Midlothian businesses’ sweet taste of awards success

Mid & East Lothian Food & Drink Awards 2019. Photo caption: L to R: Mark Gibson (The Filling Station Longniddry), Karen Calvert (The Paper Mill), Marissa Pia (Gigi's Italian Restaurant), Ross McGregor (Archerfield Walled Garden), Maggie Mazoleka (MaRobert's), Charlotte Flemming (The Nether Abbey), Stirling Stewart (The Nether Abbey), Steve Stewart (Stewart Brewing) and Jo Stewart (Stewart Brewing).
Mid & East Lothian Food & Drink Awards 2019. Photo caption: L to R: Mark Gibson (The Filling Station Longniddry), Karen Calvert (The Paper Mill), Marissa Pia (Gigi's Italian Restaurant), Ross McGregor (Archerfield Walled Garden), Maggie Mazoleka (MaRobert's), Charlotte Flemming (The Nether Abbey), Stirling Stewart (The Nether Abbey), Steve Stewart (Stewart Brewing) and Jo Stewart (Stewart Brewing).

Midlothian businesses took home five of the nine titles at the recently held Midlothian and East Lothian Food and Drink Awards.

The event, hosted by The Mid and East Lothian Chamber of Commerce in partnership with East Lothian Food and Drink and The Business Partnership, attracted around 200 guests who gathered at Eskmills Venue, Musselburgh.

Mid & East Lothian Food & Drink Awards 2019.

Mid & East Lothian Food & Drink Awards 2019.

Winner of Most Innovative New Product, MaRobert’s has been selling authentic Tanzanian/East African sauces in four different flavours and a preserve: Fruity Sauce, Medium, Hot, Extra Hot Chilli Sauce and Sweet Apple Chilli Preserve. The business, based at Midlothian Innovation Centre, is now expanding into serving hot food cooked using 100 per cent natural ingredients sauces.

Stewart Brewing from Loandhead, won Local Producer of the Year. Its recent collaboration with Lidl has brought out new lines of beer to the market, ‘Bright Lights’, ‘Big City’ and ‘Downtown’.

Gigi’s Italian Restaurant in Bonnyrigg, opened in 2011 by mother and son Marisa and Luigi Pia, won the Excellence in Customer Service award.

Soutra Coffee House was named Cafe/Tea Room of the Year and the Paper Mill in Lasswade was named Restaurant/Bistro of the Year.

Keith Barbour, chief executive of Mid and East Lothian Chamber of Commerce, said: “We have had a fabulous response to these awards. East Lothian and Midlothian are rightly renowned for the quality of their food and drink and we are so pleased to help recognise those in the industry who have excelled.

“I would like to express my thanks to our sponsors, all those who took time to enter and the judges for ensuring that every entry was scrutinised and deliberated on as part of our process of deciding on the winners.”

He added: “We must also congratulate all the shortlisted businesses. Despite not winning, the very fact they were in the running is a major achievement, so well done to them too.”