Young Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year 2017
Applications for this year’s awards are now CLOSED.
Cotswold Fayre’s search for the next talented and innovative young entrepreneur looking to crack the fine food industry is well underway. Meet the three finalists that have impressed the judging panel this year, hear their stories and decide who will get your vote at this year’s Speciality and Fine Food Fair.
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The competition is inspired by the growing number of new businesses being started by young entrepreneurs; according to the Centre for Entrepreneurs, over 26,000 UK businesses are run by professionals aged 21 and under.
The winning food and drink business will be awarded £1,500 to help grow the business as well as monthly mentoring sessions with Paul Hargreaves and support from Cotswold Fayre's in-house designer to build a strong brand identity.
Paul Hargreaves, chief executive of Cotswold Fayre said, “Despite the UK having a healthier economy that is providing jobs at established businesses, we are still seeing more young people seeking to start their own business.
“Young people are increasingly interested in the provenance, quality and nutritional content of the products they consume. It is great to see some of this active interest being translated into new product innovation.”
“Starting a business myself 17 years ago, I completely appreciate that the hurdles to starting a new business can be daunting. The unique thing about our start-up support scheme is that we are not only offering a small amount of monetary support but I am also mentoring the winner throughout the first year to help them to accelerate their business plan.”
Young Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year 2016
Olly Hiscocks, owner of Olly's Olives, has been announced as the winner of our start-up support scheme Young Food and Drink Entrepreneur of the Year.
The final was held at the Speciality and Fine Food Fair where the three finalists, Gabriella Block of Nut Blend, rory O'Connor of Infustic and Olly presented their products and business plan to a packed out audience.
Click here to read the full release from Speciality Food Magazine.
Olly said: “I am so chuffed to have won Young Entrepreneur of the Year and am thrilled to be able to get the opportunity to be mentored by Paul Hargreaves. It will be invaluable to get advice and guidance from someone with so much industry experience and who was worked with so many different brands, particularly as I am currently working on this by myself. The money will go a long way to helping with the development of new products that I’m working on, which I will raise the olive game with!”
Young Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year 2015
Jerome Jacob, owner of Real Fruit Infusions company: PHROOTI has been announced as the winner of our start-up support scheme Young Food and Drink Entrepreneur of the Year.
The final was held at the Speciality and Fine Food Fair where the two finalists, Joe Devereux-Kelly of cold brew coffee company Cool Coffee and Jerome presented their products and business plan to a packed out audience.
Paul Hargreaves, managing director of Cotswold Fayre said: “This is our third year of running the scheme, which was formerly known as Cotswold Collaborates, and once again I was incredibly impressed with the calibre and passion of the young entrepreneurs that entered.”
After the presentations the audience voted in favour of Jerome who was presented with a £1,000 cheque to help grow the business. The ambitious entrepreneur will also receive one to one business mentoring sessions with Paul over the next year.
Paul added: “The voting in the final was very close but Jerome just edged it. I am looking forward to working with Jerome and his brand, which offers the market something very different.
“I am certain that we haven’t heard the last of Joe from Cool Coffee and I wish him luck with his venture.”
Speaking after his win, Jerome said: “After working so hard on PHROOTI for so many months, it's great to have won the Cotswold Fayre Young Food & Drink Entrepreneur title. I couldn't be happier. Next step is to make a full batch of retail ready pouches and take the fight to fruit tea... The fruity revolution is coming!"
Cotswold Collaborates 2014
At Cotswold Fayre we’re committed to helping the fine food industry grow and we believe that creative young minds are the key to its development.
Last year, Paul Hargreaves, owner of Cotswold Fayre, launched a competition to encourage and offer advice to young food producers with £1,000 funding rewarded to the winner.
This years Speciality & Fine Food Fair hosted the second final of the annual start-up support scheme, Cotswold Collaborates. Paul reflects; “We had two excellent contenders at the Cotswold Collaborates Final. Both were several stages ahead of any of the 2013 finalists, and they both were exhibiting at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair, which demonstrated a commitment to developing their brands. The voting in the final was very close but Chris Hannaway from Overly edged it, and I am very excited about working with Chris and his brand, which has good potential in what is a what is a rapidly growing category.”
Chris Hannaway of Overly premium sports drinks was this years Cotswold Collaborates winner and is looking forward to learning more form Paul and his experience with selling to retailers. Chris believes that winning Cotswold Collaborates will be “a big boost to the business.” And will be using the prize money to increase marketing efforts in all areas of the Overly launch including consumer sampling.
Chris Hannaway, 24
Overly, Premium Sports Drink
The premium range of flavoured sports drinks are made with coconut water and all-natural sweeteners and flavours. Chris has been conducting tastings in and around London this summer.