15 of Berkshire’s Great Taste awards winners
PUBLISHED: 13:27 25 September 2020 | UPDATED: 17:06 30 September 2020
It’s great to see so many local producers being recognised
Since 1994, Great Taste has been putting food and drink to the test. Each year, the 500-strong judging panel critiques thousands of products before awarding one-, two or three stars to exceptional products.
This year, it’s great to see some of our favourite Berkshire and Buckinghamshire producers being recognised. From teas and coffees to gins, pastries to turkeys and so much more, to get a Great Taste star is a wonderful accolade - a stamp of approval.
We got in touch with nine winning producers to give them our best wishes and bring you their reactions.
Peter Lumber, head distiller and founder of 137 Gin Distillery, Newbury, says: “To win 3 awards at this year’s Great Taste awards is amazing, with my Berkshire Dry gin getting 1 star last year and 2 stars this year. This is really cementing me as a distiller in the world of gin. My love and passion grows stronger as time goes by. It’s really nice to have these good things happen when we are all going through tough times at the moment. It’s just the tonic as they say!”
Managing director Chris Davies of Dublicious Food in Bray says: “We are delighted to be awarded 2 Gold Stars for our sausage roll. Having to adapt from an event caterer due to Covid-19 restrictions we see the award as a superb opportunity to grow our deli market, either directly or via local farm shops and delis. We take the time to make our own puff pastry and work closely with our local butcher to source quality pork to enhance our sausage rolls to the next level.”
On winning a Gold Star, founder of Thatcham-based Tea for You, Elton Powell, says: “It is Tea For You’s first time participating in the Great Taste Awards and we only entered this tea because it is a favourite! It is a Spring 2005 High Roast Tie Guan Yin oolong from China and we have just stocked up on the 2018 version.”
Claire Hindley, owner and sole producer of Claire’s Amazeballs in Marlow, says: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have received 2 Great Taste awards for my homemade artisan energy balls, Claire’s Amazeballs. It’s been two years since I started to make them for my family and Pilates clients and now they are stocked in coffee shops, yoga studios and farm shops locally and regionally. As a working mum, it feels super-rewarding to be accredited for my hard work from the Guild of Fine Food, knowing how stringent the process is. This is a real milestone for my business, which I hope may propel Claire’s Amazeballs further. It consolidates what customers repeatedly feedback - they really are tasty and full of flavour. They’re balls with benefits!”
Alex Kinder, owner/director at The Runner Bean Coffee Co, Thatcham, says: “All our coffee is hand-roasted to order giving our customers that fresh, personal touch. Packed in fully compostable bags, and only using ethical beans is our way forward. With every order placed a tree is planted on our behalf by the locals, currently in Madagascar. The deep flavours and thick body of our Signature Blend, with a nutty sweetness is proving a firm favourite among our customers.”
Vishaka Chhetri, co-founder at Tea People, Reading, says: “We are absolutely thrilled to have received Great taste Awards five of our teas this year. We are a small speciality tea company set up as a social enterprise who set aside half of our profits to help educate the impoverished children of the tea pickers so that they can have a brighter future. Having said this, we never wanted our teas to sell just because we are a social enterprise. Right from the start we always have focussed on bringing the best to our customers at an affordable price. It is therefore very satisfying to receive recognition for the quality and taste that we have been working so hard to maintain. At the moment we have over 100 products, many of which have also won a Great Taste award in the past.”
Axelle de Fremery, managing director at Honey Berry in Burnham, says: “We are delighted to be classed as a Great Taste Producer after winning Great Taste awards three years in a row. This year, three of our organic flavoured honeys won a Great Taste Award: Raspberry infused honey, Organic Ginger infused honey and Organic Passion Fruit infused honey.”
Kate Walters at Walters Turkeys, Reading, says: “Walters Turkeys is very much a family business; we are passionate about the welfare and production of the finest turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas. To have our turkey crown awarded a Great Taste star for its outstanding flavour is a privilege and reinforces how delicious Walters Turkeys are.”
Charity Haynes, founder and CEO at Haynes Gourmet in Marlow, says: “We are over the moon to have all three products entered this year win a Great Taste award. As a small family run business, our biggest celebration was being awarded the highest accolade of three Gold Stars for our Red Candied Jalapeño and I honestly cannot believe it. A few years ago, no one had ever heard of a Candied Jalapeño, and people were nervous to try them. To win this award not only affirms the Great Taste of the product, but will continue to help our online business grow.”
Georgia Ginsberg, director at Tea Times Trading Ltd, Newbury, says: “As a Great Taste producer we’re very proud of the awards we’ve won this year! Our after dinner infusion, Herb Garden Digestif, is one of our new organic herbal blends and is wonderfully light and refreshing. Jasmine Pearls, a labour of love, is a delicate green tea scented with jasmine flowers. The judges awarding it two stars makes it even more special for us.”
Congratulations everyone. Well deserved!