on the Awards night.”
Winner of the Artisan Drink Producer Award was Napton Cidery, the Napton-on-the-Hill-based cider producer, which was established in 2015 by Charlotte and Jolyon Olivier.
The couple produced their first batch of cider from the apple tree in their garden and slowly increased operations using unwanted apples from their village and surrounding orchards.
From their modest start In 2015 when they pressed 2000 litres of cider, the team at this family-run independent cidery harvests, presses, bottles and distributes over 100,000 litres of craft cider a year, using 17 types of apples; they also produce perry, juices, spirits and vinegars.
On receiving the award Charlotte Olivier said: “It was such a surprise to win this award and also flying the flag for craft cider. We are very passionate about what we do and so proud of this recognition.”
The event was organised in partnership with Visit Warwickshire and Visit Coventry, and was hosted by Fargo Village in Coventry; it brought together over 50 businesses hoping for success across 17 food and drink categories.
The finalists came under the scrutiny of a judging panel comprising some well-known names from the industry, including Michelin Star chef Paul Foster, who runs Stratford’s Salt restaurant; British Bake-off winner Candice Brown and food and drink broadcaster and champion Nigel Barden.
Winners were chosen from 17 categories that focus on quality, service and innovation, with an emphasis on farm-to-fork, including a public vote for thge Community Award; new for this year was a new special award honouring a Food Hero, sponsored by Visit Coventry.
Foodie Awards Founder Jonathan Smith, of Talk Business UK, said: “I must admit to feeling humbled and inspired following the Foodie Awards presentation event. Meeting all the finalists and hearing their stories, feeling their passion for what they do and seeing how wonderfully supportive the food and drink folk are towards each other, was amazing.”