The winners of the Best Newcomer award, sponsored by Pier, and the Food and Drink Retailer of the Year award have been announced at the Suffolk Food and Drink Awards 2024.

Here, we discover what makes these businesses so worthy of recognition. 

Best Newcomer
Sponsored by Pier

Winner: ACRE Farm + Bakery

ACRE Bakery, located at Monewden Hall, near Woodbridge, specialises in baking sourdough bread in a handcrafted wood-fired oven and using just three ingredients: flour, water and salt. Each loaf takes over 24 hours from start to finished bake. 

The flour used in the bakery is made from a diverse selection of wheat grown alongside a variety of legumes, providing a nutty flavour that’s also full of nutrition.

ACRE Bakery also runs supper clubs in the summer and autumn featuring locally sourced ingredients.

The judges called ACRE Bakery “an incredible, one-of-a-kind bakery, serving the needs of its community, the land and environment”.

They praised the business’ engagement with customers and said that “from the quality of the product to the 360-degree approach to production/circular farming, everything is considered and exemplary”.

Owner Alex Aitchison said he was “in awe” after the win.

“The responses from the clients have been amazing,” he said, “and orders have been flooding in, so its been a massive boost to the business.”

Looking to the future, the business is now looking at egg production with the introduction of “a new chicken caravan to move around the fields to use in the bakery”, said Alex.

“We started with the bread and we want to carry on – to produce our own pasteurised eggs for our bread will be amazing.”

Finalist: Husk

Husk is a supper club, farmstead and eco retreat at Walnut Tree Farm in Thorington. After sustainably renovating the farm’s old cow sheds, Chefs Joey O’Hare and Katy Taylor now offer a small commercial kitchen, large dining barn and four guest rooms. 

The business has been hosting supper clubs every Friday and Saturday evening since opening.

Finalist: The Suffolk Jungle Room

The Suffolk Jungle Room opened its first site in Metfield in February 2022, providing a small café that’s also filled with houseplants for sale. 

In September last year, a second site was opened at The Wissett Plough, where visitors can enjoy a wider range of items as the on-site commercial kitchen allows everything to be baked in house.

Finalist: Wine Cellar

A relaxed bar in the historic town of Bury St Edmunds, Wine Cellar is focused on offering visitors a large selection of wine from around the world.

With 80-plus wines available by the glass, it aims to bring undiscovered wines to guests and also has a selection of local beers, a full 0% alcohol offering and an extensive cocktail menu to sample, plus a sharing boards and small plates menu. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Left to right, Charlotte Gullifer, Amy Osbourne, Ross Stringer, Michael Anfilogoff, Damien Riseley, Andrew Storer, Stefania Zanotti and Gemma Riseley from Black Dog Deli FoodsLeft to right, Charlotte Gullifer, Amy Osbourne, Ross Stringer, Michael Anfilogoff, Damien Riseley, Andrew Storer, Stefania Zanotti and Gemma Riseley from Black Dog Deli Foods (Image: Matthew Potter Photographer and Videographer)

Food and Drink Retailer of the Year

Winner: Black Dog Deli Foods

The award-winning Black Dog Deli has four locations in Walberswick, Halesworth, Wrentham and Yoxford. It takes pride in using fresh ingredients and innovative recipes to create memorable experiences.

The team is passionate about curating the highest-quality handmade goods, meticulously crafted with locally sourced ingredients to honour the rich flavours of Suffolk. 

The business collaborates closely with suppliers and customers to ensure every product exceeds expectations.

The judges visited Black Dog Deli’s Halesworth site, which they described as “eclectic, inviting and bustling”.

They were impressed to see that everything is “made fresh in house” for the business’ four sites and for wholesale customers, and felt that pricing was “very competitive”, appealing to “locals and holidaymakers alike”.

After receiving the award, Andrew Storer, director of Black Dog Deli Foods, said: “We are thrilled – makes all the hard work worth it.

“The amount of effort we have put in to build the business and to be recognised with the amount of people we feed is incredible. The staff have put in as much work as the directors and it’s just added value on what they do as well.

“There’s not a bigger award in Suffolk for this – and we are beyond grateful to have won.”

Finalist: Alder Carr Farm

Alder Carr Farm shop in Creeting St Mary is home to a range of local, seasonal and artisan produce, including its own butchery, deli counter and multi-award-winning Alder Tree ice cream. 

It also hosts newly re-opened pottery, gift and antique shops, and the Courtyard Café on site, in addition to a plant centre supplied by Katie’s Garden, picnic and play areas, river walks and a farm trail.

Finalist: Salter & King

Aldeburgh-based Salter & King boasts a passionate and progressive approach to butchery, offering organic, free-range and pasture-fed meat from its cohort of Suffolk farms.

It is committed to selling only grass-reared, slow-grown livestock from regenerative, free-range or organic systems that enhance the natural world. 

Its focus on provenance means it knows each farmer, farm and herd intimately, ensuring the meat comes from animals raised with care for their welfare.

Finalist: Two Magpies Bakery

Two Magpies opened its doors in 2012 in Southwold and now has a central bakery and bake school in Walpole and Darsham, as well as bakery cafés in Aldeburgh, Norwich, Blakeney, Holt, Woodbridge, Framlingham, Beccles and Wells-next-the-Sea. 

Every day the team of over 200 bakers, pastry chefs and baristas bring passion and expertise to what they do best, transforming quality ingredients into delicious products and putting customer service first.

To find out more about all the winners, please click here.

For more information on the Suffolk Food and Drink Awards, please visit