Meet The Judges!
Meet our esteemed panel of Lockdown Pioneers in Food and Drink judges for 2021!
For the chance to showcase your products to our judges complete the application form here
Founder, Purple Basil Ltd
Joanna Walker is a food retail expert, with experience in national buying, category management, product development, and marketing positions at major retailers including Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury’s. Since founding Purple Basil in 2015, Joanna and her team have an excellent track record of delivering results for their clients in the form of new listings, sales growth, and strong retail relationships. Joanna also works as a mentor and business advisor to small and medium-sized enterprises on a number of government and private business accelerator programmes.
Chairman, Sourced Market
Ben had the good fortune to live on Borough Market from 2002-2007 whilst working in the music industry. He began taking traders to music festivals and realised his passion was in food. Ben founded Sourced Market in 2009, opening the flagship St Pancras site, and now there are six locations all championing many fantastic producers. Along the way, Ben also founded Venn Street Market in Clapham, judged for the Great Taste Awards and The Apprentice, consults for food and drink challenger brands, and is also COO of Sessions Market.
CEO, Cotswold Fayre & B Corp Ambassador
In 1999, whilst doing charitable work in the inner city, Paul founded Cotswold Fayre, a speciality food & drink wholesaler. The company grew rapidly to become the leading speciality food wholesaler, supplying over 1,750 retail sites within the UK and Ireland. Paul’s company was in the first UK cohort to certify as a B Corp, and Paul is also an ambassador for the movement. In 2019 he published a book called “Forces for Good” which adds a fourth bottom line to the triple bottom line of people, planet, profit. If we are going to change the world through business, we also need to change ourselves.
Co-founder, Bread & Jam
Jason is an experienced food & drink entrepreneur with a colourful career path from Hollywood TV producer to marine ecologist. His career in food started when he bought an abandoned olive grove in Italy creating an olive oil brand called Nudo which was sold around the world. After 10 years, Jason exited from Nudo and co-founded Bread & Jam, the UK’s first food founders’ festival - a one-stop shop for food or drink FMCG businesses. He also created the FoodHub Forum on Facebook - a lively community of food & drink entrepreneurs and is most recently focused on launching Unruly, a plant-based business that uses his experience of following a plant-based diet for over 40 years.
Senior Food Buyer, Selfridges
Adrian Boswell is a fishmonger by trade, however throughout his life has held down roles as a retail admin assistant, an allocator, and a merchandiser before arriving at his current role as a Senior Food Buyer for Cheese & Deli, Health & Wellbeing, and Foods of the World for renowned Selfridges Foodhall. In this role, he has gained a reputation as one of the most influential food buyers in the industry and has spent the last 20 years gaining experience in premium fresh food retail, as well as being a judge for the prestigious Guild of Fine Food World Cheese Awards 2017 and an ambassador for Speciality & Fine Food Fair, which all perfectly place him as the man to talk to for a top buyer’s perspective.
Andy is the founder & CEO of BoroughBox, whose mission is making better food & drink accessible to everyone. An end-to-end supply chain solution for independent brands, and a destination for customers interested in provenance of product, With an extensive background in digital & eCommerce, Andy spent a number of years working as a food & drink producer. During this time he saw first-hand the challenges facing independent brands as they tried to scale. He decided to combine his skills and knowledge to help bridge the gap giving producers an opportunity to move from being the challenger brands of today to the mainstream brands of tomorrow.
Co-founder, Young Foodies & Mighty Small
Thea’s background as operations and strategy director in Propercorn, paved the way for her vision of empowering young brands serious about growth. In 2017 she co-founded Young Foodies, fostering the UK's fastest growing community of consumer brands by providing expert knowledge, experience and growth services to enable them to thrive. Thea, a multi-award-winning entrepreneur, leads from the front. She has a keen eye on strategic direction, business success and affecting positive change within the FMCG industry. She is an industry influencer with a leading voice on driving a more level playing field. She is a regular media commentator, panellist, awards judge and podcaster on these areas.