The 2022 LLTL entries are safely gathered in …

Date:

As the 2022 judging begins, LLTL founder Barbara Cossins shares the story of a 2021 entrant who used the awards as a springboard for their honey business

Image by Honey By Ian

The entry deadline was last month – but really the 2022 Love Local Trust Local (LLTL) Awards are just beginning. This year some of the best-known Dorset food producers sit alongside exciting new names, and we have some wonderful stories, too, as each producer has their own inspiring journey to share.
There’s delicious chocolates, melt in your mouth brownies, crunchy macaroons, delicious cheeses, real milk, incredible honey, great steak… not to mention the homemade gin, beer and wine; it was all in the entry list.

A sweet story
Honey by Ian is a small honey brand run by the Warmer Family:
‘Having gained the runner up award in the Honey category of the LLTL Awards in 2021, we were determined to learn from the experience, take on board the comments from the judges and other participants, and come back stronger in 2022. We became interested in bees several years ago when a huge swarm landed in our garden and settled in a hive we had put out just for decoration.
‘We realised how lucky we were – Ian quickly found a mentor to teach us, and we started gifting our honey to family and friends. During the first lockdown, our eldest daughter Maddy was home from university and needed a project. She persuaded us it would be a good idea to set up our own website and start having more of a presence on social media. She took her camera and a basket of our recently harvested local Ringwood honey, together with some of our beeswax candles, and off she went to take photos in the nearby fields. Within a few weeks, we were up and running.
While many businesses were closed and people were all working from home, we were happy to deliver honey to the local bakery, butcher and any essential shops that were allowed to stay open. We also enjoyed delivering to people in the local area (who were eating our honey almost as fast as we could supply it!). Our lovely customers would leave out their empty jars and we would collect them, leaving a full jar on the doorstep. We began to feel like we were an equivalent to the milkman, but with honey!

Spread the word
‘The LLTL Awards gave us the confidence we needed and made us realise we were doing something right. We are proud to be allowed to carry the Love Local Trust Local logo on our honey. We completely agree with the ethos and we are so proud to be a part of this venture. We realise that a big part of this is spreading the word and promoting the fact that local produce is the healthiest, the tastiest and the best for our environment.
‘All of our delicious honey is raw, untreated and unpasteurised which helps preserve all the natural vitamins and enzymes.
If you would like to try some please head to our website honeybyian.com

Share the secret
With the global food challenges we’re facing at the moment, it’s even more important to help tell the stories and promote local, independent businesses that put their soul into their produce.
It is a neverending job to keep up with social media (and extremely time-consuming) so I can see why people shy away from it. But it’s such a necessary task for all businesses in today’s world, in order to share their stories.
LLTL entrants can rest assured, we will be telling their stories for them. We don’t want all the amazing Dorset producers to be the best kept secret around.
Let’s tell the world!

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