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Women in the Food Industry's first Northern event hailed a success

Women in the Food Industry's first Northern event hailed a success

"Through our Taste Lancashire campaigns and partners, we aim to highlight the excellence and diversity of the county's hospitality, food producers and culinary talent."
Rachel McQueen

After a number of successful events in London and Edinburgh, Women in the Food Industry, turned its attention to the North West of England and Lancashire. On 30th January 2020, the initiative ran an event in partnership with Marketing Lancashire, and Lancaster University to shine the spotlight on the county's food and drink industry.

The day started with a Pop Up Food Fair celebrating the best of Lancashire’s artisan food and drink.  The Marketplace at Lancaster University was buzzing with visitors who were chatting to the producers whilst sampling and buying all the delicious produce.

Head Chef, Stuart, from Lancaster University’s Conference Plus, devised an exceptional menu of bowl food for lunch using the local produce. The menu included Leek and potato casserole with Lancashire cheese scones and vegan parsnip gnocchi with chestnut mushrooms and Garstang blue cheese

Jo Hardman, Lancaster University’s Head of Commercial Services, opened the afternoon with a few words about the University’s commitment to high standards of food excellence and their growing reputation for conferencing and events.

Janie Ash co-founder of Women in the Food Industry said: “Exactly one year ago today Women in the Food Industry was conceived and so it’s fitting that today we are holding our first Northern event in Lancaster” said Janie and she paid tribute to her co-founder, Mecca Ibrahim and to the role her late husband Larry played in helping set up and establish Women in the Food Industry.

In the first of two inspiring masterclasses Stosie Madi – Chef Patron of award winning rural inn, Parkers Arms shared her story and secrets for success. This was hot on the heels of her position of being announced one of the Top 50 Gastropubs in the country and rising to number 7 in the listing.

Rachel Trenchard – Co-founder of international award winning artisan gin, Goosnargh Gin from the Forest of Bowland told her tale and journey to becoming recognised for excellence. 

The afternoon concluded with a panel of  “Inspiring Women in Food”

The youngest ever finalist on The Apprentice Camilla Ainsworth, from Blackburn shared her ethos and how resilience is invaluable, in her journey to create and grow, Mylkplus, a super sassy ‘grab and go’ nut m+lk in a variety of different nut choices and flavours.

Overcoming mental health issues to create great products and a thriving business with her husband, Karen Walker, owner of Rossendale's The Now’t Poncy Food Company shared her ups and downs to success.

Ros Wilkinson, Head of Hospitality at Lancaster University, shared her struggle to build a career as a women in hospitality and balance that with having a family and her passion for creativity.

Jocelyn Neve shared her inspirational story about moving from one venue to ten as she built The Seafood Pub Company, without losing the integrity of excellence she explained the ethos of family's Lancashire fishing business was at the ‘heart of the business’.

Lancashire Life Magazine’s Emma Mayoh talked about how so many of the woman she’s interviewed have made a difference to her life, such as Prue Leith and Lisa Allen.

The remarkable Lisa Smith talked about confidence. When she started Ginger Bakers she wished she’d been more self assured and known that she was more than capable of being a successful entrepreneur.

Visit Women in the Food Industry for the full recap of the Lancashire Food Fair and masterclass and panel from Lancashire Female Food Entrepreneurs and a short video with highlights of the day.