Proudly Norfolk Members Dominate Norfolk Hero Food & Drink Awards

Proudly Norfolk members enjoyed great success in the Norfolk Hero Food & Drink Awards, (which were sponsored by our friends at Lovewell Blake), at this year’s Aylsham Show. Here’s a run-down of the winners...

Best Specialist Food or Drink Producer – WINNER Yare Valley Oils, Surlingham

The Mack family have been working the fertile farmland in the Yare valley, nestled beside the Broads, for over 100 years. Their rapeseed is grown, harvested, pressed and bottled on site by mechanical means and twice filtered, which retains the natural health properties of this incredibly versatile British oil. High in omega three, half the saturated fat of extra virgin olive oil, a very high burn point even in its extra virgin cold pressed state and a deliciously subtle flavour makes it an ideal option for everyday cooking including both sweet and savoury dishes. This oil is also used as a base for their range of dressings, sauces, marinades and infusions. You can order from the website or find their products in shops, delis and butchers across Norfolk. However, if you find yourself near Surlingham one day, give yourself a treat and pop in to their self-service farm shop where you can buy Yare Valley farm reared beef, their own-grown potatoes and the full range of oils (including new infusions such as chilli and black pepper and basil) – there are also lots of local goodies which we’ve been eyeing up for Christmas pressies!

Best Food or Drink Supplier/Retailer – WINNER Nortons Dairy, Frettenham

Nortons Dairy produces and processes fresh non-homogenised milk and cream, butter (from their own fresh double cream), cheese and yogurt from their dairy herd at Frettenham, for direct sale to local people and businesses. And they are positively racking up the awards! Earlier this year they won their category at the British Cheese Awards (Best British Flavour Added Cheese for their St Swithins Soft with Lavender) and also achieved a coveted Bronze medal in the dairy products category for their Slow Matured Pouring Yogurt – meaning that, technically speaking, it’s the third best yogurt in Britain! This particular award for ‘Best Food or Drink Supplier’ reflects the hard work that is going into developing relationships with wholesalers throughout Norfolk and nationally, to increase the number of people that can buy the Norton Dairy products. With rebranding in process to ensure that the welfare message behind everything that they do is communicated strongly via the packaging, owner Emily Norton confirms that ‘it’s all about the cow-cerned consumer’ – and their highly pampered cows of course!

Congratulations also to Proudly Norfolk nominees in this category - Coxfords Butchers of Aylsham and H V Graves of Briston.

Best New Food or Drink Venture 2015/2016 – WINNER Vanvino, Wymondham

Johnny Wyndham formed VanVino in 2016 and since then the company has grown from being a wine and spirit tasting company to a gin producer as well as providing mobile bar hire. VanVino’s success is impressive when you consider that Johnny had no previous experience in running a business, no experience in the drinks industry and no warm contacts to kick off with. Over the past twelve months, VanVino has established itself as one of the leading tasting experience companies in Norfolk. Over 700 customers have enjoyed a tasting, including events on stream trains and even a gin tasting on a golf course! Johnny launched Artificer’s gin in May this year, after teaming up with local business Reno Wine in Wymondham. Artificer’s gin is a refillable gin and has proven very popular. Unsurprisingly, Johnny has also formed the Norwich Gin Club.

Congratulations go to Yare Valley Shop, Surlingham, for being nominated in this category.