Patron – Amanda Cottrell
OBE, Patron of Visit Kent, Director Visit England & former High Sheriff of Kent
Chairman – Stephen Clarke
Purchasing and Marketing Director, kff (kent frozen foods)
kff have supported Produced in Kent since they first joined in 2008. Starting his career at kff at the age of 24, Stephen was not daunted by the enormity of his first task, to create a working marketing function, completely from scratch. Nowadays, Stephen leads the same department as Purchasing and Marketing Director. His vision and hard work has helped the business to become one of the South East’s largest independent food service wholesalers, generating an annual turnover in excess of £38 million. The local sourcing policy and ethos built into the kff culture is derived from Stephen’s passion and commitment to supporting local producers where ever possible.
Managing Director, Biddenden Vineyards
Julian left school at 16 to join the family’s small apple farm and diversified vineyard, producing award winning wines. He has developed a range of apple based products, including cider and juice, along with contract bottling for other farmers, putting in place the initial sales and distribution rounds and the company’s tourism and retail sales at the farm gate. He is committed to working locally without supermarkets, taking a strong approach to quality and customer service and he sits on the board representing the smaller diversified businesses bringing an understanding for those that wish to aim higher.
General Manager, Macknade Fine Foods
Finn joined the Macknade team as the GM in 2013. He started his career at the Savoy Group on their management training scheme (including a year spent in the kitchen at Claridges!) before working overseas in Europe for many years, spending a lot of time in the French Alps, as well as Portugal and Spain, followed by a couple of years in Brussels. Having also lived and worked in Yorkshire for a number of years he has always gained great pleasure from the gastronomic influences of all these areas.
Deputy Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Kent County Council.
Seán represents Kent County Council’s Cranbrook division in rural west Kent which includes the villages of Benenden, Frittenden, Hawkhurst, Sandhurst and Sissinghurst.
Previously he was a television reporter, working as a political correspondent for TVam and in news at Meridian, ITN, Sky and BBC Radio 4. As a TV specialist he has been an advisor to ministers and to army commanders. He is a former major in the Territorial Army, serving in the Media Operations Group
Presently Seán also represents Benenden and Cranbrook on Tunbridge Wells Borough Council where he has been a planning committee chairman.
His pastimes include military history, the Korean martial art Taekwon-do, scuba diving and keeping fit at the gym. He is married with 4 children.
Managing Director Fudge Kitchen
In 1995 she bought the Jim Garrahy fudge and spent five years reinventing the offer into a premium, artisan confectionery, to rival the more established high end chocolate market; and developed the brand’s pioneering ‘retail theatre’ model, where fudge is made traditionally in front of the customer, to a famously entertaining and engaging narrative.
In the last six years she has overseen significant growth; established a stand-alone production facility and launched over 70 trailblazing new products.
As a small business owner and entrepreneur, Siân has also been involved with a variety of networking and business panels. They include joining the Bank of England regional discussion panel, sitting as a non-executive director of Business Support Kent CIC (Business Link Kent) and currently acting as one of the IoD Kent’s ambassadors.
Director & General Manager, Solley’s Kentish Ice Cream
Married with two children I have a business background which has both significant public sector and entrepreneurial success. An MBA graduate, my background had been in economic development and tourism regeneration across the UK but from 2006 to 2012 I ran my own lucrative marketing and business strategy company which operated across the south east of England. My wife and I moved back to the fourth generation family farm based in Ripple near Deal in 2010 and I now manage and operate the very successful Solley’s Farms Ice cream Limited, a family owned business. I have been instrumental in shaping and ensuring the business growth and brand awareness of Solley’s across Kent, Sussex and beyond since I took the reins in 2012. As a highly motivated individual, a strategic thinker with a sense of humour and a passion for success I believe Produced in Kent has much to offer the membership, the County and the UK and beyond but needs to positively engage and motivate its membership whilst offering routes to market for commercial success far in excess of what it currently offers. This will, in turn, allow the economically sustainable future for Produced in Kent that it currently seeks to achieve.
Sally Newall – Chairperson of the Member Group
Founder and Owner, Simply Ice Cream
Family business owner who supports businesses working together. Sally is a mother of four children, qualified cook and successful wedding and party caterer along with her team produce our range of decadent, luxury ice creams in Bonnington, Ashford using British dairy products, Kentish seasonal fruits and ingredients from top suppliers sourced locally where possible. The result is an award-winning truly unbelievable taste!
Richard’s first restaurant, Thackeray’s in Tunbridge Wells, is well known as one of the best restaurants in Kent having won numerous accolades including a Michelin star. He has also renewed the fortunes of two gastro pubs, Pearsons Arms in Whitstable and The Windmill in Hollingbourne near Maidstone. Richard is also an enthusiastic promoter and judge of the Kent Young Chef Award. He is married with two young children and enjoys playing sport and watching football in his spare time.