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12 Jun 2024

Speciality & Fine Food Fair recognises 25 Rising Stars in food & drink

Speciality & Fine Food Fair recognises 25 Rising Stars in food & drink

Speciality & Fine Food Fair has joined forces with Speciality Food Magazine to celebrate 25 inspiring founders in the world of artisan food & drink.  

The initiative was launched with the intention of looking ahead to the future of speciality food & drink, and to recognise some of the products, brands and individuals that might play an important role in that future.  

"It's amazing to think that Speciality & Fine Food Fair is celebrating its 25th birthday this year,” says Speciality & Fine Food Fair Event Manager Nicola Woods. “The world of fine food & drink has changed so drastically in that time, with the explosion of innovative and delicious products mirroring the growing consumer appetite for new and diverse food & drink.  

"Over the past quarter century, Speciality & Fine Food Fair has been a platform for passionate entrepreneurs to get their start, network with the industry and grow their brand, and we're so excited to be celebrating 25 Rising Stars in this year in partnership with Speciality Food Magazine.  

"We'll be recognising these inspiring foodie founders at the Fair this year, and to further celebrate our 25th anniversary we'll be introducing new features, tasting stations, networking opportunities and chances to hear about the latest industry trends. We can't wait to welcome you to the Fair and take a look ahead to the next 25 years of speciality food & drink. See you in September!" 

The 25 Rising Stars are: 

  • Bella Acland, Founder, Soul Kitchen  

  • Shadia Al Hili, Founder, Cuzena  

  • Laura Barton, Founder, Granola Butter Co.  

  • Rhian Caffull, Owner, Veg Life  

  • Angus Cowen and Charlotte Dawe, Co-Founders, Sea Sisters  

  • Jennifer Dreier and Kier Kemp, Co-Founders, Condimaniac  

  • Nick Egan, CEO, Cornwall Pasta Co.  

  • Chris Farnworth and Ryan Moore, Co-Founder, Blendsmiths  

  • Monique Farquharson, Founder, The Matcha Yaad  

  • Alexa Fernandez, Founder & CEO, Chili Maven  

  • Will Fugard, CEO, Gusto Organic  

  • Marietta Hickman, Founder & CEO, Cheeky Nibble 

  • Alexa Higman and Co-Founder, Co-Founder & CEO and Co-Founder, Exhale Healthy Coffee  

  • Seji Hong, Director, Bombom  

  • Andrew Jones and Hannah Springham, Chef Patron and Owner, Farmyard Frozen  

  • Edward van der Lande, Founder, More Toddler Meals 

  • Ella McKay, Founder, FATSO  

  • Kit Newell and Matt Newell, Co-Founders, Hive Mind Mead & Brew Co.  

  • Tom Palmer, Founder, Yep Kitchen  

  • Karen Robinson, Founder, Three Robins  

  • James Santillo and Tara Smyth, Co-Founders, Sunday Charcuterie  

  • Dan Shearman, Founder & CEO, WilderBee Hot Honey   

  • Eva Thorne, Founder, Garden of Eva  

  • Natalie Wood, Founder, Soul Fruit UK  

  • Fan Yang, Founder & CEO, Other Foods 

Commenting on becoming one of the 25 Rising Stars, Tom Palmer, Founder of Yep Kitchen, said: “"I am unbelievably excited and honoured to have been chosen as one of 25 Rising Stars in the UK food & drink industry! Sitting in my Beijing apartment some two years ago, drafting up the initial concepts for Yep Kitchen, I never imagined it would lead me to this point. Creating this business and sharing it with the world is literally my dream come true." 

Karen Robinson, Founder of Three Robins, adds: “"What an honour to be named one of 25 Rising Stars in food and drink by Speciality & Fine Food Fair and Speciality Food! I’m not sure I would have believed it if someone told me that I would be on this list a few years ago when I was making oat milk in my kitchen and trying to figure out all the ins and outs of setting up a food and drink business. Huge thanks to Speciality Food and all the judges for this recognition, and congratulations to the other incredible founders!" 

Speciality & Fine Food Fair takes place at Olympia London on 10-11 September. To find out more visit  


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