Here you'll find the latest news and developments from Country Style Foods.
Three Peaks Challenge raises £10,000!
Over the years, there have been other challenges, and countless feats of endurance by our Country Style comrades. They’ve left us shattered, battered and sometimes humiliated, but ultimately, hungry for more.
This year, we took on our most ambitious project yet - the Three Peaks Challenge. On Saturday 27th May, our 36-strong team travelled from the distant corners of this land (like Leeds, Wigan, Flint, Stockton and Peterley) to conquer Scotland’s Ben Nevis, England’s Scafell Pike and Wales’ Snowdon, all within 24 hours.
At 6:00pm on 27th May, our brave adventurers began the daunting climb up the 4,411ft high Ben Nevis, started tackling Scafell Pike at 5am on 28th (while you were all cosied up in bed) and returned from the scramble down Mount Snowdon at 6pm, when they got a hero’s welcome in Llanberis at the Royal Victoria Hotel in Snowdonia.
There was mud, sweat and tears before the glory, but our band of brothers lived to tell the tale. The challenge was tough yet rewarding, and all in the name of three fantastic causes - Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice, the Paediatric Services at the Countess of Chester Hospital and St. Gemma’s Hospice - for which we raised £10,000 overall.
Want a slice of the action? Watch the video here.
Country Style sourdough batard wins gold at The Grocer Own Label Awards
We couldn’t be prouder to announce that our sourdough batard was the category champion for Speciality Breads in The Grocer Own Label Awards 2017.
Following the notoriously rigorous two-step judging process, our bread received the maximum possible marks and no negative comments.
Feedback included statements such as “The quality of the bread guaranteed purchase intention after tasting and more than a third were keen to buy on a weekly basis. Texturally the bread was ‘light and airy’ with a ‘nice crusty top’ and the characteristic sour flavour was much milder than a competitor entered last year.”
The Grocer Own Label Awards, now in their twelfth year, recognises the highest quality in supermarket own label products, with the 2017 winners revealed at a glittering ceremony in London’s Hilton Park Lane.
Gold for Country Style at the Grocer Own Label Awards
We’re delighted to announce more awards success for Country Style as our Spicy Corn Bread takes Gold at the prestigious Grocer Own Label ceremony.
Winning the Speciality Breads category, the product was put through the notoriously rigorous two-stage judging process, scrutinised both by consumers and a panel of industry experts.
The Grocer Own Label Awards, now in their eleventh year, recognises the highest quality in supermarket own label products, with the 2016 winners revealed at a lunchtime ceremony in London.
Described as a “hit” with the consumer panels judging the event, the bread was awarded Gold mainly for the product’s look and taste, this capping a particularly successful awards season for Country Style.
More about the Grocer Own Label Awards
Country Style Takes on the Yorkshire Warrior
Around 15 of our Country Style colleagues took on the challenge of completing the infamous Yorkshire Warrior at Rudding Park, Harrogate.
After a gruelling but rewarding endurance test through water and mud, the Country Style team made it to the end - which is an achievement in itself!
We’re proud to say that our courageous group have raised a fantastic £5,000 for Leeds-based charity Candlelighters, which we’re delighted to be presenting to the charity at a special celebratory lunch.
Candlelighters was founded in 1976, and has since continued to support the families of children who are suffering with cancer - funding research, family holidays and other vital support to families battling children’s cancer.
Success at the 2016 FreeFrom Food Awards
We’re celebrating what was a very successful evening for Country Style at the 2016 FreeFrom Food Awards!
The FreeFrom Food Awards, founded by organisation FreeFromFoodsMatter, shine a light on producers in the food industry making a conscious effort to create products free of wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, soya, sulphites and other allergens.
It was a night which continued to bring excellent results for Country Style, with our Garlic Baguette winning the bread category, whilst our Garlic Dough Balls were highly commended in the Children’s Food section.
Here’s what the judges had to say about our free from Garlic Baguette:
“WOW – milk, eggs and gluten free! Very tasty – you would really never tell the difference between this and a standard shop-bought garlic bread – soft crumb with a nice crunchy crust. Looks great – kids would just love this!”
Long-term patron of the awards, Antony Worrall Thompson, commented “FreeFrom is becoming such a vital part of food-thinking for all of us these days that it is important to have a reliable, independent guide to freefrom excellence – and the awards provide just that.”
Finally - best of all? Out of the 263 products entered, we made it into the top 5 shortlist for Best Overall Product - an enormous achievement!
Find out more about the FreeFrom Food Awards
Country Style Joins the Leeds Community Foundation 100 Club
We’re delighted to announce that we’ve become the newest member of the Leeds Community Foundation 100 Club, a scheme run by the LCF for those who have a strong commitment to making a difference in the city.
In becoming part of this initiative, we join other members including Trinity Leeds, Leeds City Council and GSAL in coordinating a united response against the biggest problems facing the city’s communities.
Leeds Community Foundation is an independent charitable foundation that connects national and local donors to community groups and charities in and around the city.
Since 2005, they have given out over £25million in grants to over 3,000 community groups and charities in Leeds, using the generous donations of individuals and companies such as Country Style Foods.
Find out more about the Leeds Community Foundation
Country Style’s People’s Choice Award Nomination
We’re excited to have been short-listed for the People’s Choice Quality Food Award 2016.
As a winner of a 2015 Quality Food Award, each of the entries were scrutinised by a panel of around 50 consumers before being awarded a nomination.
Our product was put to the test by those that matter, the consumers, who examined the packaging and price point as well as appearance, odour, flavour, texture and mouth-feel, and emerged from this process as one of the nominated few.
This nomination marks another Country Style success, after the 2015 accolades of the Quality Food Awards and Grocer Own Label Food and Drink Awards.
The winner of the People’s Choice award must exhibit a level of product excellence that goes above and beyond the remaining nominations, as well as an innovative quality.
More information about the People’s Choice Award
Country Style’s Support for Crisis at Christmas
Country Style are proud to once again support the Crisis at Christmas appeal, a vital initiative which provides food, accommodation and support to the thousands of homeless people across the UK.
Whilst Christmas is a time that most will associate with warmth, family and food, this is rarely the case for the estimated 2,700 men, women and children who tonight will sleep on the streets - this figure having more than doubled over the last five years.
Country Style’s commitment to the appeal continues with another sizeable food donation of breads and desserts, which last year contributed to the 31,061 meals prepared by the thousands of volunteers across London, with centres in Edinburgh, Newcastle and other cities across the country.
As the number of those in need increases, so too does the demand for support. Alongside growing the size of their main centres, Crisis at Christmas have opted to launch new programmes in Birmingham and Coventry. This year, contributions such as Country Style’s will be of greater importance than ever before.
In donating to one cause, the move also means that we don’t contribute to another - the UK’s increasingly alarming quantities of food waste, a salient issue not just in the manufacturing industry, but also throughout many others.
The Crisis at Christmas initiative doesn’t stop at providing food for those who would otherwise go hungry. Each year, it provides a warm, safe and compassionate place to stay for those who don’t have a home to go to. From assisting in the preparation of CVs, to advice sessions, health checks and dental consultations, the appeal goes well beyond one hot meal.
Crisis at Christmas rely on the resources which they have donated, and as such we’re proud to be supporting this campaign, which is a vital companion to those who find themselves in a vulnerable position at this time of year.
You Can Watch a Video About the Appeal Here
Country Style wins Quality Food Award
Country Style have been crowned winners at the 2015 Quality Food Awards, picking up the title in the Large Loaves category for its White Crusty Cob.
The Quality Food Awards are the most prestigious awards for food and drink products on sale in UK grocery. All entries face a judging panel comprising experts from many different industry disciplines. Judges take every aspect of a product into consideration, rewarding them for great flavours, high-quality ingredients, excellent value for money and outstanding packaging.
The award was presented by chef, restaurateur and star of TV’s Sunday Brunch Simon Rimmer, with patissier and chocolatier Will Torrent.
Judges liked the fact that Country Style’s cob was Yorkshire-made with British flour in a family-run bakery and appreciated its taste and texture. In praising the product that was ‘significantly cheaper than comparative products in the market’, Judges referred to: “ A good-looking loaf with its criss-cross pattern, floured, good crust, even texture. and a pleasing aroma ... a lovely crunch when toasted.”
Joe Wood from Country Style said: “We are thrilled to have received this recognition for the whole team, especially my colleagues in the bakery who work hard to please our customers every day with this product.”
All category winners are now eligible to enter the new People’s Choice Quality Food Awards. This consumer panel will be convening over the winter to select the ‘best of the best’ – with the Ultimate QFA winner being announced in February 2016.
All excess food from the judging was given to FareShare, a national UK charity supporting communities to relieve food poverty.
To find out more about the Quality Food Awards, visit qualityfoodawards.com, become a friend on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.
Well done Country Style's Yorkshire Warriors
A team of ten Country Style colleagues from our various sites took on the Yorkshire Warriors challenge. The course which started at the Yorkshire Show Ground involved water slides, walls, crawls, half a mile underground, ice, mud and a lot of fun. The obstacle team event was undertaken to raise money for the The Candlelighters Trust, which is one of our partner charities.
Click here to see more images.
Thanks so much to all of our customers, suppliers, friends and family who sponsored us, especially for your kind words of support:
More 'Quality' Recognition
Country Style are thrilled to have had our Toffee Pecan Meringue Roulade recognised at the Quality Food Awards 2015, the product being specially commended in the Frozen Desserts category.
Following the successes in the Grocer Own Label Awards, this recognition represents another triumph for an evidently popular product, which continues to impress consumers and industry experts.
The judging panel comprises of over 100 leading experts from the industry, with a vast array of expertise on offer in the process of choosing the winners from such a competitive selection of hopefuls, this being a long-standing tradition of the awards.
A prestigious event, the Quality Food Awards are the major set of accolades for food and drink products on sale in UK grocery outlets, with any recognition from such a body being a coveted asset for manufacturers across the industry.
Country Style are hugely proud to have our products recognised by the Quality Food Awards, and we hope for continued successes in the future.
You can find out more about the Awards Here
Just 'Desserts' for Country Style
Country Style are delighted to have had a finalist in the Grocer Own Label Food and Drink Awards 2015, with our Toffee Pecan Meringue Roulade delighting the judges in the Frozen Desserts category.
Now in their 11th year, the awards celebrate the best own-label products, with taste, innovation and value for money being key focus points in the judging process, which innovatively combines both consumers and industry experts.
The size and quality of the competition grows each year, with the number of entries for the 2015 competition beating last year’s record, the prestige of recognition from the awards being a major asset for a product to display on the shelves.
After the triumphs in the Quality Food Awards, this recognition represents another success for a product which has repeatedly impressed judges and consumers, being one that we’re extremely proud to put our name to.
This particular achievement is worth all the more in the knowledge that our Toffee Pecan Meringue Roulade received recognition based on not just the ratings of the experts, but also the people who buy and enjoy our products on a regular basis.
We’re pleased to continue receiving praise for the fine work of the Country Style family, and look forward to future successes.
Find Out More about the Grocer Own Label Awards Here
National Doughnut Week 2015
Country Style are proud to be supporting this year's National Doughnut Week, which runs from 9th to 16th May. As part of our support, we will be making a donation to The Children's Trust.
National Doughnut Week has raised over £775,000 for children’s charities over the years.
A great day for Country Style at the Grocer Own Label Awards
This year’s Grocer Own Label Awards has widely been acknowledged to be the highest standard yet for excellence. Our bakery and desserts Product Development Teams had high hopes for our 2014 entries and we were not disappointed. Our award tally of one Gold, a Silver and 4 Finalist Awards demonstrated that our teams continue to develop the best products in their categories.
We had strong contenders in several categories; Frozen cheesecake, Chilled Desserts and Frozen Desserts but it was the Speciality Breads section; traditionally a strong area of expertise for us where we won our Gold Award and the Cranberry, Pumpkin and Orange Bloomer beat three other excellent entries (including the very good Spelt and Sunflower Loaf, which we also make) to take the category winner.
John Wood, Commercial Director, collecting the award, said "It was a very rewarding experience. We are always looking to refine and improve our products and we are delighted to have this recognition for getting it right.”
|Country Style host a fabulous late season pantomime production – "Aladdin"|
We had been looking for a way of getting the families of our ever-increasing workforce together for a happy day of entertainment. Christine Wood found the perfect solution in the form of Chaplins Pantomime who set up a very polished set in our newly renovated events building, the Old Methodist Chapel.
The performance was hilarious and it looked like the mums and dads were enjoying it as much as the children. Hopefully we will repeat this enjoyable experience and although we had a very good first turnout, no doubt the word will spread and everyone connected with Country Style will feel welcome to bring their families along.
The performance raised £500 for Candlelighters, a Yorkshire-based children's cancer charity.
The wicked "Aba Banana" with Widow Twanky, Wishy Washy and Aladdin.
Some happy audience members pose with the cast.
|Country Style wins best frozen dessert with our Apple and Sultana Strudel|
The Quality Food and Drink Awards are widely regarded as one of the leading food and drink awards.
The judging panel is made up of experts from different parts of the industry including leading Chefs, Home Economists and Food Writers.
This Apple and Sultana strudel adds a luxuriant twist to a seasonal classic. Buttery crisp filo pastry, cinnamon spiced apples and sugar glazed hazelnuts lift this pudding above the ordinary.
Graham Yates from Country style Foods was proud to be presented with the award by BBC Breakfast Business Correspondent, Steph McGovern. He shared the prize with Katherine Hall, who worked with the Country Style product development team to develop this product.
|Launch of Devonshire Desserts - The family range, made in glorious Devon|
Devonshire Desserts is a new brand being created by our skilled dessert chefs based in Okehampton, Devon. They have come up with a range of scrumptious puddings inspired by timeless classics which aim to provide good family choices with a local theme.
Using key British ingredients: dairy cream, free range eggs and cream cheese, Devonshire Desserts aim to support their own community and that of their British Suppliers. No artificial flavours, colours or preservatives are used.
A creamy banoffee pie with gooey toffee sauce offers an opportunity to indulge, while the warm and comforting syrup sponge pudding is a great solution for hungry youngsters. This family range offers great taste and responsibly sourced ingredients whilst aiming at an affordable price point.
The range includes:
Devonshire Desserts Strawberry and Cream Cheesecake - 375g RSP £2.00
A luxuriously rich yet light traditional baked cheesecake. Golden biscuit base, a soft layer of cheesecake filling and finished with a fruity strawberry sauce and whipped cream.
Available in the freezer cabinet
Devonshire Desserts Chocolate Fudge Cake - 445g RSP £2.00
The best things in life are the simplest - a light moist sponge smothered in a sweet velvety chocolate fudge, made with dark Belgian chocolate.
Available in the freezer cabinet
Devonshire Desserts Creamy Banoffee Pie - 375g RSP £2.00
A beautifully rich English classic made in a cheesecake style with a delicate taste of banana and gooey toffee sauce, before finishing with real dairy cream and caramel curls.
Available in the freezer cabinet
Devonshire Desserts Syrup Sponge Pudding - 260g RSP £2.00
A warm and comforting pudding ideally served with custard or thick pouring cream. Made to a traditional recipe with golden syrup.
Available in the freezer cabinet
Devonshire Desserts Chocolate Sponge Puddings - 255g RSP £1.50
An old favourite with a modern recipe. Dark Belgian chocolate and dairy cream give these puddings an indulgent flavour and delicious moist sponge.
Available in the freezer cabinet
Devonshire Desserts Traditional Apple Pie - 520g RSP £2.00
A delicious apple pie made to a classic recipe. The secret is down to the sweet and tart apple filling and crumble short crust pastry.
Available in the freezer cabinet
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