The winners of the Best Suffolk Producer award, sponsored by The Hotel Folk, and the Food/Drink Experience award have been announced at the Suffolk Food and Drink Awards 2024.

Here, we learn a little more about the winners and finalists in each category. 

Best Suffolk Producer 
Sponsored by The Hotel Folk

Winner: Fen Farm Dairy 

Creators of the much loved Baron Bigod cheese, along with many other raw, cultured dairy products, Fen Farm is a third generation dairy farm based in Bungay.

The business exclusively uses the milk of its own herd of free-ranging Montbéliarde cows to make its products, which are sold nationwide and exported globally. 

The judges said that Fen Farm Dairy has “left no stone unturned in its highly tuned circular farming business model”, creating a business which they called “a force to be reasoned with”.

Utilising solar power, drive-by collection of its products and a state of the art production facility, Fen Farm demonstrated to the judges that “everything is done with a purpose”.

They concluded by saying that the dairy has helped to put Suffolk “on the international food map”. 

Commenting on being named Best Suffolk Producer, owner of Fen Farm Dairy Dulcie Crickmore said: “It’s a huge honour and it feels like a real privilege to receive this award and the reason it feels like a privilege is that Suffolk is an amazing county. There is nowhere quite like it in the UK, it’s a melting pot of talented producers, and to be recognised amongst these amazing producers feels so special.”

Finalist: Heart of Suffolk Distillery

Based in Bacton, near Stowmarket, Heart of Suffolk Distillery specialises in creating artisan London dry gins, including its signature Betty’s, with orange, pepper and aniseed notes; Rosie’s, a light summery gin with floral undertones; and Ivy’s, which boasts winter spices. 

The business also regularly crafts limited edition liqueurs filled with foraged Suffolk fruits alongside other artisan spirits, including Suffolk’s very first Amaretto.

Finalist: Hillfarm Oils

Owners of their family farm in Heveningham, Sam and Clare Fairs were the first British farmers to produce a premium extra virgin oil made from rapeseed.

Grown and pressed on the farm and fully traceable, the oil contains heart-healthy omega 3 and the lowest levels of saturated fats of all plant oils.

Hillfarm also sells mayonnaise, whole rapeseeds, flavoured oils, honey and a range of bee-friendly products.

Finalist: Marimba World Chocolate

Marimba first opened in Sudbury in 2008 as a specialist chocolate café and since then has developed into a wholesale business with a second location in Bury St Edmunds. 

The business has spent years developing its signature range of hot chocolate melts, which are made in the ‘flakery’ in Bury St Edmunds by the family team and served in over 750 establishments countrywide.

East Anglian Daily Times: Left to right, Hayley Noller, Joey O’Hare, Katy Taylor and Nina Simon from Husk with Jenny Cousins (ambassador judge)Left to right, Hayley Noller, Joey O’Hare, Katy Taylor and Nina Simon from Husk with Jenny Cousins (ambassador judge) (Image: Matthew Potter Photographer and Videographer)

Food/Drink Experience

Winner: Husk

Nestled within an old farmstead in Thorington, Husk is an eco retreat and supper club established by chefs Joey O’Hare and Katy Taylor.

Sustainability is at the heart of everything Husk does. Many of the ingredients are grown or produced on site and each course is introduced to shine a spotlight on provenance and seasonality, and to champion the Suffolk producers. 

Guests enjoy their food accompanied by a roaring log fire, brilliant music and bold, contemporary artwork – a perfect place to return with friends time and again. 

The judges recognised that “the desire to create a really special experience for the guests comes through strongly” at Husk, “from the detail in the rooms to the care taken over food and drink”.

They praised the “passionate and inspiring team” for creating “an outstanding food and drink experience” where “intricate care is taken in every step”.

Director of Husk, Katy Taylor, said: “This one means a lot to us as it is really about the food but also about the hosting – making people feel welcome and giving a different experience; making them see the produce in Suffolk differently, explaining the providence and just having a natter with the customers.

“It means so much to win,” she added.

Finalist: The Bull Inn, Woodbridge

Located in the centre of Woodbridge, The Bull is a historic, 16th century coaching inn with a friendly, warm and welcoming atmosphere.

It provides traditional British food and drink with a focus on Suffolk produce, including local ales, lagers, wines and spirits. 

Approximately 90% of its seasonal produce is sourced within a one-hour drive of Woodbridge.

Finalist: The Food Hub Cookery School

The Food Hub Cookery School, located at the heart of the Kenton Hall Estate in mid-Suffolk, is a place for food lovers of all abilities to enjoy cooking, learning and eating.

Courses range from pasta to patisseries and bread-making to butchery, as well as evening or full day masterclasses, guest chefs and barbecue courses, and are structured so that you spend as much time learning as possible.

Finalist: The Lion

The Lion in East Bergholt is set within a charming 250-year-old building in the heart of Constable country.

The brasserie features a large walled garden with manicured lawns, a state-of-the-art kitchen, a handcrafted bar, wine cellar, large wood burners and five boutique B&B rooms. 

In the summer, the garden is home to an 80-seater sail cloth tent where guests can experience al fresco Mediterranean-style dining under the lights.

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

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