2023 Winners

Every person, product, and business that took home a coveted Baking Industry Award fought off stiff competition to secure their trophy. Read on to find out what made them stand out from the crowd.

Baker of the Year

Sponsored by Brook Food & Bakery Equipment

Tim Goodwin – The Street Bakeshop

Tim has achieved remarkable success since founding The Street Bakeshop in the village of Old Basing, Hampshire, just three years ago. He was named Baker of the Year 2021, and his firm picked up double honours in 2022 with the Craft Bakery Business Award and the Team of the Year Award at the Baking Industry Awards.

Being able to consistently deliver fantastic bread, pastries, and cake in a fast-growing environment is what Tim strives for and is really proud of. He frequently puts in productions shifts alongside his handpicked team, many of which he trained from scratch as they had little or no baking experience prior to joining The Street Bakeshop.

He describes himself as a driver of quality and innovation which was recognised by the judges who commended Tim on his minute attention to detail and “relentless obsession with perfection”. Innovations over the past year include sourdough panettone, English muffins, and gluten-free polenta cakes.

Bakery Manufacturer of the Year

Sponsored by FRITSCH

Signature Flatbreads

Based at an industrial park in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, this family-owned manufacturer supplies all manner of flatbreads – from pittas and pancakes to crumpets and wraps – including own-label and branded products to a wide range of customers including major retailers both in the UK and abroad.

The business is currently undergoing a five-year £100m investment plan to further increase production and improve wellbeing facilities for its 1,800-plus employees. One judge noted that Signature Flatbreads had “weathered the pandemic really well”, with strong growth reported during the period – turnover is expected to surpass £300m by next year.

Bespoke engineering solutions and an upcoming automated premixing site, mandatory staff training, promotion of a safety culture, and commitment to the environment were some of the things that garnered positive comments from the judges.

Bakery Retailer of the Year

Sponsored by IFF


Bakery represents a significant strategic opportunity for Lidl with the discounter believing the category has significantly contributed towards it becoming the UK’s sixth largest supermarket. It has also contributed towards Lidl’s loyal fanbase on social media with the #lidlbakery racking up more than 19m view on TikTok despite it not being active on the platform.

Lidl aims to harness this love to drive consideration and footfall with good availability, excellent quality, and low prices all playing a part. All stores bake a minimum of three times daily.

Lidl operates a nationwide bake-off operation with 40 permanently listed lines – including pastel de natas, pizza, topped focaccia, seeded sourdough, and croissants – alongside limited-edition and seasonal specials. Following an ‘incredible’ response to the Jubilee Muffin, it now rolls out seasonal muffin flavours for key moments in the year. The ‘bake in the bag’ concept is among notable recent innovation as it allowed Lidl to introduce meat into its in-store bakery offering for the first time in the form of Bacon & Cheese Turnovers and sausage rolls.

Stores were well stocked, clean and tidy, when visited by the judges, who were impressed with the quality and variety of goods on offer.

Celebration Cake Business of the Year

Sponsored by Finsbury Food Group

The Cake Illusionist

The Cake Illusionist, run by Hannah Edward-Singh, is new to the category. Having built up her business over the past decade, she now works exclusively with public relations and events clients, specialising in illusion cakes as part of advertising campaigns and press launches.

She works specifically on highly sculpted cakes and prefers to use cake as the base, rather than rice crispy treats, which Hannah admits makes her life more difficult but has helped cement her reputation in the industry. With the decorations being so complex, The Cake Illusionist sticks to homemade, simple cakes underneath.

The bespoke cake she created for the Baking Industry Awards blew the judges away with its realistic elements and intricate design. They also praised the business for its use of social media.

Craft Bakery Business of the Year

Sponsored by Dawn Foods

Fisher & Donaldson

The Fife-based, fifth-generation family business has been handmaking its range of traditional Scottish favourites, seasonal treats, morning rolls, and afternoon sweets for over a century. It declares an uncompromising commitment to the pursuit of quality, which includes sourcing the finest ingredients locally. Fisher & Donaldson currently remains one of only two Scottish bakeries holding a Royal Warrant, and is making its second straight appearance as a Baking Industry Awards finalist in the category.

Having opened its first standalone café in St Andrews last year to add to its six existing shops, the company has welcomed a 15% increase in turnover over the past year. It attributes its growth to improved product quality and customer service, recognition for its multiple awards, a focus on staff training, and an expanding retail partnership with Greens stores across Scotland.

Judges praised the eating quality and exceptional freshness of Fisher & Donaldson products, while noting a step up in terms of display look, service efficiency and staff knowledge during their shop visit.

Customer Experience Award

Sponsored by CSM Ingredients

The Old Store Norfolk

Having opened doors in the village of Snettisham just 16 months ago, the family-run bakery has managed to keep hold of 90% of its staff thus far with some benefitting from in-house development to progress to higher roles. Despite working a busy shop, the front of house team intends to be well organised and relaxed enough to radiate a positive energy towards customers.

Staff welcome questions from customers and are able to answer them thanks to extensive product knowledge training and daily shift briefs on the latest offerings. Other learning materials are communicated online as well.

Judges were pleased to be greeted by a smile and had a warm interaction with staff in general, who showcased excellent awareness of allergens.

Employer of the Year

Sponsored by Jason's by Geary's

Two Magpies Bakery

Two Magpies Bakery is a family-run business that heavily invests in its employees with in-house training and active promotion of interdepartmental learning. It aims to provide a structured but nurturing environment where team members have the freedom to express their ideas.

The business, which has sites across Norfolk and Suffolk, boasts ‘competitive salaries’ which are above minimum wage with an annual pay review for every employee. All staff go through a full induction programme with the in-house training department and are actively encouraged to pitch ideas for new product development. Barista training and management development courses are also offered to staff who would like them.

Communication is an active part of the Two Magpies’ philosophy – managers have monthly catch ups with each team member in their department to discuss their professional development and aspirations within the company, as well as address any potential challenges. A weekly email is sent to all staff, which one team member said helps them “feel prepared for the week ahead and understand how the business operates”.

Judges were impressed with the attention to detail and communication across the business, particularly given the 200+ staff as well as its ambitions for the future, which includes a dedicated training facility.

Free-from Bakery Product of the Year

Sponsored by Foodology by Univar Solutions

Happy Birthday Cake, Just Love Food Company

This celebration cake is a reassuringly safe option for kids parties with various allergy concerns, comprising gluten-free, nut-free, milk-free sponge and vanilla-flavoured frosting with plum and raspberry jam, soft icing and coloured decorations.

It is produced at Just Love Food Company’s site in Blackwood near Newport, Wales, following 12 months of development of the sponge recipe with Zero2Five food consultants at Cardiff Met University. This helped enhance the aeration and moisture retention of the gluten-free cake.

Judges were drawn to the product on an emotional level, expressing happiness with the texture, and calling the ‘gluten-free’ detachable label in the packaging a brilliant idea.

New Bakery Product of the Year

Sponsored by Baker & Baker

Cube Croissant with Chocolate Crème Patisserie and Raspberry Compote, M’s Bakery

Bournemouth-based M’s Bakery has taken the humble croissant to new heights in the form of a Cube Croissant. The latest iteration, which was perfected in March 2023, is filled with the harmonising flavours of chocolate crème patisserie and raspberry compote.

Creating the croissant cubes is a three-day process and uses Estate Dairy butter, strong white flour, and French T55 Flour. Once cooled and filled, the cubes are dipped in chocolate ganache and decorated with fresh raspberries and chocolate shavings for added flair.

The judges were impressed with the craftsmanship that went into creating the Croissant Cubes and declared the balance of silky smooth ganache and tart raspberry compote to be a triumph.

Online Bakery Business of the Year


Bakery is a key and growing category for online retailer Ocado as it looks to deliver an unbeatable range, fair value, and effortless convenience for its customers.

As well as own-label products from partner M&S, Ocado’s range includes products from bakery’s major players, including Hovis and Warburtons, as well as the likes of Gail’s, Jason’s, Celtic Bakers, and The Polish Bakery. Alongside staples, Ocado said it was keen to keep up with customers trends making it a ‘destination for innovation’ delivered by products such as rainbow bagels, bread made with Wildfarmed flour, and charcoal sourdough.

The sheer breadth of Ocado’s bakery range impressed the judges, who also praised the retailer for its support of artisanal bakeries and smaller suppliers which it is actively looking to drive further partnerships with

Outstanding Contribution to the Baking Industry

Sponsored by Délifrance

Sara Autton

Sara Autton has helped to shape the baking industry for future generations, taking an active role in many trade bodies and associations alongside her role at Lesaffre.

She has enjoyed a long and illustrious career, one that has spanned nearly five decades during which time she cemented herself as a beacon of expertise. Sara started her career by undertaking a national diploma in bakery before gaining industry experience at a Sainsbury’s in-store bakery, after which she joined Rank Hovis McDougall (RHM).

The majority of her career was spent at Fermex, which later became Lesaffre UK & Ireland through acquisition. In her position as technical manager, Sara carried out a crucial role in strengthening relationships through bakery technical support and expertise.

Rising Star Award

Sponsored by Unox

Jordan Skeet, Bread Source

Jordan says the baking industry has had a transformative impact on his life, giving him direction and a purpose at a time when he felt he had lost his way in life. He currently works as a night supervisor at Bread Source in Norfolk and is also undertaking an apprenticeship (Scottish Bakers National Food & Drink training – Baker Level 2). Under the tutelage of Baker of the Year 2020 Steven Winter, he takes an active role in product development with one notable achievement being the creation of the Infinity Loaf, which is made from leftover loaves.

His ultimate goal is to establish a sustainable bakery empire that encompasses a range of initiatives aimed at improving access to better bread for all.

Jordan’s can-do attitude and thirst for knowledge wowed the judges. When asked why he would like to win the Rising Star Award, Jordan said he “just wanted to give everything I’ve got out of baking back into the industry”. It was this thoughtful yet tenacious spirit which the judges felt made him worthy of a place as a finalist.

Speciality Bread Product of the Year

Sponsored by Bako

Red Rye & Ruby Malted Beer Sourdough, The Yorkshire Loaf

This 100% dark rye sourdough tin loaf is made with ruby beer and a red rye grain blend, as well as sunflower and pumpkin seeds. The ‘complex caramel and dried fruit flavours’ are imparted through the malted grains and ruby beer. The grains are soaked in the ale prior to mixing which not only softens them but also helps impart the flavour of the beer throughout the loaf.

This was praised by the judges, who were amazed by how strongly the taste of the ale came through in the loaf, and how well it was balanced with the red rye grain blend.

Sustainability Initiative of the Year

Sponsored by Macphie

Wildfarmed x M&S

Wildfarmed grows wheat the ‘right way making regenerative flour that tastes better, is better for you and the planet’. It is an end-to-end supply chain that offers a route to market for crops grown in systems that prioritise soil health using regenerative farming methods and without pesticides.

The flour, according to Wildfarmed, sequesters 1.5kg of CO2 per kg per year from the atmosphere versus conventional flour, which emits 0.87kg of CO2 per kg.

Having made progress with artisan bakers, it sought to partner with businesses with big purchasing power. Marks & Spencer fit the bill and were the first national retailer to launch a range of breads using Wildfarmed’s flour made from fully traceable, regeneratively farmed wheat. The M&S X Wildfarmed range hit the market in 2022 and included comprised Sliced Wheat & Rye, Sunflower & Spelt, Fruit & Treacle, and White Bread. The retailer has recently started using Wildfarmed flour in its in-store bakery sourdough range and there are more in the pipeline.

Wildfarmed has the potential to make a massive impact, said the category judges, who were impressed by the progress made so far – particularly getting M&S on board as an early adopter. They praised the passion of the team who are ‘living and breathing’ the Wildfarmed mission.