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Enteries are open for the 2019 Suffolk Business Awards!

Still time to cast a vote for local producers

PUBLISHED: 12:04 20 February 2019 | UPDATED: 12:20 20 February 2019

David Wright and Ian Akers, The Cake Shop Bakery  Picture: RAE SHIRLEY

David Wright and Ian Akers, The Cake Shop Bakery Picture: RAE SHIRLEY

Rae Shirley

The Cake Shop, a family-run bakery and Choose Spice, creators of authentic East Asia spice pastes, offered shoppers free tasters of their produce at a love-themed St Valentine’s Day as part of a competition to be crowned the East of England Co-op’s Producer of the Year.

Vernon and Jamie, Choose Spice  Picture: RAE SHIRLEYVernon and Jamie, Choose Spice Picture: RAE SHIRLEY

The businesses both have strong ties to the town of Woodbridge, whose main shopping route - The Thoroughfare - was highly commended as one of the best in England in this year’s Great British High Street awards.

So the town – and its local Co-op store - played host to the event and customers were invited to sample treats from both producers and pick their favourite as part of a month-long public vote.

Vernon Blackmore, one of the co-owners of Choose Spice, said: “It was a fantastic day and we were thrilled to take part.

“Here in Woodbridge we all know and love each other and champion the variety of independent businesses that operate in the town.”

The Cake Shop and Choose Spice are two of six finalists from across the East in the competition – with two companies from Essex and two from Norfolk also vying for public support.

Voting runs until tomorrow, February 21, so it is time to cast your votes.

One winner will be picked from each county, before a panel of food and farming experts will judge who will be crowned overall champion.

David Wright is the third generation to manage The Cake Shop.

He said: “They say the way to a partner’s heart is through their stomach but on Valentine’s Day we aimed to play cupid to everyone.

“It was a huge amount of fun and everyone got involved.”

How to cast your vote

Roger Grosvenor, joint chief executive at the East of England Co-op, urged anyone who hadn’t voted yet to join in.

“Both the producers in Suffolk pulled out all the stops for Valentine’s Day and raked in the votes as a result. But there’s still time to get involved and help your favourite to win.

“Choose Spice is a relatively new business bringing exciting and exotic flavours to the dining table. Meanwhile, The Cake Shop is a family-run, multi-award winning bakery with a long history and a lot of stories to tell.

“Not only is it important to get behind local producers but there’s an added incentive for getting involved,” he said.

Those who vote will have a chance to win £500 of vouchers to use in East of England Co-op stores, he added.

To find out more about each of the shortlisted producers and to vote visit: www.eastofengland.coop/poty2019

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