Derbyshire baker Luke Evans wins top award for loaf – at first attempt

Family firm Luke Evans Bakery in Derbyshire has tasted a slice of success after its granary loaf was awarded the title of Best Wholegrain Loaf in Britain at one of the UK’s biggest food and drink exhibitions.

It was the first time that the Riddings-based bakery had entered an award in living memory.

The 400g Country Grain granary loaf took top slot at the awards, staged at the Farm Shop & Deli Show at Birmingham’s NEC – part of a large exhibition of trade shows aimed at the food and drink sector.

Luke Evans operations director Helen Yates said: “It was the first time we have ever entered anything into an award, and to say we are delighted is a huge understatement.

“We are super excited and thrilled that the Luke Evans Country Grain granary loaf – which is one of our standard loaves that we sell to around 300 wholesaler and retail customers across Derbyshire, Staffordshire, and Nottinghamshire, as well as in our Riddings shop – has taken the title of Best Wholegrain Loaf in Britain.

“All our breads and baked goods are made by a loyal and talented team at Luke Evans whom we are extremely proud of. Their continued dedication and commitment means that we provide the freshest bread to our customers. They are a young team but of course our pedigree, as family bakers, goes back to 1804. To celebrate our success, we have decided to run a special offer in May, so that all our customers can celebrate with us.”

The awards, organised by British Baker magazine, attracted a record number of more than 200 entries over five categories – gluten free, innovation, sourdough, white and wholegrain. The wholegrain category was open to bread made from a combination of grains such as barley, wholewheat, malted wheat, spelt or oats.

A panel of expert judges including winners from the 2017 Baking Industry Awards, the editor of British Baker magazine Vince Bamford, and Mike Holling, who is head of retail at Birds Baker and executive director of the Craft Bakers’ Association, blind tasted the loaves.

Luke Evans, which employs 50 people at its headquarters in Greenhill Lane, Riddings, was founded in 1804 by Henry Evans, who named it after his brother Luke. It has been passed down seven generations and is still in the same family over 200 years later – making it one of the oldest family run bakeries in the country. It operates 24 hours a day, producing high quality bread and baked products ranging from farmhouse loaves and bread rolls to fresh cream éclairs and iced buns.

The Luke Evans Country Grain granary loaf is made using flour from sixth generation miller Nelstrops, based at Stockport in Cheshire, and to a recipe that has been used by Luke Evans bakers for generations.

“This award is very much the result of a team effort,” added Helen.

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