Wholly Gelato are thrilled to have been awarded a £10,000 investment and a stock listing in the Midcounties Co-operative having won the recent Food Glorious Food Competition.
After launching in 2019 and being paused as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the final of the competition was held on Wednesday 10th November. 80 food production business started out the competition, which was whittled down to 8 for the final. Finalists were required to give a Dragon’s Den style pitch to the four-strong panel of industry experts including former England rugby player and Celebrity Master Chef winner Phil Vickery MBE, farmer, author and rural TV presenter Adam Henson, along with Chief Food Retail Officer at The Midcounties Co-operative, Rupert Newman, and last year’s competition winner and owner of Cinderhill Farm in Lydney, Deborah Flint.
The Dragons were assessing all finalists against a range of criteria, including transparency and traceability of their products, as well as being locally sourced from and made in the Cotswolds. All finalists will now receive a stock-listing in select Midcounties stores under the “Best of our Counties” range, which offers fresh, locally sourced seasonal produce from each store’s home or neighbouring county to help support local farmers, suppliers or small food producers.
As part of our pitch, we wanted to emphasise the back story of our business, from the need to safeguard the farm for future generations against the uncertainties and fluctuations of the dairy industry to our passion for good quality, local food and flavour creation which drives so much of what we do at Wholly Gelato. We emphasised the importance of Milk in our products, not least the higher concentration of milk in Gelato as opposed to traditional ice-cream, and what we perceive to be the obvious taste and health benefits of this.
We spoke of how blessed we have been to receive such lovely and positive feedback from our customers, on social media, verbally, or by passing on recommendations to others who have then come to the farm themselves. The growth of the business owes everything to our customers who show willingness to support a local food producer.
Going forward, we remain absolutely committed to upholding the values that we have tried to follow, not just in the 3 years since Wholly opened but in the 50 plus years we have been farming in Elmore as a family. Those values of animal welfare, ecological and environmental respect as well as a determination to uphold quality in our small-batch production. We are so excited for the future, and hope you are too!
Rupert Newman, Chief Food Retail Officer at The Midcounties Co-operative, said: “As part of our commitment to promoting and supporting locally produced food and drink we are always on the lookout for exciting, innovative new ideas. “That’s why we launched our Food Glorious Food competition three years ago, to help support local suppliers and showcase some of the best produce that Britain has to offer. “The standard of entries was incredibly high this year, and a huge congratulations has to go to the team at Wholly Gelato who scooped up the winning award. All of the finalists were incredibly passionate about their products and we’re looking forward to stocking them all in selected stores next year as part of our Best of our Counties range.”
Emily Lee, from Wholly Gelato, said: “We’re a hard-working family-run farm, and to win the competition and this investment from The Midcounties Co-operative means so much to us and our business. Our homemade gelato has been so popular at our farm since we launched it back in 2018, and we’re really looking forward to it being listed in some of the local Your Co-op Food Market stores. We can’t wait to hear what customers think!”
The Midcounties Co-operative is one of the largest independent UK co-operatives and fully owned by its members. Customers can become a member of the Society, giving them access to exclusive member-only deals as well as special offers from across the Your Co-op group of businesses. Members also have a say in how the Society is run, including the work it does to support local communities in partnership with local volunteers and community groups. For more information about becoming a member of The Midcounties Co-operative and receiving exclusive member rewards and offers, please visit the website or ask in your local Your Co-op Food store.
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