Local producers to take pride of place at festival

Sandy Higson, the Mad Jam Woman, will return to this year's festival.
Sandy Higson, the Mad Jam Woman, will return to this year's festival.

Produced in Northumberland will be flying the flag for locally produced food and drink at the 2018 Alnwick Food Festival.

More than 50 street food stalls and food and drink producers are expected to attend the event on the weekend of September 22-23.

Philip Angier, festival chairman, said: “We’ve made a special effort to showcase local talent at this year’s festival and I am very pleased that a number of Northumbrian businesses will be making their debut.”

The festival committee was able to earmark some of the generous sponsorship it received from Ford Motorcare Alnwick to support the participation of smaller businesses through a bursary scheme.

The Alnwick Food Festival is working closely with Produced in Northumberland to raise the profile of the rich variety of produce with local provenance in the county with 10 stalls flying the Produced in Northumberland flag.

The festival comes hot on the heels of Produced in Northumberland’s successful promotional visit to London.

Ken Henderson, of Produced in Northumberland, said: “Our recent visit to the Houses of Parliament showcased the fantastic food and drink made by our own Northumberland producers and made a real impact on the MPs and Peers we met there. Alongside our members at the Alnwick Food Festival, I will be there promoting the Produced in Northumberland scheme. I will also be encouraging local businesses and residents to take pride in the rich variety of food produce to be found in the county.”

Sandy Higson (aka the Mad Jam Woman) said: “I am proud to be a member of Produced in Northumberland. It’s important to continue to support authentic local produce and local food businesses. The Alnwick Food Festival is a great way of showcasing the variety of produce on offer.”

Amble-based Mocha Mondo is an example of local food entrepreneurship. From small beginnings as a one-man mobile coffee business based at Alnmouth railway station, Mocha Mondo has grown to a successful retail coffee roastery and mail order business with five employees.

“We are a local employer and strong supporter of local community and other local businesses,” says founder Martin Homer. “We are passionate about the quality of our coffee and chocolate products. Our ambition is to get great coffee into the cups of consumers in Northumberland and beyond.”

Corbridge-based Harper’s Exotic BBQ promise burgers in a variety of exotic flavours.

Graham Harper, the chef behind this unusual menu, said: ”I offer burgers with flavours from far-flung places. Whether you’re a regular or it’s your first time, let your taste buds travel and try a kangaroo or a buffalo burger.”

First-time exhibitors at this year’s Alnwick Food Festival will include: Dawson’s Delights, Mocha Mondo, Zen Bakery, Cairn O’Mohr Winery, Piccolo Café, The Treehouse Restaurant and hot food vendors Harpers Exotic BBQ.

Megan Dawson, of Dawson’s Delights, said: “I had my first experience of Alnwick Market Place at Taste of the North. Events like these can generate a real family atmosphere. There’s lots to look forward to with family entertainment planned for September’s Alnwick Food Festival.”