The winners in the 14 categories were chosen from a pool of impressive finalists following months of adjudications involving interviews, product testing and site visits to ensure they were worth of the accolades.
The annual Baking Industry Awards – hosted by our sister publication, British Baker – has been running for over three decades to celebrate the best the industry has to offer. It is the most glamorous and eagerly awaited event on the UK’s bakery industry calendar to acknowledge the skills, creativity and business acumen of the thriving UK baking sector.
“Thank you to everyone involved in making the Baking Industry Awards the wonderful event it is,” said British Baker editor Amy North.
“It was a thoroughly magical evening and we were thrilled to be able to celebrate in person again.
“A massive thank you to everyone who entered – our judges faced a very difficult task in selecting the finalists and winners. I’d also like to thank everyone who joined the celebrations and shared love for our winners in person and online, as well as our sponsors who help make the event a reality.”
And the winner is…
Tim Goodwin from The Street Bakeshop in Old Basing, Hampshire, topped the charts to swoop up Baker of the Year.
Goodwin started The Street Bakeshop in early 2020 – bang at the beginning of the outbreak of the COVID pandemic, but despite the piled-on challenges, the judges deemed that “he’s really at the top of his game and the products he makes are all of a benchmark quality, whether destined for his retail or wholesale customers”. The bakery specialises in sourdough, cake and pastry, all produced inhouse by its 22-strong team.
Neil Woods was honoured with the Outstanding Contribution award for his ‘exemplary’ 60-year career in the industry, currently as president elect of the Craft Bakers Association, along with other trade bodies, craft bakeries, in-store bakeries and at Renshaw and Ireks.
William Leet of David Wood Baking was decreed 2021’s Rising Star. Lee works as a bakery development technician, having entered the industry after being medically discharged from the army.
The business end
Stephens Bakery took the top spot in the Craft Bakery Business category. A fourth-generation family business headquartered in Dunfermline, Stephens manages 14 retail shops and a number of convenience bakery partnerships with retailers like Co-op, McColls’ and Scotmid, along with six snack delivery vehicles. The event also played host in celebrating Scottish Bakers' 130th anniversary.
The Bakery Exporter of the Year title went to Northern Ireland’s Crust & Crumb. Described as “one of the best kept secrets in bakery” by the judges, the business is the country’s largest manufacturer of ambient, chilled, and frozen commercial and gluten-free dough-based products, which it exports to Europe.
Bakery Retailer of the Year – Birds Bakery serves a range of traditional and contemporary treats in more than 60 stores across the East Midlands.
Terry Tang Designer Cakes was awarded Celebration Cake Business of the Year. The family bakery specialises in creating extravagant celebration cakes, although Tang said it was cupcakes that boosted business during the pandemic.
Blaydon-based Beckleberry’s was handed the Customers Focus Award for its “riches to rags to revival” survival plan installed to help it through the pandemic.
Sustainability Initiative of the Year was awarded to Muntons Bioenergy Plant. Since its pledge a decade ago, the company has saved 27,000 tonnes in emissions. A new biomass heating system is now fully operational at its Stowmarket site, meaning it is set to save even more greenhouse gas emissions.
The camaraderie and working environment at Simply Doughnuts – known for its extended shelf life doughnuts – snagged it Team of the Year. The team is headed by founder and MD Shiraz Master, and supported by operations manager Evita Dambrauska and admin manager Fatima Raja.
Let tastebuds do the talking
When it came to top-notch products, Dan Nemeth’s Ingleton-based Seasons Bakery scooped up two awards.
The Free-from Bakery Product of the Year was awarded to its Seasons Croissant. Based on the traditional French recipe, Season’s version is made without any dairy, palm oil or soya, using a vegan butter sourced from Holland.
The bakery also seized the New Bakery Product of the Year award for its White Chocolate & Raspberry Wagon Wheel, a supersized indulgent treat featuring a ganache centre enwrapped in marshmallow.
A Chocolate Sourdough from Buzzing Bee Baked Things was designated Speciality Bread Product of the Year. Tilting towards a dessert, the bread dough is enriched with light brown sugar, milk, cocoa, and milk and dark chocolate chips for extra indulgence.