Snape Maltings’ food legacy ‘will continue to grow’ under new owners

The Aldeburgh food and drink festival at Snape Maltings

The Aldeburgh food and drink festival at Snape Maltings

Snape Maltings’ rich food and drink heritage is set to continue to evolve and grow when Aldeburgh Music takes over ownership in the next few weeks.

Johnny & Alesha Gooderham at The Aldeburgh Food festival

Johnny & Alesha Gooderham at The Aldeburgh Food festival

Johnny and Alesha Gooderham are selling the 22-acre site to the arts organisation and moving to Queensland in Australia where Alesha’s family is based.

Mrs Gooderham, who has been heavily involved in the retail and events side of business, was praised for the food and drink legacy she leaves, in particular the farmers’ markets she established 11 years ago and the annual Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival, which this year celebrates its tenth anniversary.

Festival president Caroline Cranbrook said Mrs Gooderham had taken “enormous care and trouble”

“She’s been wonderful,” she said. “She’s very responsible for the fact it has become such a seedbed for new and existing food businesses.”

East Anglian Daily Times and Suffolk Magazine Food and Drink Awards 2012
Outstanding Achievement Aw

East Anglian Daily Times and Suffolk Magazine Food and Drink Awards 2012 Outstanding Achievement Award winner Alesha Gooderham - Credit: Andy Abbott

Mrs Gooderham, the EADT’s 2012 Food and Drink Awards Food Hero, said Lady Cranbrook had been a “mentor” and “a huge influence”.

The pair, along with William Kendall and Tim Rowan-Robinson, organise the festival, which attracted around 2,500 people in its first year. Today it draws more than 12,000 visitors.

“It doesn’t stop with me,” pledged Mrs Gooderham. “It will continue to flower and flourish.”

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She added: “I think they (Aldeburgh Music) will do a great job because having been on site for four decades, they understand and value, what’s special about the place. There’s nowhere else quite like it in Britain.”

Alesha Gooderham, Harry Young and Lady Caroline Cranbrook

Alesha Gooderham, Harry Young and Lady Caroline Cranbrook - Credit: Archant

Lady Cranbrook described the acquisition by Aldeburgh Music as “an exciting development”.

“Although the Gooderham family’s move to Australia will be a great loss to Suffolk, they have given us an amazing legacy,” she said. “They have done so much to make Snape Maltings and East Suffolk a focus for good food and a visitor destination second to none.”

The festival was “greatly looking forward” to its continued association with Aldeburgh Music and was preparing for its tenth anniversary event in September, she said.

Harry Young, Aldeburgh Music’s general manager, said the handover of the complex, which employs 100 staff, would be seamless and events like the farmers’ market and the festival would continue.

“The Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival is a very special and important event – a real asset for the area. We want it to thrive and will do our best to support it. We look forward to an even closer working relationship with the organisers,” he said.

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