From Kitchen Business to International Award Winner? Paddington Bear Would Be Proud

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Lockdown has meant a lot more time in the kitchen making Marmalade. Can a NEW small business take an international award? YBKBS Small Business News for Smart Business Owners
Lockdown has meant a lot more time in the kitchen making Marmalade. Can a NEW small business take an international award?

It’s no surprise that many people have spent more time in the kitchen than at any other time in their lives probably. One of the more old fashioned home based, small businesses has always been jam and marmalade making.  Put those two things together and we have brand new entrants for an award marking the finest of breakfast staples; marmalade.

In spite of a difficult year, marmalade makers have proven their resilience. Entrants have posted thousands of jars to Dalemain ready for the 2021 Marmalade Awards. Marmalades have arrived from around the globe – Japan, Australia, Canada and the Czech Republic are now all regular entrants, but this year’s competition has also seen arrivals from Kuwait, Honduras, Brazil and Zambia.

Marc Ford

Marc Ford

Editor-in-Chief, Business Media Owner, Business Coach, Author and Keynote Speaker. Works with over 100's of small businesses every year. Trusted by BBC TV and Radio, Channel 4, Mercedes Benz, Hitachi Capital on business matters.

It’s a Personal Thing

Marmalade making is a very personal thing, and this has been especially evident this year. Entrants have included messages and notes, and one Japanese marmalade maker even sent a jar with heart-shaped peel inside, and the wish that ‘marmalade will connect everyone’s hearts.’ Organisers have also been delighted to unwrap marmalade with knitted woolly hats, hand drawn labels and even, in one case, its own horse and carriage!

More time spent in the kitchen has also allowed entrants to be to be especially inventive, with homemade marmalade makers adding all kinds of new ingredients. Knotweed, gorse flowers, rowan berries and star anise have all been added to the citrus preserve, in the hope of standing out from the competition.

Paddington Bear would be proud - A heart shaped incentive to love their marmalade
Love Me – Love The Business of Marmalade

The Rathbones First Timers category has seen staff from their Kendal office don chef hats and get slicing with their families, hopefully sparking lifelong marmalade making obsessions! This category has been hugely popular this year, following a quiet winter of being ‘locked down’. One such entry comes from a teenager who spent January making marmalade to his gran’s recipe, instead of going on his planned gap year.

The judging has been delayed until it is safe to recommence, and organisers hope to announce the award winners on 20th June at Dalemain, as part of their annual Plant Fair. The winning marmalade recipe will be replicated by award-winning producers Thursday Cottage and sold at Dalemain and Fortnum & Mason’s, in their famous Piccaddily store.

Really? Marmalade Awards?

The World’s Original Marmalade Awards were founded in 2005 to help to preserve, grow and widen one of the most British of customs – marmalade making. From small beginnings they have grown into an internationally renowned and highly acclaimed event, with support from leading companies such as Fortnum & Mason, The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers and Paddington Bear.

The Awards have humour and a life of their own and have inspired people from all over the world to get involved. In 2020 over 3,000 jars of marmalade were sent from countries as far away as South Korea, Botswana, Japan, Australia and the Philippines, while the Artisan Marmalade competition has helped to promote small producers around the world. Judged by a small panel of experts, Dalemain roundels denote marmalade of exemplary quality.

At the heart of the Awards & Festival is Dalemain Mansion, a Georgian stately home lived in by the same family for over 300 years and the holder of a rich archive of early marmalade recipes. Visitors to the mansion can purchase a range of the finest Gold winning marmalades, as well as the Double Gold Homemade Winner, which is commercially produced and sold at Dalemain and Fortnum & Mason throughout the year

Uncertain Times

Awards founder Jane Hasell-McCosh says: ‘We just weren’t sure how the Awards would go this year, and we have been blown away by our entrants, who have sent jars from all over the world. It really does mean so much to them, and to us. We cannot wait to get back to the judging, and find our winner!’

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Business Coach, Author and Consultant. Has worked with BBC TV and Radio and Channel 4 on business matters. Trusted by Mercedes Benz, Hitachi Capital. Keynote speaker.