Five Shropshire businesses celebrate success at prestigious food and drink awards

Five Shropshire businesses reigned triumphant at a glittering event on Saturday that announced the winners of HEART of ENGLAND fine foods (HEFF) prestigious Diamond Awards.

Now in their seventh year, the awards have become a firm fixture in the calendar for the region's specialist food producers, retailers and hospitality providers many of whom attended the packed event at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole at the NEC.

Zingh Foods, Shrewsbury, claimed the top prize in the prepared foods category for its Fresh Tandoori Marinade, and although it had also been shortlisted for its Tamarind Chutney in the condiments and preserves category, it was pipped to the post by a producer from Staffordshire.  Speaking of their success, Lee Myers, said: “We're really pleased to have received this prestigious award, which recognises the quality and distinctiveness of our product. We're also glad to be contributing to the well-established food industry within the Heart of England region”

In the soft drinks category, Story Brands, Oswestry, claimed the winners crown for its Raspberry Lemonade, whilst over in the alcoholic drinks category The Tipsy Tart, Ludlow, claimed the top place for its Caramel, White and Dark Chocolate Stackable Vodkas.

Julian Sollom, from Story Brands, commented: “We are delighted to have won first prize in the soft drinks category for our Raspberry Lemonade. It is a real privilege to be shortlisted as a finalist amongst so many great products that we have here in the region and very humbling to have emerged as a winner!” and Elizabeth Grinker from The Tipsy Tart added: “We feel very proud that our stackable vodkas have been recognised as winners at the Diamond Awards and this is especially the case as we've only been trading for a year."

In the desserts category, The Little Round Cake Company, Shrewsbury, attended the awards ceremony in a confident mood with three products shortlisted and it was their Black Cherry Merangz Bites that crowned them champions.  Brian Crowther, commented: “"We were delighted to have a number of our products short-listed in the desserts category and to have the Black Cherry Merangz Bites claim the top prize is fabulous. We will display our winning logo with pride!" 

Wrapping up the Shropshire winners was the most recent to be announced as a finalist.  Shropshire’s Own, the county’s first online farm shop, which now also has a physical presence at Longden Post Office, was shortlisted for its commitment to local, fresh produce in the Retailer of the Year category just two weeks ago and has since been visited by a mystery shopper before claiming its prize on Saturday. 

Sarah Ellson, said: “"We've had quite a roller-coaster of a few weeks.  Finding out that we had been short-listed in the Best Retailer category was much more than we could have anticipated so soon after launching our shop in Longden, but to then find out we had won too was just incredible.  We are absolutely delighted and thanks must go to our customers, staff and producers who help to make Shropshire's Own what it is."

Speaking at the event which was hosted by BBC’s Sarah Falkland, Chief Executive of HEART of ENGLAND fine foods Karen Davies MBE, said: “The finalists in our seventh Diamond Awards highlight just how strong the food and drink sector is in the heart of England, it certainly made the process very hard and the judges had some tough decisions to make. The winners who have been announced tonight should feel extremely proud of their award, along with all the finalists who should celebrate their achievements. We look forward to continuing to promote the very best of food and drink from the heart of England.”


Pete White Pete White

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