A unique Stockport food business is celebrating winning a prestigious Great Taste Award, the world’s most coveted food awards.
Africa Al’s Handmade African Sauces impressed judges with its West African Mild and Tasty Curry Paste gaining a star rating from Great Taste, the world’s most coveted food awards.
It is a major achievement for Alex Anyakwo, who founded Africa Al’s from his home in Bramhall a year ago and has recently stepped up production as it begins to break into the retail market.
“Judged by over 500 of the most demanding palates, belonging to food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs and producers, as well as a whole host of food writers and journalists, Great Taste is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers.
“It is a major mark of quality which gives us credibility with consumers and retailers as we grow the business.
The judging panel recognised Africa Al’s West African Mild and Tasty Curry Paste as delivering “fantastic flavor.”
Launched in 2017 by ex-police detective sergeant Alex Anyakwo, Africa Al’s Handmade African Sauces has proved a major hit at artisan markets and food fairs throughout the North West and West Midlands. Alex has quickly developed a loyal customer base and is now beginning to break into the retail market. A financial package has been put in place and production has been stepped up with Alex now supervising a team of chefs in a commercial kitchen.
“Wining a Great Taste Award means that we can display the scheme’s distinctive black and gold logo which is a great boost to our marketing campaign as we bring our West African Mild and Tasty Curry Paste into the retail market.”
Alex, aged 53, came to the Manchester area from his native Nigeria at the age of 19 and has lived in Bramhall, Cheshire, for many years.
A passion to explore the cuisine of his native Nigeria led Alex to start experimenting in his home kitchen, cooking authentic West African food for friends and family and he was encouraged to take his cookery skills further by cooking extra batches of sauce for food fairs and markets.
Africa Al’s now offer seven products which are based on the dishes that Alex remembers from childhood. The range enjoys considerable success within the vegetarian and vegan community as they are all preservative and additive free.
“We are unique in providing authentic West African cooking sauces to the general public and it gives me fantastic satisfaction in introducing the flavours from my childhood to customers,” added Alex.
Great Taste is the largest and most trusted accreditation scheme for fine food and drink. Established in 1994, it encourages and mentors artisan food producers, offering a unique benchmarking and product evaluation service leading to an independent accreditation that enables small food and drink businesses to compete against supermarket premium own label brands.
The panel of judges this year included MasterChef 2018 champion, Kenny Tutt, chef and food writer, Elly Curshen, eco chef and food writer, Tom Hunt, author and chef, Zoe Adjonyoh, baker Tom Herbert, author and blogger, Izy Hossack, and baker and recipe writer, Martha Collison, as well as food buyers from Harrods, Selfridges and Sourced Market.