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Alcester Aristocrats Win Foodie Award

An Alcester family drinks business run by William and Kelsey Seymour, Earl and Countess of Yarmouth, has celebrated success at The Coventry & Warwickshire Foodie Awards.

St Maur scooped Best Startup in one of the awards’ new and most popular – categories this year, at the ceremony at Fargo Village in Coventry this month.

In partnership with Visit Warwickshire and Visit Coventry, the awards brought together more than 50 businesses vying for success across 17 food and drink categories.

The finalists came under the scrutiny of a judging panel made up of some well known names in the industry, including Michelin Star chef Paul Foster, who runs Stratford’s Salt restaurant, British Bake-off winner Candice Brown, food and drink broadcaster and champion Nigel Barden and Warwickshire food blogger Ellen Manning, of Eat With Ellen.

In the less than 18 months since its launch, St Maur has also won four international industry awards – The Great Taste Award 2 Star rating; International Spirits Challenge Silver Award; The World Liqueur Awards ‘Best English Floral’ and, most recently, Gold at Las Vegas Global Spirits Awards.

Of the latest local accolade, William Seymour said: “We have been aware that there is a vibrant food and drink scene in the heart of England, but The Foodie Awards has really opened our eyes to the diversity, quality, and abundance of what there is to offer right here in Warwickshire and Coventry.”

“We have won awards for St Maur internationally over our first two years in business but to win here at home is a success we can be very proud of. I would highly recommend to other food and drink start-ups to enter The Foodie Awards too and help build the fantastic community we saw coming together on the Awards night.”

The couple first produced St Maur elderflower liqueur uniquely for their wedding guests at Ragley Hall in Alcester in 2018 before deciding to turn it into a full-time family business, launching during lockdown in 2020.

William, who is the eldest son of the Marquess of Hertford, grew up at Ragley Hall, his family’s seat since the 18th century. St Maur signals a fresh direction and a vision to build a ‘new legacy’ through the new family business he has founded with Kelsey.

St Maur is a versatile liqueur made for sipping on its own, and for mixing in long drinks and cocktails, from summer elderflower brunch cocktails such as the Hugo St Maur to exquisite English Martinis which show off the drink at its best.

The wild blossoms used to make St Maur are hand-picked, in May and June in the Ragley Woodlands in Warwickshire which are owned and managed by the couple.

Foodie Awards Founder Jonathan Smith, of Talk Business UK, said: “I must admit to feeling humbled and inspired following the Foodie Awards presentation event. Meeting all the finalists and hearing their stories, feeling their passion for what they do and seeing how wonderfully supportive the food and drink folk are towards each other, was amazing.”

“My thanks again to all those who entered the Foodie Awards, the businesses and organisations who sponsored the Awards and especially to all those who attended the Awards event and helped make it a most memorable evening.”

The Awards also raised more than £500 through a raffle on the night for The Trussell Trust network of eight food banks in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Zoe Ballinger, of Trussell Trust, said: “Thank you to everyone at Foodie Awards 2022 for supporting the work for The Trussell Trust and Coventry and Warwickshire Foodbanks. We are very grateful for the generous donations we have received that will make a huge difference to the work we do in the community and ultimately the work to end food poverty.”

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