The Horsham winners of this year’s Sussex Food and Drink Awards have been congratulated by Horsham District Council.
Horsham Markets and Hepworth and Co Brewers were the two Horsham-based businesses to scoop awards at Thursday night’s award ceremony at the Amex Stadium in Brighton, bagging Best Sussex Farmers Market and Sussex Drink Producer of the Year respectively.
Meanwhile Veasey and Son Fishmongers, who operate out of Forest Row and also have a branch in Horsham’s Carfax, took home Best Sussex Food/Farm Shop.
Roger Paterson, HDC’s cabinet member for the local economy, said: “Many congratulations to all our Horsham district winners!
“This terrific result is a testament to the fast growing number of high quality producers and outlets we have within our district, to the great benefit of local residents who now have an even greater choice of prize winning local food and drink.
“And roll on this year’s Horsham Food & Drink Festival with its promise of a new crop of future winners!”
Out of the 24 finalists nominated by the public and assessed by an expert panel of judges, nine were from the Horsham district.
Celebrating the firm’s third win in eight years Andy Hepworth, managing director of Hepworth and Co Brewers, added: “The pride never wears off.
“We are lucky to live and work in Sussex; local farmers are skilful and produce excellent crops.
“Our hops and barley are Sussex grown, and our two major suppliers are award winners in their own right.
“In fact, it’s no surprise to see Goodwood Home Farm here as winners in their own category.”
PJ Aldred, a director of Horsham Markets, said: “We are thrilled to have scooped the best farmers market.
“This is the first time the markets have even reached the nomination stage, so to scoop the finals - brilliant.
“But it’s all down to our producers. We’re getting customers involved in our produce on a regular basis.
“So this is for all our producers and customers who supported us to the end, and Horsham, which is the best place to be and the only place to be.
Many of the businesses shortlisted as finalists for the awards will also feature in this year’s Horsham District Food and Drink Festival and Local Produce Guide, which launches with The Big Nibble event on the weekend of Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 September, and will run for four weeks until October 5.
This will be the twelfth year of the annual Food and Drink Festival, in which HDC celebrates the local food and drink businesses in the district.