Here’s to the Harrogate Speciality Food Show!

Ampleforth Abbey Beer.
Ampleforth Abbey Beer.

By Tom Hay

Some of Britain’s most exciting food producers will head en masse to Harrogate in around 10 days time.

Around 150 exhibitors will be setting up shop on the Great Yorkshire Showground - in the same building that houses the Yorkshire Show’s superb food hall - to showcase their wares.

It will include everything from oil producers, bakers, cheesemongers and brewers to preservers, chocolatiers, snack makers and deli food importers. Typically, every part of the artisan food spectrum is represented.

Many are new or small businesses looking for a way into Yorkshire’s food shops and restaurants - and history shows that some of the newcomers (70 of this year’s exhibitors are new) will find their way there and, even further, onto the supermarket shelves.

It runs on Sunday, June 23 and Monday, June 24. It’s a trade only event, which means you’ll need to have some connection to the food industry to be able to go.

But if you do, you really should. It’s a fantastic place to find products to stock, and an absolute mine of inspiration.

It’s run by the Guild of Fine Food, which also runs the Great Taste Awards.

John Farrand, “With the supermarkets faltering, it’s vital for independent retailers to bring the consumer closer to the producer.

“There’s no better place to discover the stories behind the products than at Harrogate, where there will be more than 150 exhibitors.

“You can also buff up your retailing knowledge with sessions at the Great Taste Live Theatre.”

Those sessions include Rudding Park’s Stephanie Moon on “more taste, less waste”, a Dragon’s Den-style panel in which exhibitors pitch their products to food buyers, and talks on selling charcuterie and tasting blue cheese.

Taylors of Harrogate will be exhibiting at the show for the first time this year, and there are plenty of other Yorkshire businesses.

Ampleforth Abbey will be showing off its cider, beer and apple liqueur, chocolate fans will be well catered for by York’s Choc-Affair and Leeds’ Lauden Fine Chocolate, and from Harrogate, Little Barn cakes and desserts, MarRon Wine, Cider and Liqueurs (offering “Choc Au Vin - wine with a taste of chocolate”) and Naked Ape healthy biltong snacks.

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