A Leighton Buzzard independent butcher is looking forward to defending its title at this year’s Bedfordshire Food and Drink Awards.
The 2017 awards were recently launched in Bedford with a call to customers to nominate their favourite venues across a range of categories.
Andrew Stanton, of Stratton Butchers, in Market Square, Leighton Buzzard, said: “Winning last year’s Best Independent Butcher category was excellent news for Strattons. The fact that customers voted for us reflects the fact that there is a huge demand for quality meat products.
“If we are lucky enough to be nominated again, we will certainly be going all out to win!”
One of Bedfordshire’s most famous companies, the brewer and pub company Charles Wells, is the headline sponsor for this year’s contest, where the category winners will be decided by public vote.
Peter Wells, Commercial Director at Charles Wells said: “As headline sponsor of the 2017 Bedfordshire Food and Drink Awards we’re very proud to be able to help celebrate those who share our Bedfordshire roots and also strive to raise the bar in quality and taste, proving that Bedfordshire really does punch above its weight in serving excellent food and drink.”
Last year’s food and drink awards spurred some 450 nominations and more than 28,000 votes across three counties and the organisers hope to emulate that success this year.
Awards organiser Damian Cummins said: “The interest we’ve already seen points to not only an immense year but to us uncovering and promoting some fantastic butchers, bakers, restaurants, pubs and food and drink makers across Beds.
“Our message to the public is – please get nominating now by going to the website www.bedsfda.co.uk”
Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce is also among the sponsors because, as their representative Paula Devine said, food and drink is a very important part of the Bedfordshire economy.
Customers can nominate their favourite venues up until February 27 and voting will remain open until May 1. The awards ceremony will be held in June.
Nominations must be made via the awards website www.bedsfda.co.uk
Local businesses nominated so far include:
Best Artisan Bakery: The Little Buzzard Bakery
Best Independent Butchers Shop: HG Stratton Butchers
Best Independent Tea/Coffee Shop: Espresso-Head, Ollie Vees, Sorelli Cafe
Independent Food Retailer/Producer of the Year: La Belle Cake Company
Pub of the Year - Free House: The Bald Buzzard, The Black Lion.