Magherafelt bakery, Genesis Crafty, was named the Overall Local Supplier of the Year at Friday’s Henderson Wholesale Local Supplier Awards breakfast at Balmoral Show.
The company also took home the Tomorrow Matters award, the category named after Henderson Group’s own CSR practices, rewarding their sustainable practices as a responsible company in Northern Ireland.
Genesis Crafty is run by the six baking McErlaine brothers in Magherafelt, supplying a range of cakes, pancakes, scones and a variety of local breads to Henderson Wholesale, and over 400 SPAR, EUROSPAR and VIVO branded stores in Northern Ireland.
Other winners at the awards included Armagh’s Daily Bake for the Own Brand Supplier of the Year Award, Around Noon who took home the Best Direct to Store Supplier award, and Moy Park, who won the Brand Innovation award.
Highly Commended awards were taken home by K&G McAtamney for Own Brand Supplier of the Year, Irwin’s Bakery in the Tomorrow Matters and Best Direct to Store Supplier categories, Hovis for Brand Innovation and Milgro for Local Supplier of the Year.
Neal Kelly, Fresh Foods Director at Henderson Wholesale commented: “This is the fifth year of the Local Supplier Awards, and the most successful to date. We received a record amount of over 40 entries from 29 of the local producers, farmers and growers who supply to the company and our stores in Northern Ireland.
“We have seen some truly innovative and sustainable practices from our suppliers in the past year, which helps us to continually grow our fresh food offering in store for daily shoppers. The enjoy local range is expanding and reached sales of over £25.5M last year, and we wouldn’t be able to stock such a high-quality range without these suppliers.
“We’re delighted to reward them at the annual breakfast here at the Balmoral Show; I send my heartfelt congratulations to all winners, highly commended and shortlisted, and thanks to our independent panel of judges.”
The winners were decided by David Elliott, editor of Ulster Business Magazine, UFU Rural Affairs Committee Chairperson Freda Magill, Joy Alexander, Head of Food Technology Development at CAFRE and Sam Butler, Irish Chair of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists.
The judges scrutinised the entries across five categories which reflect the workings of Henderson Wholesale’s fresh ambition to always be passionate about local food, local people and local companies.
As platinum sponsor of The Balmoral Show, SPAR has been on site with a range of family activities, as well as taste-testing with Ulster University’s Food and Consumer Testing (FACT) Suite, sampling from other local food companies, and cookery demos from Paula McIntyre.