Category Archives: Food & Drink Headlines

Rotherham’s Food Sustainability Partnership Wins National Recognition

Rotherham’s food sustainability partnership, Rotherham Food Network, has achieved membership of the Sustainable Food Places network to support their efforts to make local, healthy and sustainable food available to all residents across the borough.

The membership highlights that the Rotherham Food Network is an inspirational example of how local communities, businesses and the Council can work together to make affordable good food a defining characteristic of Rotherham.

The Rotherham Food Network is made up of 16 local organisations and community groups including Rotherham Council, Voluntary Action Rotherham, Rotherfed, Citizen Advice Rotherham, and many more.

Over 60 members have already pledged their time and effort into providing residents advice, guidance and support on how to access healthier, more sustainable foods, as well as combating key issues related to food, including:

• tackling food poverty
• sustainable food growing and distribution such as community orchards
• social supermarkets and community fridges
• healthier eating

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, Cllr David Roche, said: “It is fantastic for Rotherham Food Network to be recognised and become a member of the Sustainable Food Places Network. We set out on our sustainable food journey a year ago and being granted membership at this stage is a giant step forward. The partnership work being done by the Rotherham Food Network will really help residents get the most out of their food while driving new projects to help them access healthier, more sustainable food in the future.”

“Being invited to join the Sustainable Food Network will also give us the opportunity to work towards hopefully achieving Bronze status within the network next year.”

Rotherham Federation of Communities’ Chief Executive Officer, Phil Hayes, said: “RotherFed provide money management support and home energy advice and guidance on an outreach basis across Rotherham, primarily in the most deprived communities and including many venues/outlets that provide food support for local people. It’s great that the Rotherham Food Network is to be recognised and become a member of the Sustainable Food Places Network, and I hope that this enables more people who need support the most across Rotherham, access to what’s available through the network.”

Voluntary Action Rotherham’s Director of Services (Infrastructure), David Plumtree, said: “Food is a thread that runs across many themes, so it’s exciting to see the development of the Food Network and a joined-up approach to all things food. We’re pleased to be working in partnership to make sure food is accessible, sustainable and provides opportunity for the community.”

Sustainable Food Places is a network of cross-sector partnerships in towns, cities, boroughs and counties that are using food as a vehicle to drive positive change. With support from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The National Lottery Community Fund, the Network helps people and places to share challenges, explore practical solutions and develop best practice in all aspects of healthy and sustainable food.
Rotherham Food Network joins a network of over 80 members across the UK.

Tom Andrews, Director of Sustainable Food Places, said: “In over 80 towns and cities across the UK, individuals and organisations have come together to develop a joint vision of the kind of food culture and food system they would like to see and are working together to make that vision a reality. Rotherham Food Network has shown a real ambition to transform things for the better in and we are delighted to be able to support them in achieving their goals.”

The Sustainable Food Places Network works to tackle some of biggest social, economic and environmental issues today, from an epidemic of food poverty and diet related ill-health to the loss of independent high street food businesses and family farms through to climate change, biodiversity loss and food waste.

Further information about the Rotherham Food Network can be found online here

North Yorkshire Whisky Distillery Wins Two Food & Drink Awards

The team at Yorkshire’s first single malt whisky distillery is celebrating after winning two regional food and drink business awards.

Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery’s Filey Bay Port Finish Batch #1 won the Best New Drink Product category in the Azets Food and Drink Business Awards and was announced as the Overall Business of the Year at the end of the awards event that was held in York last week.

Spirit of Yorkshire’s MD, David Thompson, said: “Not only was it a huge honour for Port Finish Batch #1 to win the best new drink award, but it was incredible to then be crowned overall business of the year at an event that recognised and rewarded Yorkshire’s finest food and drink businesses.”

Hunmanby based Spirit of Yorkshire’s fellow finalists were Goat/Myth drinks, Fairfax Distillery, Dutch Barn Orchard Vodka, Amare Vodka and Nutrein Drinks.

Spirit of Yorkshire is a collaboration between farmer and brewer Tom Mellor and business partner David Thompson. It is a true field-to-bottle distillery and one of only a few distilleries that use 100% homegrown barley to produce its single malt whisky. Filey Bay single malt whisky is now available throughout the UK and in a growing number of export markets.

East Yorkshire Poultry Business Promotes From Within

An East Yorkshire poultry business has promoted from within to fill a transport role.  Middleton-on-the-Wolds based Soanes Poultry has promoted Kevin Gates to the role of Transport Manager.

Mr Gates joined Soanes Poultry in 2013 and worked as a driver and transport supervisor before his latest move. Soanes Poultry’s Operations Manager, Simon Rodgers said: “Kevin’s well-deserved promotion is part of our people development plan that identifies members of the team with the potential to progress within the business.”

“He is a great team player with the right attitude and commitment and is very well respected by his peers. We’re excited about the skills that he will bring to this role. ”

“I’m excited about my new role that gives me responsibility for day-to-day transport deliveries and managing our team of drivers. Everyone at Soanes Poultry is so helpful and supportive and I’m really looking forward to making the step up to manager. I’m grateful to be given this opportunity,” said Mr Gates.

When she’s not working, Mr Gates, who lives in Driffield, enjoys F1, crown green bowls and football.

Soanes Poultry is a family-owned business which has been rearing and preparing chicken for over 75 years. It employs 120 people and sells its chicken to butchers, independent retailers and restaurants in Yorkshire and to wholesalers and catering butchers nationwide.

Yorkshire Wolds Brewery Celebrates It’s 20th Anniversary

The team at a Yorkshire Wolds brewery is hosting an Open Day to celebrate 20 years.

Wold Newton based Wold Top Brewery is inviting people to help celebrate 20 years of brewing at an event on 3rd June.

The brewery will be open between 10am and 4pm for tours, demos and live music. The bar will be open and there will be food available.

“We’re excited to reach this milestone anniversary and would like people to join in the celebrations and taste our special anniversary ale, ‘20 Ears’,” said Brewery director, Kate Balchin, who is the second generation to work in the business that was set up by her parents, Tom and Gill Mellor on the family farm at Hunmanby Grange in 2003.

Tours of the brewery will take place at 10.45am, 12.45pm and 2.45pm. There will be talks from sister company, Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery at 11.45am, 1.15pm and 3.15pm and live music at 11.30am, 12.30pm and 1.30pm. In addition to cake and coffee stalls, there will be a fish and chip van from 11.30am.

Advance tickets for the Open Day cost £5 for adults (£6 on the day), including a free pint or soft drink and a free brewery tour. There is no charge for children under 16. Tickets are available online here, or by calling 01723 892222.

The Open Day is one of a series of events to take place throughout the year, including a beer festival, live theatre, a cycling sportive and the inaugural Wold Top 10k trail run.

Wold Top uses home-grown barley and water from the farm’s borehole to produce a range of award-winning cask, keg and bottled beers that are available throughout Yorkshire and nationwide.

Yorkshire Distillery Announces Its First Special Release

The team at Yorkshire’s first single malt whisky distillery have released the next bottling of their Double Oak series.

Filey Bay Double Oak #2 Special Release single malt whisky is Hunmanby-based Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery’s second whisky to have been matured in Virgin Oak casks, following the award-winning first iteration. The new whisky was matured in ex-bourbon casks before a secondary maturation in lightly-charred, custom-made and new oak casks.

Spirit of Yorkshire Whisky Director, Joe Clark, is excited about the latest release from the field to bottle distillery: “These special casks imbue our whisky with some really amazing and exciting flavours, pronounced fruity notes and soft, sweet, nutty, bread-like flavours. Double Oak #1 was exceptionally well received and I’ve no doubt that Double Oak #2 will be too.”

“From a selection of over 100 ex-bourbon casks laid down in 2018, only a handful were selected for re-racking. I was looking for key characteristics that would work well with the virgin oak casks – light and fresh with elevated malty and creamy profiles and with fewer spicy notes. After assembling a beautiful batch of whisky, this was then reduced in strength to 50% ABV and racked into brand new virgin white oak casks from Kentucky.”

Distillery colleague Amy Teasdale added: “Because the casks had not previously held spirit, we were checking the casks weekly during the final months of maturation to ensure that they were disgorged and bottled at the optimum moment. It was a time-consuming process but absolutely worth it and I know this release will prove very popular at the tastings I host with retailers around the country.”

Filey Bay Double Oak #2, 46% ABV costs £75 and is packaged in a Special Release tube. It is available from the distillery shop, online at and from selected specialist retailers nationwide. It is described as being ‘soft and spicy with flavours of toasted oak, cream soda, fruit gums and hot cross buns.’ There are only 2000 bottles available.

Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery is Yorkshire’s first single malt whisky distillery. Filey Bay single malt whisky is made from field to bottle using 100% homegrown barley and water sourced from boreholes on the distillery farm at Hunmanby Grange.

Rare 50 Year Old Macallan Heads To Auction

A bottle of the exceptional and highly prized Macallan 1940 50 Year Old Single Speyside Malt Scotch Whisky is coming to auction in the Fine Wine and Whisky Sale at Tennants Auctioneers on 21st April with an estimate of £12,000-18,000 (all figures exclude buyer’s premium).

Macallan 50 year old is one of the most collectable of whiskies, which has dramatically increased in value over the last twenty years. It was consigned at Tennants’ Harrogate Office, during one of their regular Fine Wine and Whisky valuation days. The vendor had been given it by a colleague a number a years ago, and hadn’t realised how much it had appreciated in value.

The bottle contains whisky distilled on 1st January 1940 and laid down by Macallan for thirty years, before the cask was bought by independent bottlers Gordon and Macphail. They moved the cask to their warehouses in Elgin where it remained maturing for another 20 years before being bottled. It formed part of Gordon and Macphail’s Speymalt range and is sold with its original presentation case and certificate.

Also on offer is a Macallan-Glenlivet 12 Year Old Pure Highland Malt Liqueur Whisky, bottled in the 1960s by Gordon and Macphail (estimate: £1,500-2,500), and 1 litre 1970s bottling of Highland Park 12 Year Old Malt Scotch Whisky (estimate: £1,000-1,500).

The fine wine in the sale is headed by a three-bottle celebration case of Krug Clos Du Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne, on offer with an estimate of £5,000-7,000. It was released in 1998 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Clos du Mesnil, perhaps the most famous vineyard in the Champagne region, which Krug purchased in 1971. The vineyard grows only Chardonnay, and Krug Clos Du Mesnil showcases the unique character of a single plot of Chardonnay harvested in a single year. The case comprises a bottle each of the 1981, 1983 and 1989 vintages. A further bottle of the 1990 vintage is offered with an estimate of £1,500-2,000.

Amongst an interesting and broad offering of other wines in the sale is a bottle of Grand Vin De Château Latour 1961 Pauillac-Medoc (estimate: £2,000-3,000), and two bottles of Château D’Yquem 1933 Lur-Saluces (estimate: £1,000-1,500). From private cellars, too, are good collector’s bottles by leading producers such as Château Latour and Château Du Pin.

Yorkshire Garden Centres Selected To Sell Coronation Biscuits

A Yorkshire garden centre group has been chosen to stock a limited edition coronation tin of biscuits featuring artwork by celebrated artist Eleanor Tomlinson.

Stocks of the celebration biscuits that Brighouse-based Lottie Shaws have made are now available at Tong, Tingley, Otley and Bingley Garden Centres. They feature a selection of biscuits, a decorative sleeve and a commemorative print of the ‘Coronation Capers’ illustration designed to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III on 6th May.

“We’re very excited to have secured stocks of these special biscuits for our customers. Eleanor’s exquisite artwork is ‘inspired by Yorkshire’, Lottie Shaws is based in Yorkshire and has been stocked in sister centre Tong Garden Centre since it opened in 2015, and Hearty’s is full of fabulous Yorkshire produce, so there’s a great fit!” said Jo Dales, Head of Marketing at Yorkshire Garden Centres.

The tin features a selection of individually wrapped biscuits, including Millionaire’s Shortbread, Yorkshire Parkin Ginger Biscuits and Traditional Oat Flapjack.

Yorkshire-born and globally known artist and illustrator Tomlinson rose to fame when her ‘Jubilee Ma’amalade Tea’ illustration, which celebrated HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, went viral.
Tong and Tingley Garden Centres are part of the Yorkshire Garden Centres family with Otley and Bingley Garden Centres.

North Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil Reaches Regional Food Award

The team at a North Yorkshire family farming business is celebrating after reaching the final of a regional food and drink business award.

Thixendale business, Charlie & Ivy’s Plant-Based Mayonnaise range has been shortlisted in the Best New Food Product category in the Azets Food and Drink Business Awards.

Jason Thompson worked on product development for the range: “With a desire to create a truly inclusive brand, we entered the plant-based market for the first time in September 2021 with the launch of two plant-based mayonnaises to complement our existing range. On the back of the success of these, we added a Horseradish Mayonnaise to the range last year. We’re highly delighted to be in the final of this fabulous award and to be in such great company.”

Charlie & Ivy’s faces competition from fellow finalists, Soanes Poultry, Vegan Fried Chickn Foods Ltd, The Bottled Baking Co, Legless Foods Ltd and Northern Bloc. The team will learn whether they have been successful at an awards ceremony on Thursday 27th April at the Parade Ring Restaurant, York Racecourse.

The Charlie & Ivy’s range also includes bread dippers, dressings and marinades. that are made using award-winning cold-pressed, rapeseed oil by parent company, Breckenholme on the farm in Yorkshire.

Fifth Generation Rejoins Pickering Family Business

A fifth-generation family member has rejoined an award-winning Pickering business after a career break.

Chloe Turner, daughter of Karl and Mandy Avison from Cedarbarn Farm Shop and Café, has joined the horticulture team at the Thornton Road business after spending time with her young family.

Mrs Turner is also studying for the RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth and Development at Askham Bryan college. She is delighted to return: “It’s great to be back working with the Cedarbarn team again. I’m looking forward to introducing a new cut flower garden and designing the outside space to complement the terrace and the new Dutch barn area.”

Dad, Karl is pleased to welcome another family member to the growing team: “The origins of Cedarbarn is a family farm that was bought by my great grandparents in 1919 and subsequently farmed by my grandad, then my dad. The horticulture team includes my sister and me, so it’s great to have Chloe working alongside Richard Hindby and us.”

The horticulture team looks after eight acres of soft fruits, five acres of brassicas, three acres of root crops, six different varieties of strawberries, and an orchard boasting over 100 trees.

Cedarbarn Farm Shop and Café began as a small PYO strawberries operation from a caravan 26 years ago and now is a thriving farm shop and café that sources a large percentage of its produce from its farm and a neighbouring farm supplemented with local suppliers.

Thixendale Business Wins Northern Farming Award

The team at a North Yorkshire rapeseed oil business are celebrating after winning a regional farming award.

Thixendale-based Breckenholme, won the Diversification of the Year category at the 2023 Northern Farmer Awards that were held in Harrogate recently.

Co-founder, Adam Palmer said: “Little did we know when we filled our first bottles of Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil 15 years ago that we would have grown both the business and an amazing team, and still be winning awards! It’s a real team effort and we’re very proud to have won.”

The team beat stiff competition from Listers Crisps and Pollington Grange to win the award.

Organised by the Northern Farmer magazine and supported by Mole Country Stores, the Northern Farmer awards reward and celebrate the farmers who work tirelessly to keep the nation fed.

The Diversification award, sponsored by Carr’s Billington, celebrates businesses that are working to create a more diverse environment and to improve and enhance the countryside, whilst maintaining a viable business.

Breckenholme is home to two brands, both of which are based on award-winning rapeseed oil that is pressed, blended, bottled and labelled on the family farm in the heart of the Yorkshire Wolds. Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil was established in 2008 and was followed by lifestyle brand Charlie & Ivy’s in 2014. The brands produce a range of oils, bread dippers, dressings and mayonnaise that are sold in farm shops, delis and specialist independent retailers nationwide.