Suffolk and Essex food and drink firms celebrate Great Taste award success

Chris Brennan of Pump Street Bakery Chocolate.

Chris Brennan of Pump Street Bakery Chocolate. - Credit: Archant

More than 20 food and drink producers from Suffolk and north Essex have secured star ratings in the 2015 Great Taste awards.

Sam Fairs of Hillfarm Oils.

Sam Fairs of Hillfarm Oils. - Credit: Archant

Run by the Guild of Fine Food, the awards aim to be seen as the food and drink manufacturing sector’s equivalent of the Michelin star rating system for restaurants.

Among the biggest winners this year is Pump Street Bakery Chocolate from Orford, whose Madagascar 58% Milk Chocolate not only received a maximum three-star rating but was also included in the the guild’s Top 50 listing.

Pump Street Bakery was formed in 2010 by father and daughter team Chris and Joanna Brennan and now, alongside breads and pastries, also produces its own “bean to bar” chocolate which it makes in small batches from directly imported beans which it roasts and grinds itself.

The Great Taste Award judges commented on the well balanced flavours and “exceptional” finish of its Madagascar 58% Milk Chocolate, describing it as “a scrummy premium milk chocolate with a hint of pepper”. Pump Street Bakery Chocolate also picked up a second three-star rating, for its Madagascar Criollo 74% chocolate, plus three two-star and one one-star ratings.

The team at Scarlett & Mustard.

The team at Scarlett & Mustard. - Credit: Archant

Another three-star winner this year was Hillfarm Oils from Heveningham which picked up a top rating for its Farmhouse Mayonnaise, and a one-star rating for its Garlic Mayonnaise.

Handmade by Hadleys, from Colne Engaine, near Colchester, won four two-star awards – three for its Grenada Chocolate, Passion Fruit Curd and and Lusty Glaze Coffee ice creams and another for its Hot Chocolate with Madagascan Chocolate – plus two one-star awards.

Most Read

Scarlett & Mustard from Earl Soham won three two-star and four one-star awards, including a full house for five of its fruit curds as well as for its Pumpkin Seed Oil and Infused English Smoked Rapeseed Oil.

There were also three two-star awards for ice cream maker Alder Tree, from Needham Market, for its apple and cinnamon, tayberry and blackcurrant flavours, plus six one-star awards.

Stephany Hardingham of Alder Tree.

Stephany Hardingham of Alder Tree. - Credit: Archant

Other two-star award winners included Chadacre Honey, Choose Spice, Daily Grind Imports, JimJams Spreads, Maynard House Orchards, The Naughty Sheep, Palfrey & Hall and Stokes Sauces, and there were also four one-star awards for Fairfields Farm Crisps.

The judging of this year’s Great Taste awards involved more than 400 expert judges and 49 judging days from March to early July, with the judges operating in teams of four or five to ensure a balance of expertise, age and gender.

More than 10,000 products were entered out of which only 130 achieved the top three-star rating. With 597 products receiving two stars and 2,382 gaining one star, only 31% of all the products entered were accredited.

In addition to the star ratings and the Top 50 ranking, the Guild of Fine Foods will also be presenting its annual “Golden Fork” awards at the Royal Garden Hotel in London on September 7 when the best entries in each food and drink category will receive further recognition.

The line-up of Great Taste award winners in Suffolk and north Essex includes:

Pump Street Bakery

Three stars: Madagascar Milk 58%, Madagascar Criollo 74%

Two stars: Ecuador Dark Milk 60%, Grenada 70%, Ecuador Rye, Crumb, Milk & Sea Salt 60%

One star: Sourdough & Sea Salt 66%

Hillfarm Oils

Three stars: Farmhouse Mayonnaise.

One star: Garlic Mayonnaise

Handmade by Hadleys

Two stars: Hot Chocolate with Madagascan Chocolate, To Share Grenada Chocolate Ice Cream, To Share Passion Fruit Curd Ice Cream, To Share Lusty Glaze Coffee Ice cream

One star: Great Start Granola, To Share Strawberry and Elderflower Sorbet

Alder Tree

Two stars: Apple & Cinnamon, Tayberry, Blackcurrant

One star: Summer Berries & Cream, Christmas Pudding, Gooseberry & Elderflower, Raspberries & Cream, Stem Ginger & Rhubarb, Velvety Vanilla

Scarlett & Mustard

Two stars: Rhubarb & Vanilla Curd, Lime & Mint Curd, Pumpkin Seed Oil

One star: Passionfruit & Lemon Curd, Toffee Apple Curd, Elderflower Curd, Naturally Smoked Rapeseed Oil

Maynard House Orchards

Two stars: Cox & Bramley Apple Juice

H Bramley Apple Juice, Apple & Raspberry

Stokes Sauces

Two stars: Red Onion Marmalade

One star: Chilli Jam, Sweet & Stock Barbecue Sauce

JimJams Spreads

Two stars: No Added Sugar Hazelnut Chocolate Spread

One star: Reduced Sugar Blackcurrant Jam

Daily Grind Imports

Two stars: Novus Persian Pomegranate

One star: Novus Mulled White Wine, Novus English Breakfast, Novus Organic Darjeeling, Novus Yunnan Gold, Novus Pu-erh, Novus Yunnan Green Tea

Chadacre Honey

Two stars: English Honey with Madagascan Vanilla

Choose Spice

Two stars: Rendang Curry Paste

The Naughty Sheep,

Two stars: Sheepers Keepers

Palfrey and Hall

Two stars: Wiltshire Style Smoked Ham

Fairfields Farm Crisps

One star: Chorizo & Tomato, Aspall Cyder Vinegar & Sea Salt, Cheese & Chive, Sweet Chilli


One star: Superfood + Chocolate Bar, Superfood Energy Ball Mix – Chocolate + Nuts, Superfood Energy Ball Mix – Chocolate + Nuts + Protein

Hanningfield Smokehouse

One star: Smoked Trout Pate, Whole Smoked Rainbow Trout

W & H Marriage & Sons

One star: Moulsham Strong Malted Seeded Bread Flour, Light Spelt

Tendring Fruit

H Braeburn Apple Juice, Braeburn and Pear Juice

East Coast Chilli Company

One star: Reason Habanero and Naga Sauce

Edward’s Cordial

One star: Rhubarb and Elderflower Cordial

The English Cream Tea Company

One star: Henry Norris CBE Silken Pyramid Tea Bags


One star: Sticky Toffee Pudding with Homemade Toffee Sauce

Munchy Seeds

One star: Crunchy Bites

Red Chilli Kitchen

One star: Vietnamese Tomato Chilli Jam

Scarlet Rosita Food

One star: RAW! Tasty Seedy Bread

Thursday Cottage

One star: Reduced Sugar Blackcurrant Jam

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter