Good Taste Magazine releases its power list of 100 women in the food and drink industry 

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Good Taste Magazine power women list
Good Taste Magazine power women list

Today Good Taste Magazine has released its power list of 100 women leading the food and drink industry in Merseyside and beyond. Voted by readers, it reflects the region’s huge growth in the food sector, but also highlights the number of female business owners and leaders within the sector.

From cake bakers to cocktail shakers, there are some hugely inspirational women leading the way in the industry.

The list is part of the Spring edition of Good Taste magazine, which is officially launched at the Liverpool Spring Festival this weekend, where it will be given out. It is also distributed free in restaurants, bars, hotels and cultural attractions across Merseyside and Cheshire.

Editor Jade Wright says: “This year we celebrate 100 years since the first women got to vote in the UK. It’s a century that’s seen massive changes, but still we see women under-represented when it comes to owning and running businesses.

Good Taste Magazine editor Jade Wright
Good Taste Magazine editor Jade Wright

“One area where that balances out a little is food and drink, Merseyside’s biggest employment sector. Here we see women that are incredibly hungry for success and doing well, working in an agile way, adept at multitasking, growing sustainably, looking after staff, and building something amazing.

“We had been helped and mentored by the Women’s Organisation to get Good Taste off the ground, and one of the things that struck me was how many inspirational women there are in our business. We looked at compiling a feature to highlight this. Initially it was suggested we could profile 10 women, then 25, then 50. Each time we realised that we were only scratching the surface. We have listed 100 amazing women here, all nominated in our public vote.

Good Taste Magazine power women list
Good Taste Magazine power women list

“But let’s be clear – we are still only scratching the surface. There are so many more out there, all worthy of our praise and admiration. This isn’t designed as a definitive list. It’s a talking point, an opportunity to add more and a work in progress. 

“We want you to add to it. If we’ve missed someone out, tell us about them. We’d love to hear more.

“Thanks to the brilliant Women’s Organisation, who wrote the introduction to our feature, and work tirelessly to boost women’s confidence in themselves and their business ideas, and to everyone who nominated someone. It’s hard to read through the list without feeling inspired.”

 

Introduction by The Women’s Organisation

As the food and drink industry in Merseyside continues to thrive, maybe it’s time we reclaim the phrase “a woman’s place is in the kitchen”. Often a male dominated sector, the women featured in this list demonstrate how, particularly in our region, women are really leading the way in food and drink.

Dining is at the heart of culture, and Merseyside’s food and drink scene has experienced an incredible surge in recent years as it continues to show no signs of slowing down. We’re home to award-winning chefs and foodies, boasting innovative and diverse menus of global cuisine, signature dishes and local favourites alike, as well as specialists in the business of brilliant booze.

As we mark 100 years of women being granted the right to vote in the UK, it’s important to build on the legacy of the brave and historic women who went before us by shining a spotlight on the trail blazers and the innovators of today who are breaking barriers and paving the way for more women to follow in their footsteps.

At The Women’s Organisation, we whole-heartedly welcome this celebratory list of women that tells the tales of the incredible entrepreneurs, activists and dreamers who, through their passion for food and drink, are creating jobs, shaping communities and redefining the way we eat and drink in Merseyside.

So, read on for a look at the revolutionary women who are having a transformative impact on the culinary industry as we know it, and let your taste buds salivate at what Merseyside has to offer when it comes to fantastic food and drink.

The Women’s Organisation, www.thewomensorganisation.org.uk

The power list: 100 women in food and drink

Good Taste power 100 women
Good Taste power 100 women

The names are listed in alphabetical order but grouped as they were nominated, so if it’s a pair, trio, or in one instance a group of seven, they are listed as one but counted as their full number.

Liv Alarcon

Head Chef at Bold Street Maray at just 21 years old, Liv creates the kind of menus that have guests coming back time and again.

Vickie Anderson

Liverpool’s only specialist cheese shop was established in 2006, in an old Grade II listed dairy in picturesque Woolton Village. Owners Vickie and Ian are passionate about cheese and aim to lovingly keep, store and present over 200 different cheeses so that everyone can share that passion.

They produce bespoke wedding “cakes” made entirely of cheese and run cheese schools across the city.  Last year the shop was selected as one of the top 15 cheese shops in Britain by the Times newspaper. Last year they opened a second branch in Warrington Retail market, which is going from strength to strength.

Lucy Antal

Food lover, maker of preserves and writer Lucy makes jams, chutneys, curds and marmalades, bakes her own sourdough bread and make a lot of cakes, some as a volunteer for Free Cakes for Kids Liverpool.

She sells award winning preserves under the name Grab Your Spoon at Lark Lane farmer’s market and through the Liverpool Cheese Company.

She’s also the project manager for the Regional Food Economy NW for Feedback, an environmental charity that campaigns to end food waste at every level of the food system, and volunteers for the Alexandra Rose Voucher project in Liverpool.

Saira Ashford

Saira runs The Little Cottage Cakery, where she bakes amazing cakes for any occasion with dedication and attention to detail. She is self-taught, and works with her customer’s ideas to create unique and bespoke designs. She has built up a loyal clientele in and around Rainford.

Lisa Baker

Lisa and her husband Craig keep standards high at the Hillbark Hotel and Spa in Frankby, The Leverhulme Hotel in Port Sunlight and Haigh Hall in Wigan. With a real focus on food and drink, they have a real focus on local, seasonal produce in their restaurants.

Gail Bellew and Jane Patton

The backbone of the front of house operation at the city’s Bacchus Taverna, Gail’s exchanges with long-standing friend and restaurant owner Diamantis Vagianos are the stuff of legend … especially on a busy night. Di’s partner, Jane manages to find time outside a successful career in property to help steer the good ship Bacchus.

Anne-Louise Bouffard-Roupe

Anne-Louise Bouffard-Roupe is co-founder of French patisserie-boulangerie Artisane, which launched in Childwall in 2016 before opening a second shop with a café on Bold Street last year.  Artisane is known for its choice of French cakes and breads, including strawberry tarts, custard slices, macarons, croissants and pastries, which are freshly made every morning.

Before launching Artisane, Anne-Louise spent more than 10 years working in the events industry, where she played a key role in many of the city’s top events including Liverpool Food and Drink Festival.

Jackie Buxton

Jackie is one of Liverpool’s best known landladies, at the helm of the White Star in Button Street, one of the Cavern Quarter’s most famous pubs and a former haunt of the Beatles. Jackie was instrumental in helping set up the early incarnation of the Mathew Street Festival alongside other publicans and her late husband Alfie.

Sarah Byrne

As well as running front of house for husband Aiden’s restaurants over the years, Sarah is also a key part of the family’s Church Green pub in Lymm.

Margaret Campbell

Margaret has inspired those around her to volunteer with her and set up West Kirby Farmers’ Market. She is keen that all have access to good fresh local food. She has been running the market for four years and in that time has spent all her efforts to raise the profile of the producers and the market. She spent several years before then striving to create the market and pulling together resources to make it happen.

Jane Clare

Popular wine columnist Jane – aka One Foot in the Grapes – is now sharing her love of wine with the rest of us. Wine lover Jane, a former editor of The Wirral News, is now running tastings and events across Merseyside and beyond. She’s also Good Taste’s wine columnist.

Elaine Clarke

Recognised as a powerhouse within the hospitality industry, CEO of Baa Bar Limited, Elaine Clarke’s influence on shaping Liverpool’s nightlife’s is tangible.

At the age of 23, Elaine took the reigns of her auntie’s business, city institution Cafe Tabac, which has traded successfully from its Bold Street home now for over forty years.

It was here that she learned her trade and honed the business acumen that would drive and cement a career of over three decades within the industry.

Approached in the early 1990s by entrepreneurs Tom Bloxham and Jonathan Falkingham, she then went on to join Baa Bar Group, launching the flagship Fleet Street venue as a pioneer within the sector.

The mid 1990s saw a second bar complex open in Concert Square – Rococomodo was before its time, with the city’s first continental pavement cafe, as well as a sushi restaurant.

In its present incarnation of Modo, it makes up part of healthy portfolio of brands and venues owned and operated by Elaine, which still includes Cafe Tabac, as well as three Baa Bars and acclaimed Hope Street bar and restaurant, Frederiks. Elaine is also part owner of Baltic Triangle venue, Camp and Furnace.

Agatha Chapman-Poole

Former journalist and BBC TV presenter, Agatha runs Chapman Poole, a PR agency which has disrupted the agency market with its agile approach to providing PR services to food, drink and hospitality businesses. Chapman Poole looks after consumer PR for many of Huyton-Based Halewood Wines & Spirits’ brands including Liverpool Gin, Whitley Neill Gin, Marylebone Gin, The City of London Distillery and Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer.

Lavinia Cooke

General manager at Delifonseca Dockside, Lavinia has a real passion for food and drink, as well as excellent customer service.

Jill Corfield

Jill’s Cookshop is a haven of beautiful kitchenware in Hoylake, well stocked and with a warm welcome.

Charlotte Coyle

Filter + Fox’s Charlotte is a rising star – she recently won the Tennessee Calling, runs Babetenders where women take over a bar and promotes women in the bar industry.

Natalie Crean and Gabby Holmes 

The Real Junk Food Project in Everton Brow aims to tackle the issue of food waste by saving surplus food waste and using it to create delicious and nutritious meals. It was created by Gabby and Natalie to serve food on a “Pay As You Feel” basis – time, talents and donations are warmly accepted in return for a cooked meal.

Rosaria Crolla

Together with partner Maurizio Pelligrini, Rosaria opened The Italian Club in 2007. The restaurant has been celebrated by the likes of Giles Coren in The Times and Olive magazine which have featured it in their top 10 Italian restaurants in the UK. Together they have also opened The Italian Club Fish and The Italian Club Bakery.

Bala Croman

Bala Croman owns The Chocolate Cellar, and makes artisan chocolates for sale online, at farmers’ markets and through selected retailers, including Claremont Farm, Greens of Oxton, Stollies, Ness Gardens.

Multi-award winning, hers was recently Small Awards best multi-channel business, and she’s a small business champion for Small Business Saturday. She’s been producer of the year at Liverpool Food and Drink Awards and now shares her skills with workshops across Merseyside.

A passionate food lover, and a champion of other people’s businesses, she a food champion in every sense.

Jackie Davies

Jackie runs a tight ship front of house at the excellent Julian’s restaurant in Hoylake, with friendly and knowledgeable service.

Dawn Di Bella

With a superb eye for detail and a real passion for food, Dawn Di Bella ensures that every guest at Da Piero is greeted with the warmest of welcomes.

The multi award winning Sicilian restaurant is a labour of love for the Di Bella family – Dawn and her talented chef husband and son Piero and Alan.

For the last 12 years they have run their beautiful Irby restaurant, winning praise from the Guardian, Good Food Guide and Michelin Guide.

Piero and Alan’s cooking is a huge draw, but credit must go too to Dawn’s knowledge and skill front of house, making every guest feel like a long lost friend and explaining the menus with such passion and love she makes it look easy.

Jessica Doyle

As a graduate of London’s world famous Central St Martin’s, Jessica Doyle always had her sights on a creative career.

It took a placement with the Biennial in Liverpool to broker an unlikely introduction to what’s become Jessica Doyle’s passion: bread.

She went from being head baker at Homebaked Anfield to owning her own bakery, The Wild Loaf, after a course at Liverpool community college. She started out doing wholesale on her own, supplying city centre restaurants including The Pen Factory and 60 Hope Street, before opening a bakery and shop on Hardman Street.

Katy Elliot

Nearly 20 years ago, Katy had two small children at nursery. She found that the quality of the food they were being offered during the day was not as good as they were getting at home. It sparked an idea in Katy’s mind and The Nursery Kitchen was born – she was on a one woman mission to create and produce a range of delicious, home-cooked meals using the freshest local produce for babies and toddlers and to be supplied to nurseries.

The Nursery Kitchen now feeds over 20,000 mouths a week and delivers to day nurseries throughout the UK.

Jane Fern

Owner of Chilli Gourmet, Jane makes artisan chilli sauces, chutneys and relishes from her base in Heswall, with finest local ingredients and homegrown exotic chilli peppers.

Sara Fleming

Assistant General Manager at Santa Maluco, Sara Fleming win praise across the industry as a professional and inspirational manager, who knows her stuff and is supportive, ensuring the highest of standards from staff and the best quality for customers

Candice Fonseca

A passionate foodie, Candice established the popular Liverpool food haven, Delifonseca, in 2006. Now a multi-award winning independent eatery and deli, it currently operates across two sites – Stanley Street and Brunswick Quay.

Michelle Foulia-Constantinou

Having previously owned Roses Tea Rooms in Heswall, Michelle now runs Cyprus Mezze, a popular pop-up restaurant, with partner Andreas.

Cathy Frost

With an eye for the finest detail and a passion for great food and service, Cathy is soon to celebrate Panoramic 34’s tenth birthday. One of Britain’s highest restaurants, with views across the city and beyond, it feels a world away from the busy streets below. Cathy took over running the restaurant six years ago, and is currently in the process of opening a bistro in Oxton, one of Wirral’s best loved foodie destinations.

Clare Gabbott and Louise Williams

Cakehole Vegan Bakery makes amazing cakes that just happen to be vegan, for individual orders, wholesale  and events. Cakehole started when Clare became vegan, but still wanted to be able to enjoy baking and eating cakes. She began to bake for Maguire’s Pizza Bar, where she was working at the time, and when demand increased, friend Louise joined to help out with the baking. The pair are currently setting up a new kitchen in the Baltic Triangle.

Lou Hardy

Lou and her husband Matt set up Hardy’s Events and Catering with a shared passion for great food. They cater weddings, events and festivals around the country.

Natalie Hardman and Jeni Wadkin

Friends and business partners Jeni and Natalie opened Siren within the Women’s Organisation building, offering home-made food and fresh coffee. They regularly get involved with events in the area from the Makers Markets to social networking with The Baltic Schmooze. They also offer parties, weddings and events, as well as business lunches and conferences.

Denise Harris

Founder and managing director of SK Events, Denise Harris, has organised the annual Liverpool Food and Drink Festival in Sefton Park for the last 10 years.

She has introduced some of the country’s top chefs to the city including Marco Pierre White, James Martin, John Torode, Gino D’Acampo, Tom Kerridge, Gizzi Erskine and Yottam Ottolenghi. Both Marco and Gino went on to open restaurants in the city following their appearances at Liverpool Food and Drink Festival.

Showcasing the best of the city’s talented local chefs, regional producers and food and drink experts, Liverpool Food and Drink Festival has become a firm favourite on the city’s events calendar, attracting more than 50,000 visitors every year.

Helen Harry

Founder of the Country Mile Kitchen in Rainford, Helen delivers home made bread, soups and preserves on her vintage bicycle. She uses only local produce and runs bakery classes to share her skills.

Natalie Haywood

Natalie began her journey in 2007, running a tea shop in Static Gallery, Liverpool, with a passion to bring quality loose-leaf tea to the city in an intimate and creative space.  Leaf soon moved to Parliament Street, before ultimately finding its home in Bold Street, picking up many accolades along the way. Over the years they have expanded into The Garden at FACT, Oh Me Oh My, Leaf in Manchester and the newest member of the family –  One Fine Day on Old Hall Street. The sites continue to bring Natalie’s passion for great quality food and drink, music and good times to life.

Caroline Hill

The owner of Caz’s Kitchen in Waterloo’s St John’s Road., Caroline received the first Special Judges’ Award in the latest Merseyside Independent Business Awards, organised by Liverpool law firm Morecrofts.

Carolyn Hughes

PR guru Carolyn looks after some of the most glamorous food and drink sites in the city, including Hilton including PIMA and The Exchange, Gusto Albert Dock, Gusto Heswall, Alchemist, Club House, Smugglers Cove, Olive, Red Door and The Florist.

Kate Hughes

Kate Hughes launched Free State Kitchen five years ago when she swapped her career in events for the chance to follow her dream of running her own restaurant. She continues to lead the way in the city’s burger revolution with its contemporary twist on American classics. Before coming a restaurateur, Kate was a sponsorship and sales manager in the events industry.

Kate Johnson 

Kate runs Gallery Cocoa, making bespoke handmade chocolates and treats. She has won a number of awards for her produce and entrepreneurship.

Joanna Jones

Joanna left a successful career in TV and film to open her own restaurant in New Brighton. Blackberry Grove has become a favourite with customers and critics, with steady stream of award nominations and wins.

Rhiain Jones

As marketing and communications manager at Maray, Rhiain keeps a watchful eye over the 47 cover Bold Street site and 74 cover restaurant on Allerton Road, bringing a piece of the Marais district to Liverpool.

Nisha Katona

Barrister turned chef and now writer and TV presenter too, Nisha Katona is a curry evangelist and food lover who puts her heart into every project.

The first Mowgli restaurant opened in Liverpool in late 2014, blowing away the critics and forming legions of fans. The simple dishes of a Mowgli menu are a million miles away from the curry stereotype, with fenugreek kissed fries, masala wraps, and delicious chat bombs.

Nisha now has two Liverpool Mowglis, as well as one in Manchester, Birmingham and Oxford, with more following soon. She regularly appears on television and radio as a restaurant, food and business expert and her third recipe book is out now.

Katie Kenny

Award-winning baker and founder of Squidges, Katie (aka Squidge) started baking at the tender age of five. After the birth of her son in 2011, her passion for baking really came to the forefront, and she now runs an award winning baking company in Wirral.

Katie Kenwright

Together with husband Lawrence, Katie oversees Signature Living, with a portfolio of hotels and restaurants across the city, including 30 James Street, which was this week crowned best hotel in the UK in the Travel Republic Hotel Awards 2018

Kate Keyes

Kate is the general manager at Restaurant Bar and Grill, an excellent leader at one of the busiest hospitality sites in the city.

Laura King

In her third year as landlady of the Caledonia, Laura fought off potential closure by the brewery after mobilising a huge community campaign. Five years on, she has carved out for the Catharine Street favourite a niche as the city’s only vegan food pub and a reputation as an excellent live music venue.

Elaine Kinsella

Elaine is the co-owner and co-founder of Lunya.  Originally an educational psychologist, Elaine ploughed everything she had into making Lunya the success it is today,  overseeing the development of front of house operations and the strategic direction of the company. She has played an important part in ensuring that Lunya is one of the best employers around and ensuring that Lunya has lots of women in senior management positions. Lunya’s considerable success is very much down to Elaine’s contribution, working in partnership with husband Peter.

Claire Lara

Masterchef The Professionals winner Claire has cooked for The Queen, as well as running restaurants in Merseyside and North Wales. The busy mum of two is currently working in springs spa in Ruthin, offering a seven course tasting menu once a month, as well as working alongside husband Marc at The Archer in Astley, as well as private dining.

Annabel Little

Annabel imports specially-selected wines from Italy for her company Love Lane Wines.

Laura Leonard-Byrne

As marketing manager at Aloft Liverpool and NYL Restaurant & Bar, Laura keeps standards high, delivering the best in customer service and building partnerships with organisations across the city.

Anne Lev

Ann started making cheesecakes at home in 1972, and more than 40 years on she still runs Dafna’s Cheesecake Factory on Smithdown Road.

Fran Lloyd

Fran Lloyd is landlady of one of Liverpool city centre’s most popular pubs, the Beehive on Paradise Street, a must for regulars and tourists alike that has the feel of a local and the grandeur of an old-fashioned city gin palace.

Alison Lockett-Burke

Alison opened Onion deli on Aigburth Road after leaving a career as a teacher. She then opened the trendy cafe-bar The Baltic Social where she launched the Punk Afternoon Tea. She most recently opened Hus on Tithebarn Street, a cafe full of hygge loveliness.

Sarah Lovelock 

Sarah opened Lovelock’s Coffee Shop in the Old Haymarket almost two years ago, selling great coffee and home-made food, catering for meat eaters, vegans, vegetarians and the gluten intolerant.

Gabriella, Nina and Lindsay Margiotta 

The name above the door may be Vincent’s, but Cucina Di Vincenzo in Woolton Village is a real family affair, with his wife Lindsay welcoming visitors as weekend host and daughters Gabriella and Nina as pastry chef and general manager.

Gemma McGowan 

Having been in the trade for more than 18 years, Gemma McGowan was the driving force behind the excellent Kemp’s bistro in the Isla Gladstone Conservatory in Stanley Park and is director of hospitality training academy Hestia.

Kate Meehan

‘Cocktail Kate’ is well known as a bar manager for Furnival’s Well and a Gin Guardian for the Gin Journey. What she doesn’t know about your favourite tipple isn’t worth knowing.

Natalie Murray and Rhonda Davies

Natalie and Rhonda set up The Bagelry in Chinatown, a dog-friendly, family-friendly cafe producing excellent New York style bagels and a tasty home-cooked menu.

Ceri Newton

Award-winning baker Ceri sells heavenly cakes, bakes and lunch favourites from Gorge’Us Tea Rooms in Spital, Wirral. Beautifully fluffy Victoria sponges sit alongside superb lavender scones and delicious traybake and sandwiches in her stunning vintage-inspired shop.

She also supplies cafes and coffee shops across Merseyside, and everything is home-made, using the best local ingredients.

Julie O’Grady

Julie founded Ladies That Beer after noticing a lack of women at beer festivals. In pubs women were at times subject to unsolicited comments on the size or strength of their beer or silly “banter” would ensue.

She decided to form a group to encourage women to try beer, learn about beer, and to help empower them when they were out drinking to feel comfortable and confident choosing a beer whether sat on their own or in a group.

They hold monthly socials, bottle shares and education events across the city, and sometimes further beyond. They have also brewed beer and Julie co-owns Neptune Brewery based in Maghull.

Maria Panayiotis

Mrs Danvers’ Cafe is a haven of fine food and drink based in the beautiful Port of Liverpool Building. Maria serves up delicious home cooking and heavenly afternoon teas under the watchful eye of Daphne Du Maurier’s scariest character.

Denise Pendleton 

Denise runs The Gluten Free Pie Company, and is a regular at farmers’ markets. Her products fill a real need for people with dairy and wheat allergies, but also to the growing number of people making a cruelty free choices.

Jen Perry

Jen set up Room Forty a mobile Afternoon Tea Emporium and mobile baking school , where she makes, bakes, delivers and serves all the afternoon teas herself on her now vast collection of vintage bone china. Last year she served over 600 Afternoon Teas including catering at the Pankhurst Trust’s Centenary Celebration.

Her White Delight bread won Silver in the Tiptree World Bread Awards and the Room Forty Mobile Baking School runs classes in Warrington, Grappenhall, Lymm, Rainford and Mossley Hill.

Jen Peterson

Jen runs Hard Times & Misery in Maryland Street and a new site in Crosby, as well making coastal inspired gin for The Crosby Elixir Co.

Collette Poole

Quality and service are at the heart of everything they do at Salt House Tapas, Hanover Street Social, Salt House Bacaro and the soon to open Rocket and Ruby’s. Collette’s impeccable sense of style and eye for detail ensure that the sites always look fabulous, as well as serving excellent food and making sure every guest feels welcome. Together with husband Jonathan and business partner Paddy, Collette makes sure standards are always sky high and that guests come back time and again.

Gwen Prior

Now sales manager at Revolucion De Cuba on the Albert Dock, Gwen previously worked for Graffiti Spirits. She’s well known in the city as a hugely talented all round organiser and promoter, is a ball of positivity and is a great asset to any brand.

Kasia Psiuk

As head of marketing at Bistro Qui? Kasia’s role involves everything from supervising social media and online presence to sales strategies, reservations and events, websites and customer feedback.

She joined team in Bistro Pierre as a waitress in 2005, a month after arriving in the UK, On her 30th birthday she was awarded with Outstanding Customer Service in Liverpool Region, by Visit Liverpool.

Emma Purchase

The creator of Sweet Pea & Little Wolf in Wirral, Emma has a delicious range of bespoke herbal tea, iced tea and flowering tea, and a range of mugs and sweet quirky little infusers to take with you on your adventures.

Carol Ross

Landlady Carol and her family before her have run the Roscoe Head for 30 years. This year, her pub won its 45th consecutive entry into the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. Only five other pubs in the UK share that accolade.

Ellie Ruddy 

After graduating in Food and Consumer Studies, Ellie set up The Mixing Bowl, specialising in special events and bespoke baking.

Susana Simoes and Lynn Jeffries

Susana is from Portugal’s Silver Coast and Lynn hails from Liverpool. Both have a passion for good food and wine and wanted to champion the quality produce available from smaller artisan suppliers in Portugal when they opened Deli 1386. Get there early to enjoy the best pastel del nata this side of Lisbon.

Kim Sowah 

Coffee & Fandisha offers a fresh addition to Liverpool’s growing appetite for artisan and specialist coffee. Sourced entirely from local and cooperative farms in Ethiopia, the Brick Street Coffee shop takes inspiration from the traditional ways of an Ethiopian coffee ceremony: serving their coffee alongside complimentary baskets or bowls of spiced popcorn, known as fandisha.

It was opened by nutrition specialist Kim Sowah, who teamed up with childhood friend and interior designer Keeley McKenzie to open up a coffee shop inspired by her partner’s Ethiopian roots. Kim wanted to bring this culture of coffee bringing families together to Liverpool’s coffee scene.

Squash Nutrition

Special mention must go to Squash, a female-lead organisation made up of co-directors Clare Owens and Becky Vipond, chair of the board is Kim Johnson, projects lead is Lisa Agatha, horticulture lead is Jackie Swanson, food ops manager Gina Tsang and chef Poppy Huyton. They run an inclusive enterprise for wellbeing and creativity in L8 and beyond, and the Food for Real arts and film festival. Their new food space openings in May on Windsor Street.

Tessa Swerdlow

Tessa was a well known face at Red Door, before moving to Mahiki Manchester and is now working freelance as a consultant in the hospitality sector.

Daniela Tucci

Daniela is 21 years of age and has already won Merseyside North West Young Chef of the Year. The first female in the history of the competition to take the title, The Art School’s pastry chef has twice made the final for Young Chef of the Year. Daniela is extremely talented and has an old head on young shoulders.

Joanne Tune

Chutney Street Food in Oxton is a haven of authentic Indian cuisine. Joanne dreamed of opening up her own restaurant, and combining her background in stunning interior design with her passion for authentic Indian food. The menu is based around gorgeousstreet food, reflecting the many different styles of cookery around the country.

Michaela Vérité

Together with her chef husband Marc, Michaela runs a tight ship at the brilliant Bistrot Vérité in Birkdale Village. They have modelled it on a traditional French bistro. Multi-award winning, and deservedly so, Michaela welcomes every guest with warmth and expertise.

Kay and Sanya Wadud 

Kay and her daughter Sanya have come a long way from working as a police officer and a solicitor to launching Perfect Samosa. The concept is simple – to create fresh seasonal, fresh, locally sourced samosas, all completely handmade and hand-finished with distinctive toppings for each flavour.

The business runs from a high spec 5* rated kitchen and offices in Chester. They have attended more than 1200 events, artisan markets and food festivals over the past two years, have been crowned BBC Good Food Show Champions, and are now expanding to artisan farm shops.

Mary Walton

The driving Windsor’s Fruit Liqueurs in Burton, and a regular at farmers markets’ across Wirral, Mary makes homemade liqueurs, with superb damson gin and rhubarb vodka, hand-crafted using a traditional infusion method containing local and seasonal real fruit and no artificial flavouring or colouring. It’ll blow your socks off.

Sally-Anne Watkiss 

Treasurer at Homebaked Cooperative Bakery in Anfield, Sally spent 25 years as accountant at a FTSE 100 Finanical Services Company. In 2013 she left full time work and started volunteering with social businesses. She joined Homebaked just as the bakery opened and has helped grow it to be the successful community business it is today.

Ema Wilkes 

Ema set up Neo Community Café & Catering in Leasowe offering healthy, nutritious food at a reasonable price as well as job and training opportunities. They also collect surplus food from supermarkets and distribute it to those who need it most. They gave away nearly 800 free meals in just the first three weeks of last year’s summer school holidays.

Tam Jade Williams

Tam is marketing and brand manager at Pub Invest group, one of the largest operators of bars and night clubs in the region, with more than 30 brands in its portfolio. Tam keeps standards high and puts the customer at the heart of everything she does.

Carol Wilson

Food writer and cookery consultant Carol a member of the Guild of Food Writers and restaurant inspector who has written a series of recipe books as well as judging the Slow Food Awards.

Laura Worthington

Founder of Laura’s Little Bakery, Laura supplies restaurants, cafes, shops and bars across the city, including Filter & Fox, Berry & Rye, The Jacaranda, as well as corporate clients.

Danielle Youds

GM at the award winning Delifonseca on Stanley Street, providing great food and wine to the world. Wedding planner and self-confessed cookbook hoarder, Danielle has organised numerous catering events at the Stanley Street site.