Two extra workers joined the apple juicing and bottling line at Hill Farm Juice for a day’s hands-on experience after winning The Southern Co-operative’s Hampshire Food Festival competition to celebrate the best of local food and drink.
Competition winner Karen Boe Anderson from Waltham Chase, together with her husband Dave, won a ‘Day filled with Local Flavours’, spending the day (28 Oct) at Hill Farm Juice picking and pressing the last of the season’s Bramley apples, then bottling the juice. The prize, which The Southern Co-operative organised as part of July’s Hampshire Food Festival, included lunch at the Bakers Arms in Droxford and £50 vouchers from The Southern Co-operative to spend on its Local Flavours range of Hampshire produce.
As Kate Hibbert, Local Sourcing Manager at The Southern Co-operative, explained: “We sell Hill Farm Juice in over 20 of our Hampshire stores and it forms an integral part of our expanding Local Flavours range. Our relationship with suppliers like Hill Farm Juice is key to the continued growth of the local food economy, working together to make local food and drink widely available to as many customers as possible.” As part of its commitment to championing local food, The Southern Co-operative also supports Hampshire Fare, organiser of the Hampshire Food Festival, as a corporate partner.
Karen said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be the winner of the Hampshire Food Festival prize. I love Hill Farm apple juices so it was really interesting to see the process of making it. We sampled several of the juices, including the Bramley that was being pressed during our visit, and some cider, which is far too drinkable! We took a walking tour of the orchard in warm afternoon sunshine; it was glorious. The meal at the Bakers Arms was gourmet – we certainly intend to go back there, and we’re saving our vouchers from The Southern Co-operative to use at Christmas!”
Last year Hill Farm Juice pressed 190,000 litres of apple and pear juice and produced 65,000 large bottles of juice. Owner, Will Dobson, said: “We get good support from The Southern Co-operative as a local producer supplying their Local Flavours range. This competition was a really nice opportunity to engage with our customers and offer them something a little bit different, and I’m so pleased that Karen and Dave enjoyed their day here!”