British Baker has announced the 42 finalists for this year’s coveted Baking Industry Awards (BIA), which have been running for over three decades to celebrate the best the UK industry has to offer.
The winners will be revealed at a magical event on Thursday, 21 October at the Royal Lancaster in London. This is the biggest night out for all stakeholders to acknowledge the skills, creativity and business acumen of the thriving UK baking sector.
“After weeks of thorough adjudication, interviews and visits, our expert judges and sponsors have whittled down all of the fantastic entries we received to find the best of the best,” said British Baker editor Amy North.
“We hope you’ll congratulate them on this fantastic achievement and join us on what will be a spectacular celebratory night when we crown the winner.”
Here is the shortlist of 42 finalists in 14 categories, selected from hundreds of entries:
Baker of the Year
This award – sponsored by Brook Food – seeks to find the very best bakers in the UK; those who stand out for their passion, leadership and technical prowess.
- Lee Smith, Poppyseed Bakery
- Mark Woodgate, Mark’s Cotswold Bakery
- Tim Goodwin, The Street Bakeshop
Bakery Exporter of the Year
Sponsored by St Pierre Groupe, this category highlights the three businesses that have demonstrated sustained success overseas with plans for future growth.
- Bells of Lazonby
- Crust & Crumb Bakery
- Fatherson Bakery
Bakery Manufacturer of the Year
The businesses selected as finalists for this category – sponsored by Reiser – were chosen for their innovation, commitment to customers and commercial prowess.
- Cherrytree Bakery
- Crust & Crumb Bakery
- Geary’s Bakery
Bakery Retailer of the Year
The finalists for this award – sponsored by Lantmännen Unibake UK – all deliver enjoyable in-store experiences and impressive strategies for growth.
- Birds Bakery
- Paul UK
Celebration Cake Business of the Year
Judges in this category – sponsored by Renshaw – sought to find not only excellent cake artistry but an awareness of trends, customer service and marketing initiatives that contribute to a successful business operation.
- Caketastic Creations
- Terry Tang Designer Cakes
- Victoria White Cake Design
Craft Bakery Business Award
The category – sponsored by Dawn Foods – celebrates craft bakeries whether they operate a single shop, multiple high street outlets or bake on a wholesale basis. These craft bakeries fought off stiff competition from across the land to be shortlisted for this award.
- Mimi’s Bakehouse
- Stephens Bakery
- The Bread Factory
Customer Focus Award
Sponsored by CSM Ingredients, this award celebrates businesses that have gone the extra mile for customers.
- Birds Bakery
- J G Ross (Bakers)
Free-from Bakery Product of the Year
These free-from products certainly aren’t free of great taste. Products entered in this category – sponsored by Ingredion – have all been developed to meet a specific dietary requirement, such as vegan or gluten-, sugar- or nut-free.
- Cinnamon & Raisin Bagel, The Gluten Free Bakery
- Seasons Croissant, Seasons Bakery
- Vegan Cinnamon Bun, Beefcake Café
New Bakery Product of the Year
Sponsored by Mono, the revamped category celebrates innovative and marketable bakery products released during the last year.
- Carr’s Kids Mixes (biscuit variant), Carr’s Flour Mills
The Kids Mixes are designed to introduce children to the baking by getting their hands dirty in the mixing bowl and producing something delicious at the end of the process. The challenge of keeping kids occupied during lockdown sparked the concept, which the judges really liked. They said it was well branded and targeted, and the biscuits, produced with the addition of a few store cupboard essentials, had a great appearance, aroma and taste with a lovely structure. The range also includes a bread mix.
- FreeDough Classic Loaf, FreeDough
According to Watford-based producer, the loaf is packed with Omega-3 and ideal for anyone who is diabetic or looking for a lower carb alternative to regular bread. It boasts a lower carb content than the average loaf as well as being higher in protein and fibre. The mix is achieved using flaxseed and butter in its production. The judges said the result was a great looking and tasty loaf, and particularly good toasted.
- White Chocolate & Raspberry Wagon Wheel, Seasons Bakery
Seasons Bakery has added an indulgent twist to a known format with its new White Chocolate & Raspberry Wagon Wheel. The supersized product comes individually wrapped and features an indulgent ganache centre surrounded by marshmallow. These two flavours are then balanced by the sharpness of the raspberry jam filling. The chocolate cookie dough base adds another layer, while the white chocolate coating, mixed with double cream, completes the overall indulgent taste.
Outstanding Contribution to the Baking Industry
According to British Baker’s North, all three finalists of this award – sponsored by Délifrance – “have demonstrated their continued commitment and passion for the baking industry, which makes it very difficult to determine an overall winner.”
The shortlist for 2021 includes:
- George Fuller, founder of Fullers Bakery and chairman of the Craft Bakers Association
- Chris Huish, independent sales director at Mono Equipment
- Neil Woods, president elect of the Craft Bakers Association
They have more than 150 years of experience in the sector combined, covering aspects from equipment supply to craft baking, ingredients development and work with trade bodies.
There’s still time to have your say – visit BakeryAwards.co.uk to cast your vote.
Rising Star Award
Judges of this category – sponsored by Rondo – have shortlisted the three individuals who are helping to shape the future of the baking industry and driving developments along the way.
- Amelia Levick, Sheffield College
- Matthew McGrath, Ultrapharm
- William Leet, David Wood Baking
Speciality Bread Product of the Year
The category – sponsored by Bakels – seeks to champion breads that are original, look and taste great and have been a hit with consumers.
- Chocolate Sourdough, Buzzing Bee Baked Things
- Handcrafted Sourdough, Marks & Spencer
- Malted Beer & Plum Sourdough Tin Loaf, Seasons Bakery
Sustainability Initiative of the Year
Green energy initiatives, waste reduction, recycling and sustainable sourcing are just some of the things these businesses have implemented to make their businesses more environmentally friendly. This award – sponsored by Macphie – is new for the Baking Industry Awards 2021 and aims to highlight businesses and initiatives making the sector a more sustainable one.
- Muntons Bioenergy Plant
- Seasons Bakery
- White’s Bakery
Team of the Year
Another new award for 2021 – sponsored by Unifiller – this category highlights solid examples of teamwork that have made the dream work and driven success for their businesses.
- Carr’s Flour Mill
- Evendine Sourdough Bakery
- Simply Doughnuts
For more information and to buy tickets for the glittering BIA 2021 event in October, visit BakeryAwards.co.uk.