Sweet Success for Great Tilkey Honey

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Great Tilkey Honey is enjoying the sweet taste of success after scooping the Producer of the Year 2017 title, at our annual Supplier Supper.

The family run honey producer was hailed the bees’ knees, at the glittering event, held at Wherstead Park, Ipswich, beating off stiff competition from the Norfolk and Essex county finalists; Krusty Loaf and Alder Tree Cream Ices.

The awards evening was not only honouring fabulous food and drink from East Anglia, but also celebrating an incredible 10 years of our Co-op’s Sourced Locally Initiative. 

Established in 2007, the Sourced Locally initiative has grown from a handful of producers to over 100 supplier partners who provide over 3,500 different products to stores across Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk.

Michael Coe from Great Tilkey Honey said: “I’m doubly delighted to have won Producer of the Year in the same year that the Sourced Locally initiative is celebrating its 10th anniversary. 

“I’m immensely proud of what my small cottage industry has achieved over the last five years.  

“It truly is a labour of love; very early mornings, late nights and lots of stings! But we would not change a thing. The journey has been phenomenal and the future looks bright. 

“We are growing the number of bees and continuing to educate the public on the welfare of these amazing creatures.”

Michael Coe has been producing clear and set honey for the East of England Co-op stores since 2012. From humble beginnings, Michael’s cottage industry certainly impressed an expert panel of local food and farming experts, including: Terry Hunt, Editor of the EADT; Emma Hibbert, Adnam’s Corporate Affairs Manager and Lord Iveagh from Elveden Estates.

From just one hive in his back garden and a converted shed for jarring, Great Tilkey Honey has evolved into an established business with a bespoke extraction unit, six apiaries across Essex and Suffolk and a strong customer following.

Roger Grosvenor, Joint Chief Executive for the East of England Co-op said: “Michael’s hard work over the five years exemplifies our sourced locally initiative. I’m delighted that his commitment and passion has been recognised. His knowledge of bees and educating the public on their welfare is second to none.”

Click here to find out more about each of the producers who were involved in this year’s awards and other local suppliers.