This weekend, Sarah attended the Yorkshire Food and Drink Festival. Here’s her round up of the event, including her favourite small businesses who exhibited.

Well…what a weekend of foodie indulgence!

As well as sampling all kinds of delicious food & drink, I got to watch James Martin in a live cookery demonstration. Unfortunately I missed the Hairy Bikers, but heard great things about them!

James Martin made mushroom pasta, mackerel with pickled vegetables and followed with an apple charlotte dessert. He was a great entertainer live, really relaxed and great at getting the audience involved.

But what about the food?

There were so many food trucks and stalls giving away samples and selling their produce, I spent a small fortune on various dips, spreads and sweet things! All washed down with far too many glasses of prosecco!

So here’s a rundown of what I enjoyed the most…

The Doughnut Guy

Newcastle-based The Doughnut Guy had a space in the outdoor food space, and the smell of freshly made doughnuts lured us to the gazebo early on in the day. You could choose from a range of sauces and toppings. I went with slated caramel sauce and pecans – I wanted to marry these doughnuts!

The Doughnut Guy

Their branding was really simple and very authentic, harking back to the days where you would go to the seaside and get a bag of sugared doughnuts, only much more refined!

The Doughnut Guy

They have a great story of quitting a 9-5 to start up the artisan doughnut business, and now cater parties, weddings, corporate events and festivals.

POPS

Pops is a British based company creating premium alcoholic ice pops that use natural ingredients.

I tried the prosecco and peach bellini ice pop – just what we needed to cleanse the palette between bites!

pops branding

Again, POPS has brilliant branding, their graphics and product presentation is superb. A mix of premium design and fun that really represents what the product is!

pops branding

Taylor and Bennett

Taylor and Bennett produce super high quality chocolate, and a super premium price! At £6 per bar it was expensive, but you could really taste the difference in the quality of the ingredients.I went for the coffee and cacao nib dark chocolate.

Their packaging uses cacao husks and recycled coffee cups which is a really nice way of using what would be waste in their product. Their website is spot on too, so refined and elegant, letting the product take centre stage.

Taylor and Bennet

Sugar Rush Fudge

They could do with some help on their digital presence and packaging, but the salted caramel butter fudge was so good I had to include them in my list of favourite artisans!

Sugar Rush Fudge

Update: I think they’ve changed their name to Sam’s Real Fudge.

Shire Honey

A small batch business that creates bee honey and other bee products. Shire Honey is also the name of the Ambleside Bed and Breakfast owned by the family that makes the honey.

I bought a jar of the Spring Flower honey from Shire. It was really smooth and delicious.

You can buy Shire at Skipton, Stokesley and York farmers’ markets and some small retail outlets in the region.

Chipotle Jam

This was the tastiest thing I ate all day – sweet and smokey chipotle jam. I bought a jar. And guess what…they didn’t have a legible version of their company name on the packaging!

Chipotle Jam

Really bad product design – how can customers repeat buy if they don’t know what company to search for?

Food Truck

Smokin Blues

Seriously good pulled pork – I had the loaded fries topped with pulled pork, BBQ sauce, cheese and chip spice!

Smokin Blues

There website is beautiful, and makes great use of imagery – who can resist a close up of a charred rib of beef, corn on the cob or a stacked burger? Smokin’ Blues work the festival circuit and also cater at weddings, corporate events and parties.

Why Exhibit?

The Yorkshire Dales Food and Drink Festival provided a great forum for small food, drink and craft producers and retailers to sell there wares to thousands of local customers with cash burning a hole in their pocket.

For those that got their branding, packaging, and of course, their product, right, they also built a new following of customers that will look for their products again and again. A great example of that is Heck sausages, which are now sold in large supermarkets.

If you make or sell food, drink or craft products on a small scale, get in touch to discuss how to get in front of your customers at the right time, place and at the right price!

I’ll definitely be booking tickets for 2017! If you want more information their official website is here: www.yorkshiredalesfoodanddrinkfestival.com