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17th March 2021

Finalists revealed - Taste of Kent Awards 2021

Public voting has now closed and Produced in Kent is delighted to reveal the finalists for the Taste of Kent Awards 2021 (TOKA).

The top three finalists in each category will now enter the final stages of the competition. They will be scrutinised by the judges who will decide which businesses are to be crowned winners at the virtual awards ceremony on Tuesday the 11th of May, which will be open to the general public. You can register to order a free ticket here:

In a new twist, an exciting magazine called Taste of Kent 2021 celebrating the finalists and winners and sharing the stories of the businesses and products will be issued in the same week as the planned re-opening of pubs and restaurants on the 17th of May. The magazine will also provide detailed recipes and fabulous food hacks utilising the winning products. In a special sustainability section, the magazine will showcase the ways in which TOKA businesses are looking after our planet and embracing sustainability.

Demonstrating the growing interest of the public in local and sustainable produce, votes increased by 300% this year, to 41,000 votes. This surge of interest has seen an increase in both the public voting and entries in self-nominating categories; Diversification, Community, Sustainable Business, and Grower of the Year. A testament to all the incredible hard work that business owners have put into innovating and/or pivoting their business, becoming more sustainable, and giving back to the community in what has been a very challenging year.

Floortje Hoette, CE at Produced in Kent comments, “The sheer number of votes received this year is astounding. We’re blown away by the support from Kent residents to champion and celebrate their favourite local businesses. The numbers are unlike any we have seen before. 41,000 votes were counted this year compared to 13,000 last year! After the year everyone has lived through, this years’ TOKA will be a celebration like no other. We are very much looking forward to discovering and announcing the winners on May the 11th in our virtual ceremony, and we are very grateful for the support of our sponsors NFU Mutual - Ashford, Tenterden & Whitfield, Southern Co-op, and Southeastern who have made all this possible”.

All finalists will be examined by an expert panel of judges, consisting of sponsor representatives, Kent food lovers, and the founder of the Great Taste of Britain Awards, John Farrand.

The shortlisted Kent Community Award Heroes are:
Emma from Emma’s Kitchen, East Peckham
Paul & Rani Babra from Karara, Faversham/Canterbury
Eli and Heather from Olbys Soul Café, Margate

The finalists in the self-nominated categories are:

Diversification Award, sponsored by NFU Mutual - Ashford, Tenterden & Whitfield
Foodari Home Delivery
The Meatball Company

Food and Drink Business of the Year, sponsored by Southeastern
Café Nucleus
Kent Crisps

Grower of the Year, sponsored by NFU Mutual - Ashford, Tenterden & Whitfield
Eckley Farms
Paley Farm
Walmestone Growers

Sustainable Food and Drink Business of the Year, sponsored by Southeastern
The Curious Eatery
Provenance Potatoes

The top three finalists in each of the categories that are voted for by the public (in no particular order) are:

Kent Ambient Product of the Year, sponsored by Southern Co-op
Brisket and barrel Ketchup Smoké
Carringtons Chillichup
Jam Face Jams Chipotle and Habanero chilli jam

Kent Bakery and Confectionery Product of the Year, sponsored by Southern Co-op
Beardy Baker Chocolate Brownies
Dockers Bakery & Brewery Sourdough Loaf
The Independent Baker Classic Raspberry Jam Doughnuts

Kent Beer of the year, sponsored by NFU Mutual - Ashford, Tenterden & Whitfield
Cellar Head Brewing Co Session Pale Ale
Romney Marsh Brewery Amber Ale
Wantsum Brewery Hurricane

Kent Cider or Perry of the Year, sponsored by Southern Co-op
Canterbury Cider Limited Basher Original
Curious Brew Curious Brew apple
Dudda's Tun Cider DISCO

Kent Dairy Product of the Year, sponsored by Southern Co-op
Ben and Holly's Little Dairy Whole Milk
Kingcott Dairy Kentish Blue Cheese
Street Farm Dairy Free Range Double Cream

Kent Distillery of the Year, sponsored by NFU Mutual - Ashford, Tenterden & Whitfield
Anno Distillers Anno Kent Dry Gin
Copper Rivet Distillery Dockyard Gin
Maidstone Distillery George Bishop London Dry Gin

Kent Hospitality Business of the Year, sponsored by Southeastern
The Ambrette Canterbury
The Butchers Block Burham
Cafe Nucleus Rochester

Kent Non-Alcoholic Drink Product of the Year, sponsored by Southeastern
Bean Smitten Revive Blend
Garage Coffee Maypole Blend Coffee
Lost Sheep Coffee Get to the Hopper blend

Kent Prepared Food Product of the Year, sponsored by Southern Co-op
Moons Green Charcuterie Original Beer Sticks
Tankerton Smokeshed Scottish Smoked Salmon
Worgans farm shop Pork pie

Kent Retail Business of the Year, sponsored by Southeastern
Foodari Home Delivery
Quex Barn
Watts Farms

Kent Wine of the Year, sponsored by NFU Mutual - Ashford, Tenterden & Whitfield
Chapel Down Bacchus
Herbert Hall Winery Herbert Hall Brut Sparkling Wine
The Mount Vineyard The Mount Vineyard Sparkling Rose 2015

Kent Food Product of the Year
The finalists and winner in this category will be announced at the virtual award ceremony on the 11th of May.

Karara launch 140412


Born in Jodhpur, in northern Indian, Paul Babra has many fond memories of his mother and aunts making traditional chutneys, preserves and pickles, filling his childhood home with heady aromas.

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Wild Box

With an unrivalled passion for championing locally produced artisan spirits, and fresh fruit from Kentish farms, we specialises in providing premium cocktails and mobile bar services.

Vineyard through trees

Gusbourne Estate

Pure Kent Clare & Guy in rapeseed

Pure Kent

We’ve been here since the early 1950s, but only recently started producing Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil and flour under our Pure Kent brand.

Kent Crisps multi

Kent Crisps

Kent Crisps is one of the few British snack brands which remains independently owned & run and it is our mission to champion all that our county has to offer when it comes to food, drink & tourism.

Garage Coffee Canterbury

Garage Coffee Canterbury

Just 2 doors up from Canterbury Cathedral


Dudda's Tun Cider

Cheese edited 1

Kingcott Dairy

Two award winning blue cheeses made on our dairy farm, Kentish Blue & Kingcott Blue, with milk from our gorgeous girls.


The Maidstone Distillery

We are reinstating the tradition of Maidstone pioneer and Master Distiller, George Bishop, who created quality and world-renowned spirits from our county town back in 1785.

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Garage Coffee

Based in the beautiful village of Hoath, just outside of Canterbury,

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Garage Coffee Whitstable

Come and see us at our Whitstable shop.

Garage Coffee Margate

Garage Coffee Margate

Watts Farms van

Watts Farm

Watts Farm is a family-run business which covers 10 sites in Kent, Essex and Bedfordshire.

Vineyard in sun

The Chapel Down Winery

Chapel Down are England’s leading winemaker with a mission to change the way the world thinks about English wine.

The mount vineyard house

The Mount Vineyard

The Mount has been producing wines since 2008 and started welcoming guests in 2016.