Woodbridge feels the love for Suffolk food producers

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Two Woodbridge food producers are competing for public votes to be crowned a locally-sourced hero.

There are just two weeks left on the ballot, with voters being asked to choose between The Cake Shop, a family-run bakery and Choose Spice, creators of authentic East Asia spice pastes, , to become the East of England Co-op’s Producer of the Year.

The pair both have strong ties to the market town of Woodbridge, whose main shopping route - The Thoroughfare - was highly commended as one of the best in England in this year’s Great British High Street awards.

The town will play host to an event to celebrate both the producers on Valentine’s Day which will include free tasters and a love theme. Both producers will be at the Woodbridge food store from 11am to 4pm and customers will also have a chance to win a luxury hamper for their loved one.

Vernon Blackmore, one of the co-owners of Choose Spice, said he was delighted both producers in the running originate from Woodbridge.

“We are all part of a local food community and this award is about nurturing community,” he said.

David Wright is the third generation to manage The Cake Shop and he said the town triumphed in the high street awards because it was full of unique, independent stores which made the customer experience special.

“Our goals for 2019 are going to remain centred on people,” he said. “The people who work for us and the people we serve.”

The Cake Shop and Choose Spice are two of six finalists from across the East in the competition – with two companies from Essex and two from Norfolk also vying for public support.

Voting runs until 21st February. One winner will be picked from each county, before a panel of food and farming experts will judge who will be crowned overall champion.

Roger Grosvenor, Joint Chief Executive at the East of England Co-op, urged anyone who hadn’t voted to join in.

“Both the producers in Suffolk have something special about them. Choose Spice is a relatively new business bringing exciting and exotic flavours to the dining table. Meanwhile, The Cake Shop is a family-run, multi-award winning bakery with a long history and a lot of stories to tell.

“Not only is it important to get behind local producers but there’s an added incentive for getting involved,” he said.

Those who vote will have a chance to win £500 of vouchers to use in East of England Co-op stores.

To find out more about each of the shortlisted producers and to vote visit: www.eastofengland.coop/poty2019