Monday, 30 April 2012

East Midlands companies offered free advice on winning contracts

East Midlands businesses are being invited to learn the secret of success when it comes to bidding for public sector contracts.

A series of free workshops is being run to help small and medium-sized companies boost their selling potential and improve their chances during the procurement process.

The three events are open to all sectors and to businesses across Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland.

The sessions will be delivered by specialist consultants who have a proven track record of supporting businesses across a variety of sectors. Their clients have been helped to win more than £13 million in new business over the past two years.

The first session takes place on May 30th at Nottingham Trent University’s Clifton Campus between 9.30am and 1.30pm, and focuses on writing a successful Pre-Qualification Questionnaire.

This is followed by a second workshop at the same venue between 9.30am and 1.30pm on June 20th, which will turn the spotlight on writing a winning tender.

The final session, which is being staged at Nottingham Trent University’s City Campus on July 4th from 9.30am to 1.30pm, will concentrate on practicing the presentation skills that can help your company to win over a potential buyer.

Companies are being advised to attend all three sessions if possible, to make the most of the opportunities, but are welcome to book individual workshops.

The programme is being run by Nottingham Trent University’s Future Factory in association with The Food and Drink Forum and Action Sustainability.

Future Factory is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and aims to support East Midlands small to medium-sized companies to adopt more sustainable products and processes.

For full details of what’s included in each event or to find out more, please visit For inquiries or to book, contact Angela Scott at or on 0115 8488675. Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Friday, 27 April 2012

Croots Farm Shop scoops five accolades at the British Pie Awards


Derbyshire farm shop Croots is celebrating after winning five accolades at the British Pie Awards.

The haul brings to almost 60 the total number of awards that Croots has won for its home made pies, sausages and bacon over the past two years.

“We’re absolutely thrilled with the ratings given to our pies at the British Pie Awards, which had around 900 entries,” said Steve Croot, who runs Croots Farm Shop at Farnah House Farm, Wirksworth Road, Duffield.

“This was the second year we had entered the event in Melton Mowbray, and we were up against some very talented pie makers from across the country. All our pies are made by deputy manager Margaret Robinson, who’s excited to hear how well we’ve done.”

Croots scooped silver awards for its chicken, bacon and leek pie and its game pie, along with bronze awards for its beef and ale pie, corned beef and potato pie, and chicken and apricot pie.

Last year at the British Pie Awards, Croots won a gold for its popular steak and kidney pie, a silver in the dessert pie category for its rhubarb and cherry pie, and bronze awards for its pork pie and its little mutton pie.

This year’s awards attracted almost 50% more entries than in 2011. Judges included Daily Telegraph food writer Xanthe Clay and TV chefs Phil Vickery and Rachel Green.

Croots, which has its own in-house butchers’ team, as well as a delicatessen and cheese counter, has won many awards since opening in June 2008. Over the past two years alone the shop has scooped almost 60 accolades, including Great Taste Awards – the Oscars of the food industry – and BPEX awards, run by the pork industry.

All the pork sausages at Croots are made using pork from Packington Free Range at Barton-under-Needwood, near Burton-upon-Trent. Croots has a range of around 40 different flavours of banger, which it sells on a rotating basis.

The shop is planning a one-day sausage festival on Saturday May 5th with 10% off bangers.

The pies at Croots Farm Shop are produced by Margaret Robinson, with the beef and ale, chicken, bacon and leek, and steak and kidney pies being the most popular.

“Our pies have become very well-liked with customers since we introduced them. I’m especially pleased to see that the corned beef and potato pie has received an award in the pie awards this year – it’s my favourite,” added Steve.

For more information visit

Croots Farm Shop & Kitchen is open Sundays from 10am to 4pm (café until 3.45pm), and from Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm (café until 4.30pm). It is closed on Mondays.

Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Food and Drink Forum announces its AGM and networking supper date

One of the largest food and drink business support membership organisations in the East Midlands has announced the date for its flagship event of the year.

The Food and Drink Forum, which operates across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland, will be staging its annual general meeting and networking supper on Tuesday June 26th.

 Around 160 key industry figures from across the East Midlands took part in last year’s event, with more expected this year.

“Our AGM and networking supper provides the perfect opportunity for those connected to the region’s food and drink sector to meet other industry professionals, catch up on industry trends and to make important contacts,” said Food and Drink Forum managing director Fiona Anderson.

The Forum, which is based at Southglade Food Park, Nottingham, has members across the region, including manufacturers, food service operators, and consultants and businesses providing services to the food and drink sector.

Members are entitled to at least one free ticket to the AGM and networking supper, depending on their membership level. Food and drink firms interested in being a part of the Forum are invited to join ahead of the AGM event, which takes place at Kelham Hall, near Newark, from 4pm on June 26th.

“The AGM is a key date on the calendar, and once again we’re expecting to attract members from across the East Midlands,” said Fiona Anderson.

Guest speakers are currently being lined up but will include Ian Noakes, from Dovedale Foods, which produces the Sauces of Choice brand.

The Food and Drink Forum was founded in 1998 as a not-for-profit, membership-led organisation to stimulate and support the sustainable growth and development of the food and drink industry in the East Midlands.

Its aims include championing the food and drink sector in the East Midlands, developing strategic influencing partnerships within and outside the East Midlands, and acting as a centre for information and knowledge on all subjects relating to the food and drink sector in the region.

It also aims to stimulate and facilitate sustainable change within companies of all sizes across the food chain, generate income and secure resources to meet the needs of a high-quality service, and promote the food and drink sector to future employees through education and the raising of skills.

For information about membership or the AGM and networking supper please call 0115 9758810.

Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Rites of Spring folk event lined up for Leicester

Traditional springtime folk activities have inspired a new event being staged in Leicester this year for the first time.

The Rites of Spring will feature Morris dancing, folk music, maypole dancing, story telling, children’s crafts and more.

Something for all the family has been lined up at the event, which takes place on Sunday May 6th against the backdrop of Leicester’s 14th Century Guildhall.

The Rites of Spring, which is being billed as a celebration of folk custom, music and dance, has been organised by Louise Dawson, from West End, Leicester, with friends. She said: “Traditional springtime festivities have long since inspired song, dance and custom.

“A steady undercurrent that has trickled down through the ages, mysterious and sometimes unfathomable, folk traditions have remained resonant and a force for creativity and imagination, resolutely bound to the landscape and seasons.

“This is a new event for Leicester, and we’ve been delighted with how it’s grown from a small idea into something which will feature a wide range of folk-inspired activities.”

The event kicks off at 1pm on Sunday May 6th, and at regular intervals throughout the day there will be Morris dancing displays, from Leicester Morris Men, and maypole dancing.

Other attractions include children’s crafts, face painting, live art, story telling and stalls.

Films and talks also appear on the programme, including a short film about folk customs and the Way of the Morris, a documentary film directed by Tim Plester. Tim will host a question and answer session afterwards.

The evening programme features three folk bands who have travelled the world with their songs - Nick Jonah Davis, Cath and Phil Tyler, and Mary Hampton.

From 7pm, a bar run by the Orange Tree in Leicester will be selling real ale, cider and wine.

Advanced tickets, available from the Guildhall box office or from behind the Orange Tree bar in High Street, Leicester, are £12 for the whole day, £8 for the evening or £5 for the day time events.

For more details about the programme visit

Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Holdsworth Chocolates reveals Union Jack Box for summer 2012

Exquisite handmade chocolate maker Holdsworth Chocolates has launched a Union Jack chocolate box to mark the summer of celebrations in the UK.

The 240g box features delicious quintessentially British-themed chocolates, such as clotted cream truffle, praline cup, and apple and geranium cream.

Designed to be re-used as a keepsake gift box, the Union Jack selection box has been created to celebrate both the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics.

Holdsworth Chocolates, which is based in the heart of the Peak District at Bakewell in Derbyshire, has a team of skilled chocolatiers led by creative director Genevieve Holdsworth.

Each chocolate is handmade – not just hand-finished – and a number have been awarded gold star rating in the Guild of Fine Food’s Great Taste Awards…the Oscars of the speciality food industry.

“Holdsworth Chocolates’ Union Jack Box is a traditional British product, filled with chocolates that have been made in the heart of the UK using the finest ingredients,” said Genevieve Holdsworth. “It makes a wonderful gift or an indulgent treat, and of course the box can be re-used as a gift box as a reminder of the historic events of the summer of 2012.”

Available nationally in selected stores and directly from Holdsworth Chocolates via, the recommended retail price for the Union Jack Box is £14.95.

The company was created by Barbara Holdsworth in 1988. Spurred on by a passionate belief in making chocolates by hand, she developed her own recipes. Barbara handed over to daughter Genevieve in 2002.

Stockists of Holdsworth Chocolates include Harrods, Selfridges, Waitrose, Chatsworth House shop and Chatsworth Farm Shop and Ibbotsons of Ashford.

Holdsworth Chocolates is based in Station Road, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1GE. Telephone 01629 813573. E-mail or visit the website

Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Focus Consultants partner completes the London Marathon for charity

Sporting Steven Fletcher, a partner at Nottingham-based Focus Consultants, has raised more than £2,500 for charity after taking part in the London Marathon.

Steven, who lives at Ravenshead, completed the 26 miles and 385 yards, in three hours 41 minutes.

It was the fourth marathon he’d undertaken in the last four years, having previously run the London, New York and Edinburgh marathons.

Steven, 43, ran in aid of Get Kids Going - a national charity that gives children and young people with disabilities the specialist support to participate in sport.

“My mother used to work at Fountaindale School in Mansfield which is a specialised school for disabled children, plus I am absolutely passionate about sport of any kind and I am lucky enough to have two fit and healthy children who have every opportunity to take part in sport, so for me it is important that others are given the same access to opportunities,” said Steven.

Among those who donated were Steven’s colleagues at Focus offices at Phoenix Business Park, Nottingham, Endeavour Park, Boston, Princess Road East, Leicester, Aubourn, Lincoln, and Holborn, London.

Focus Consultants specialises in creative approaches to securing funding packages and delivering high quality projects across the UK. Since its creation in 1994, Focus has secured over £800 million of grant assistance, and delivered more than £1 billion of projects and programmes - including enterprise support, innovation, culture, health, regeneration, affordable homes and energy carbon sustainability projects.

Anyone wishing to add to the total raised, which stands at more than £2,500, can visit Steven’s fundraising webpage at

Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Monday, 23 April 2012

Award-winning Anila’s Authentic Sauces secures Hong Kong contract

Premium curry sauce producer Anila’s Authentic Sauces has gained a contract to supply a prestigious group of stores in Hong Kong.

The range has just launched in the flagship ParknShop food hall store, Great, in Central Hong Kong, as well as the ParknShop’s Taste store, in Stanley, Hong Kong.

The products are currently featuring as part of a British promotion in the retail outlets.

The news comes as Anila’s Authentic Sauces scoops another award for its curry sauces – this time for the Goan Green Curry Sauce, which has been named a winner in the FreeFrom Food Awards 2012.

It is the latest award given to the Goan Green, which was also named Best Vegan Product in The Veggie Awards 2011 by Cook Vegetarian! magazine, with the judges saying: “Not only one of the best vegan curry sauces we’ve ever tried but one of the best curry sauces available. Its complexity of flavours makes its taste truly sensational.”

At the FreeFrom Food Awards 2012, the judges said: “Anila’s sauces are always so wonderful as she uses such beautifully fresh and pure ingredients in such perfect balance. Lovely, subtle flavours, gently permeated by the coconut milk. Deep green flavour and fantastic ingredients.”

Eighteen of Anila’s products are now on sale in the Hong Kong stores, including curry sauces and accompaniments. The firm also exports to Germany and Ireland.

“I am very pleased to have secured an order to supply to such a well-regarded group of stores in Hong Kong,” said Anila Vaghela, who runs the company with husband Dan. “And of course we are delighted that our Goan Green Curry Sauce has won another award. It’s our most popular product.”

Anila’s Authentic Sauces, which is based in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, with a production unit in Hounslow, produces a range of eight varieties of curry sauce and 17 types of a mix of pickles, chutneys and dips, including a new spicy Indian salsa which has been launched in 2012 to mark 20 years since Anila sold her first curry sauce at a local fair.

Anila’s sauces are free from artificial colours, additives and preservatives, are sugar, dairy and gluten free, contain no onion or garlic, and are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. The accompaniments are made with single fruits and vegetables, and natural ingredients.

Anila’s Authentic Sauces supplies hundreds of outlets that include speciality food halls, garden centres, delis, farm shops, gift shops and also health stores. The firm also sells direct to the public at farmers’ markets and at food shows and festivals as well as online via

Products are on sale at places like Harrods, John Lewis Oxford Street and Bluewater, Chatsworth Farm Shop, and Booths in Penrith and Manchester.

Visit for more information.

Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Third charity swap shop event at The Lansdowne in Leicester

A popular swap shop event returns to Leicester pub The Lansdowne next month, offering customers the chance to freshen up their wardrobes for the summer.

The event, which is in aid of Leicestershire and Rutland hospice LOROS, will be the third event of its kind at The Lansdowne in London Road.

“Our previous swap shops have been very popular with customers, and we’ve raised a nice sum for LOROS as well, which we hope to do again,” said organiser Rachel Hurst.

“Clothes swapping events have become a fashionable way of bagging a bargain and recycling items that no longer fit or are no longer worn. With summer hopefully on its way soon, it’s a perfect opportunity to have a bit of a clear out and help charity at the same time.”

The Lansdowne is inviting people to drop off any clothes, shoes, handbags or accessories at least a week before the event, which takes place on Saturday May 12th from 1pm to 6pm.

In exchange, they will receive tokens that can be used to buy items at the swap shop. Additional tokens can be bought on the day.

Clothes swapping events have become particularly popular in the current economic climate, as fashion fans aim to freshen up their look without shelling out a fortune.

It’s an opportunity to collect some cool clothes, while at the same time finding new homes for items that are cluttering up the wardrobe.

LOROS will receive the proceeds from any tokens that are sold, will benefit from donations given at the event, and any left over items, which will be donated to a LOROS shop.

Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Bread trends revealed by Luke Evans Bakery during National Bread Week

A snapshot survey by one of the oldest family bakers in the East Midlands, Luke Evans Bakery, has revealed a growing appetite for seeded and wholemeal loaves.

Figures released by the Derbyshire bakery during National Bread Week, which runs from April 16th to 22nd, show a rising popularity for these types of bread.

The bakery, which was founded in 1804, sells 36 different lines of unwrapped and unsliced bread. Some 15 of these are seeded and wholemeal.

“Five years ago, sales of our seeded and wholemeal loaves represented about 26% of our loaf sales,” said David Yates, managing director at Riddings-based Luke Evans Bakery. “That’s now gone up to 29%, showing that they are continuing to rise in popularity.

“It’s all down to an increasing awareness about healthy eating. Multi-seeded bread has low GI (Glycaemic Index), which is a measure of the effect foods have on blood sugar levels. Those with a low GI ranking make you feel full for longer because they cause a slow, steady rise in blood sugar levels.”

Luke Evans Bakery supplies around 300 trade and wholesale customers across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire, including shops, schools, delis and Pride Park - the home of Derby County Football Club.

It also has a shop at Greenhill Lane, Riddings.

“Bread has been part of our staple diet for thousands of years,” said David Yates. “Over the last 20 years there has been a big shift in the type of bread being eaten, and our latest figures, which we’ve compiled for National Bread Week, show that interest in the seeded and wholemeal types is still rising.”

Luke Evans Bakery was founded more than 200 years ago by Henry Evans, who named the business after his son. Today it is a modern company with a team of fully trained craft bakers operating 24 hours a day turning out breads, cakes and savoury products.

Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Two special food and drink markets lined up for Nottingham

The next two Regional and Speciality Food and Drink Markets in Nottingham are something special – with April’s event coinciding with St George’s Day celebrations and the May event marking five years since the markets launched.

Held on the third Friday and Saturday of every month in Nottingham’s Old Market Square area since Spring 2007, the market offers the chance for customers to buy directly from producers in the East Midlands.

It features stalls selling a wide range of produce from cheese and chutney to meat and cakes.

The April market, held on Friday April 20th and Saturday April 21st, coincides with St George’s Day celebrations in the city. A host of activities is planned for Saturday April 21st including a parade of scouts and military, have-a-go archery, story telling, arts activities, Morris dancing, Victorian games, maypole dancing, and costumed characters including Robin Hood and Maid Marian.

The May event, which is marking the fifth anniversary of the launch of the market, will be taking a Spring-time theme, with guest traders and exhibitors expected to support the market with activities for families. Among them will be Stonebridge City Farm, who will be selling plants and produce, providing information about the St Ann’s farm and will be running growing activities for children.

It will be held on Friday May 18th and Saturday May 19th.

Run by East Midlands Fine Foods, in conjunction with Nottingham City Council, the market provides a regular opportunity for food and drink producers from Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire to sell directly to the public.

It also offers the chance for customers to find out more about the provenance of their food.

“Nottingham Regional and Speciality Food and Drink Market helps to boost the regional economy and reduce food miles, which is good for the environment, as shoppers are buying direct from producers,” said East Midlands Fine Foods events manager Toni Jarvis.

“It’s been five years since we held the first market, and we have built up a loyal band of customers who look forward to buying their food and drink at the market. We hope as many as possible will be joining us for these two forth-coming special markets.”

As well as the regular stallholders, April’s event has attracted at least three new producers - Classy Cupcakes, selling a range of cakes and European-inspired patisserie including small and large cakes, tarts, cookies and sweet bread products, The Little Round Cake Company, selling handmade little round cakes, mini layer cakes, tarts, giant meringues and indulgent brownies, and Lymn Bank Farm, selling cheese.

Any East Midlands producers interested in taking a stall should contact East Midlands Fine Foods on 0115 9758810.

Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Anchors away for Focus Consultants’ latest museum project which features the Titanic story

East Midlands-based project managers Focus Consultants played a major role in the opening this week of a new £15 million maritime museum featuring the story of the Titanic.

The new SeaCity Museum in Southampton was unveiled exactly 100 years after the ill-fated ship set sail from the city on her maiden voyage. Five days later she sank in the Atlantic Ocean, off Newfoundland, with the loss of more than 1,500 lives.

Focus Consultants, based in Nottingham and with offices in London, Leicester, Lincoln and Boston, has been project manager for the new museum scheme in conjunction with Southampton City Council.

The development involved converting the grade II listed former Magistrates’ Courts adjoining the Civic Centre, Southampton City Art Gallery and the Guildhall, and is the centre piece of a major regeneration of the city’s new Cultural Quarter.

“This has been a tremendously exciting project to be involved in, and we are very proud of the new SeaCity Museum, which represents a real asset to the maritime heritage of Southampton and its tourist attractions,” said Focus Consultants partner Steven Fletcher.

“The team at Focus Consultants has wide experience of both heritage and tourism schemes, and SeaCity Museum is a combination of the two. It’s expected to attract thousands of visitors, and 2012 is a particularly significant year for the museum to open, given that it’s exactly 100 years after the Titanic went down and it’s such a momentous event in Southampton’s history.”

Focus Consultants developed the Heritage Lottery Fund application for stage 1 and stage 2 of the project along with Southampton City Council. The company acted as project manager for the whole scheme, including the building and exhibition works, and also contract administrator for the exhibition works.

The SeaCity Museum features two permanent exhibitions focusing on Southampton’s Titanic story and the city’s role as a gateway to the world, as well as a special exhibition marking the centenary of the Titanic disaster. It has been designed and built to engage visitors of all ages with exciting interactives throughout its three galleries: Gateway to the World, Southampton’s Titanic Story and Titanic the Legend.

The museum, which was opened by British rowing champion and double Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell, is expected to attract 150,000 visitors every year.

Building constructor was Kier Construction and architect was Wilkinson Eyre Architects, with the exhibitions being designed by Urban Salon and installed by 8Build.

Focus Consultants, which has its head office at Phoenix Business Park, Nottingham, specialises in creative approaches to securing funding packages and delivering high quality projects across the UK.

Since its creation in 1994, Focus has secured over £800 million of grant assistance, and delivered more than £1 billion of projects and programmes - including enterprise support, innovation, culture, health, regeneration, affordable homes and energy carbon sustainability projects.

Representatives from Focus attended the official opening of SeaCity Museum, which took place on April 10th.

Focus has offices at Phoenix Business Park, Nottingham, Endeavour Park, Boston, Princess Road East, Leicester, Aubourn, Lincoln, and Holborn, London.

The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded Southampton City Council £4.9 million towards the attraction. The remainder of the £15 million was raised raised by the council. A Southampton Cultural Development Trust has also been formed to raise funds towards SeaCity Museum and other aspects of the Cultural Quarter.

Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

New spicy Indian salsa launched to celebrate 20 year anniversary for Anila’s sauces

Premium curry sauce producer Anila’s Authentic Sauces is launching a new spicy Indian salsa to celebrate 20 years in the business.

It’s 20 years since Anila Vaghela sold her first jar of homemade curry sauce at an Easter fair in Weybridge, Surrey, in 1992.

Now a supplier of award-winning curry sauces, chutneys, pickles and dips to top delis, speciality stores and farm shops across the UK, Anila’s Authentic Sauces is unveiling a new product to mark the occasion, together with a recipe leaflet.

The spicy Indian salsa complements the current range of 16 accompaniments produced by Anila’s which are made with single fruits and vegetables.

Handmade with fresh ingredients, the spicy Indian salsa is gluten free, dairy free and contains no onions or garlic.

A delicious blend of tomatoes, red peppers, green chillies and spices, the salsa is the perfect accompaniment to Anila’s range of eight authentic curry sauces.

“I started by using old traditional family recipes and I still use them today as the basis of my products, 20 years on,” said Anila Vaghela. “We continue to make our curry sauces and accompaniments in small batches, and we sell direct to the public via farmers’ markets and other events.

However, production has obviously increased significantly since those early days and my products are now on sale at places like Harrods, John Lewis Oxford Street and Bluewater, Chatsworth Farm Shop, and more recently Booths in Penrith and Manchester.

“The new spicy Indian salsa is also based on a family recipe, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with our customers.”

Recommended retail price for the 200g jar is £3.30. The salsa is currently available via and is expected to be rolled out to stockists across the country.

Growing up as the eldest child and grandchild in the family, Anila learnt to cook alongside her mother, her grandmothers and her great grandmother while they were living in Zimbabwe.

Years later, as a busy mum living in Walton-on-Thames in Surrey, Anila would make large batches of curry sauce for convenience. Her cooking had always been popular with friends and family, and in the early 1990s she began selling jars of curry sauce on a very small scale in her local community. She sold all 80 jars at her first fair at Easter in Weybridge in 1992. Phone calls from very satisfied customers followed, and Anila began fulfilling small orders.

In 1997 she was made redundant from her job as a PA and decided to seize the opportunity to form her own company to develop Anila’s Authentic Sauces. Before long Anila’s curry sauces were on the shelves of a range of health stores, delicatessens and independent specialist shops.

Anila outgrew her kitchen at home and moved to a catering kitchen in Surbiton in 2002. A year later the business needed larger premises once more, and Anila’s re-located to a 1400 sq ft unit in Hounslow. In 2006, husband Dan also joined the team as operations manager and is in charge of production, whilst Anila takes care of sales & marketing.

Anila’s now produces eight varieties of curry sauce and 16 types of a mix of pickles, chutneys and dips – plus the spicy Indian salsa. The firm supplies hundreds of outlets that include garden centres, delis, farm shops, gift shops and also health stores. It also sells direct to the public at farmers’ markets and at food shows and festivals as well as online via

“It’s amazing to think that it’s been 20 years since I made my first proper sale,” said Anila, who’s 55. “At the time, Indian food wasn’t anywhere near as popular as it is today, and there were very few small producers like myself, only large manufacturers supplying the supermarkets. I started with four flavours of curry sauce – additional sauces and the chutneys and pickles came later as a result of demand from customers.

“I was 40 when I was made redundant, and having set up my own business, I haven’t looked back. Since I was a child I have had a great love of food and of cooking, and it’s been a dream come true to run Anila’s.”

Anila’s sauces are based on a traditional family recipe, made from the freshest ingredients in small batches. They are free from artificial colours, additives and preservatives, and are sugar, dairy and gluten free, and contain no onion or garlic. Using 23 different spices, the sauces have a homemade quality just like “Mum makes” and there are certainly no imitations.

FoodLovers Approved, Anila’s Authentic Sauces has won 11 Great Taste Awards from the Guild of Fine Food for its products. Its Goan Green Curry Sauce was named Best Vegan Product in The Veggie Awards 2011 by Cook Vegetarian! magazine, with the judges saying: “Not only one of the best vegan curry sauces we’ve ever tried but one of the best curry sauces available. Its complexity of flavours makes its taste truly sensational.”

In 2009 Anila’s Spicy Korma Curry Sauce scooped a “Free From” Food Award.
Visit for more information.

Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Nottingham-based Perfect 10 PR wins Pocket Britain tourism app contract

Nottingham-based PR company Perfect 10 PR has won a contract to promote national tourist information app Pocket Britain.

The public relations firm led by Louise Duffield will support awareness of the brand both among consumers and the tourism trade.

Run by Norfolk-based Mark Oakden, Pocket Britain has been short listed in the Race for Apps final to discover world-beating ideas for smartphone apps for visitors attending the London Olympic Games this summer.

“This is a really exciting client win for Perfect 10 PR, and one which we believe has huge potential,” said Louise Duffield. “The app market is growing, and there’s a massive push for British tourism this summer, what with the Olympic Games and the Queen’s diamond jubilee.

“Pocket Britain is a high quality digital tourist information centre, offering details about what to do and the history of an area – literally at people’s fingers tips on their smartphones.”

Perfect 10 PR, based in West Bridgford, has a range of clients in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and nationally, primarily in the food and drink and constructions sectors.

Mark Oakden said: “We are looking forward to working with Perfect 10 PR to raise awareness about Pocket Britain at what is an exciting time for both British tourism and the development of apps for smartphones.”

The mobile web version of Pocket Britain, which is free to download, is being continually updated and is available from via the Apple Appstore and the Android Marketplace. Users can either download the app or visit the website using their smartphone.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Nottingham team act as personal tour guides for mobile phone app Pocket Britain

This Easter, thousands of tourists will be guided around some of Britain’s most popular tourist destinations with help from a Nottingham team.

Voice artists from the city were involved in putting together the audio for Pocket Britain – a free mobile phone app which gives visitors key information about an area, including venues to visit.

The app has recently been announced as a finalist in the Race for Apps final, a competition that aims to discover world-beating ideas for smartphone apps for visitors attending the Olympic Games this summer.

Created by app developer Pocket Places, the commentary, audio and sound effects for Pocket Britain were recorded at Nottingham-based Northbound Studios by musician and recording engineer Mike Giddins.

He used voice artists living in the city, but with different accents, to record the commentary.

And while many of the sound effects were recorded at specific venues across Great Britain, some of the more general sounds were recorded in Nottingham, with the River Trent featuring whenever the sound of water is used.

“The various members of the Nottingham team have played a huge role in the development of Pocket Britain, and in effect they will be guiding tourists and visitors around hundreds of venues across Great Britain this Easter,” said Mark Oakden, CEO of app developer Pocket Places, which is based near Norwich in Norfolk.

Mark, who is originally from Nottingham, went to the former Bilborough Grammar School and worked for many years at computer-aided design software company Pafec Ltd at Strelley. He has worked with tourist boards, heritage sites and other organisations across Great Britain to create the free mobile phone app.

His son Nick Oakden, from Hyson Green, wrote many of the scripts used in the app, which is a national destination guide that’s available literally at your fingertips.

Nottingham musician Mike Giddins, who has written music for TV and radio, worked with five locally based voice artists, including two students from the University of Nottingham and an actor originally from the north of England, to create authentic-sounding commentary.

“I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I do like attention to detail when it comes to sound effects,” he said. “When you’re involved in a project like this you have to be a people manager, you have to have an artistic angle on it and you have to have a technical angle on it.

“I’m very proud of the quality of the app. It’s great to think that people across Great Britain will be enjoying getting out and about and visiting hundreds of tourist destinations listening to our words.”

The mobile web version of Pocket Britain, which is free to download, is being continually updated and is available from via the Apple Appstore and the Android Marketplace. Users can either download the app or visit the website using their smartphone.

It features details about the best and most interesting places to visit around Great Britain, and contains more than 500 articles and thousands of photos.

It even allows users to send a free picture postcard to friends and family – sharing their experiences.

“We have worked with a wide range of organisations to put together the content for Pocket Britain,” said Mark Oakden.

“Each Pocket Britain article is in a consistent format, designed for a small smartphone display, and every article contains at least one photo, with many articles featuring further photos and even audio commentary.

“The app uses the location facilities of the smartphone to inform users what’s of interest nearby, including the history of an area and places to visit, and features useful information like opening times, entry prices and contact details.”

Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Cracking idea for egg shell recycling gets Food and Drink iNet support

Scientists and food industry experts are hatching a plan this Easter to turn egg shells into plastics that could be used to manufacture anything from food packaging to construction materials.

They also hope to extract material from egg shells that may prove valuable in the pharmaceutical industry.

As Easter approaches, The Food and Drink iNet is revealing that it is funding a research project at the University of Leicester which is looking at eggs and egg shells in a new light.

The project aims to find useful ways of recycling egg shells which are currently regarded as waste by food producers and which they have to pay to dispose of in landfill.

This is why the Food and Drink iNet is supporting the project with the university to discover innovative ways of using egg shells practically in a number of different areas to be seen as income generating by egg producers, rather than a financial drain on their business.

Scientists in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Leicester, specialising in ‘green chemistry’ and sustainable materials are looking at how to extract glycosaminoglycans, proteins which are found in egg shells. GAGs are used in numerous biomedical applications and could prove useful in the pharmaceutical industry.

They are also hoping to identify ways to use the egg shells as fillers which could be used to ‘bulk up’ different grades of plastic, with all sorts of applications from ready meal food trays to shop fittings.

The ultimate goal is to use the egg shells in packaging to protect egg products – giving a second lease of life to the egg shell in the very role it was created for …. a true case of recycling.

“Egg shell is classified as a waste material by the food industry but is in fact a highly sophisticated composite,” said Food and Drink iNet director Richard Worrall. “The scientists at the University of Leicester have identified a number of uses for egg shell waste and the Food and Drink iNet is very pleased to support a ‘Collaborate to Innovate’ research project to examine egg shell recycling solutions.

“This could have potential benefit on many levels, both for food manufacturers and a much wider industry.”

The research team led by Professor Andy Abbott, professor of physical chemistry and head of the Chemistry Department at the University of Leicester, is working in conjunction with Philip Chatfield, director of Ashby de la Zouch project management company Integrated Food Projects. The project plans to involve a number of small and medium-sized egg-related companies in the East Midlands region.

Leicester hard-boiled egg and mayonnaise manufacturer Just Egg uses around 1.3 million eggs every week, creating around 10 tonnes of egg shells. Currently the firm spends approximately £30,000 a year sending about 480 tonnes of shells to landfill for disposal.

Managing director Pankaj Pancholi said the research could bring big benefits to the food and drink sector.

“If I wasn’t spending the £30,000 a year on landfill costs I could employ another worker or two part-time workers, or invest that money in R&D and innovation,” he said. “It would be great if the egg shells could ultimately be recycled to be used in the plastic packaging that we use for egg products, like our new hard boiled eggs in packs. This is a really exciting project.”

Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Food and Drink iNet has awarded almost £20,000 towards the project under its Collaborate to Innovate programme, which will include the sharing of the results with food manufacturers across the East Midlands and beyond. Interested companies are invited to get in touch.

Professor Andy Abbott, from The University of Leicester, said: “We specialise in researching and developing innovative manufacturing solutions around recycling technology. This project is focused on researching novel methodologies for recovering and re using a waste stream into a sustainable financially viable material supply locally. The R&D funding from the Food and Drink iNet is very timely and very gratefully received.”

The iNet-funded project aims to develop and validate the pre-treatment process of the eggshell needed to make it sterile; develop a method for the extraction of glycosaminoglycans from eggshell and analyse the products obtained; develop a post-treatment process to convert the eggshell into a starch-based plastic; test the mechanical properties, including the strength of the new material and make a variety of materials to optimise the eggshell loading and particle size.

The Food and Drink iNet, which is based at Southglade Food Park, Nottingham, with a team of advisors across the East Midlands, is managed by a consortium, led by The Food and Drink Forum and including Nottingham Trent University, the University of Lincoln, and the University of Nottingham.

It coordinates specialist support to stimulate innovation in the food and drink sector to increase competitiveness, sustainability and growth. The iNet is also a key partner for businesses, universities and individuals working and collaborating in the food and drink industry in the East Midlands and nationally.

Visit for more information.

Issue by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

The photo shows, from left to right, Food and Drink iNet adviser Stevie Jackson, Pankaj Pancholi, managing director of Just Egg, and Professor Andy Abbott, professor of physical chemistry at the University of Leicester.