Businesses hoping to taste success
Shropshire businesses have been shortlisted for the Midlands Food, Drink & Hospitality Awards.
Shrewsbury-based street food business Press De Cuba and The Dolphin Inn are among those up for awards.
Press De Cuba has been shortlisted for Best Street Food Vendor and The Dolphin for Best Traditional Pub.
The awards will be based on public votes, and the winners will be announced at a ceremony held at Aston Villa’s Vila Park Stadium on June 24.
Greg Laux, owner of Press De Cuba, said: “In the beginning we attended smaller events in the local area and attended the larger street food events as customers, taking notes as wishing we could trade there.
“Since then the business has grown into a well known name amongst the street food circuit in the Midlands and further a field. Press De Cuba now trades all over the Midlands with event organisers such as Digbeth Dining Club, Bustler Market and Canteen. We also trade regularly in Manchester and Sheffield.
“We have also grown the product range from five options to over 20 items including multiple vegetarian and vegan options.
“Over the next 12 months we plan to increase the amount of events we cover, both locally in Shropshire and across the midlands. We are currently negotiating to trade within new food halls and as well as kitchen takeovers and pop-ups.
“It’s not realistic to say Press De Cuba could have fixed premises in the next 12 months but that is certainly an aim for the future.
“Winning this award would not only be a huge honour for all involved, but it would also help us achieve our aim of growing the Shropshire-based business and increase amount of opportunity our customers have to eat our food.”
George Holding, landlord of The Dolphin and White Horse pubs in Shrewsbury, added: “I took over The Dolphin in April 2017. When we first started, it was a quiet roadside ale house with no food menu. It’s a stark contrast to how the pub is today as we now have a thriving atmosphere, and the reputation our food is gaining all over the Midlands makes us very proud. Especially as we are a tiny pub on the edge of town.
“Our plan, as always, is to stay humble while constantly developing new ideas with the aim of progressing our brand. We are currently rewriting our food menu following a soft launch where we received great, constructive feedback from regulars and new guests alike. The thing we are most excited for at the moment, however, is our new vegan fried chicken range.
“Our little boozer is innovative, quirky and boasts an atmosphere only understood upon experiencing it.
“I not only speak for myself but the team and the guests that take the time to visit us regularly when I say that to achieve this award would mean the absolute world to us all.”
The Midlands Food, Drink and Hospitality Awards was borne out of the Birmingham Food, Drink and Hospitality Awards which, due to popular demand, was expanded to include the whole of the Midlands – which means Shropshire businesses can now get involved.
There are 31 categories, ranging from Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year, to Chef of the Year, and Shropshire is represented in a host of categories. To view the full shortlist or to vote visit mfdhawards.co.uk