It comes after the first such awards took place in April, having been launched by the founders of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards. Some of the promising talent celebrated at that ceremony included Biscuiteers, chocolate firm Montezuma’s, and Craft Gin Club.
Three categories have been added for 2022, applications close on January 14, and the list of finalists will be unveiled in the week starting January 31.
A panel of some of Britain’s top food and drink industry entrepreneurs and experts has been selected to review the applications, with additions to the judging panel including Mark Cumming, head of fast-moving consumer goods for the UK and Ireland at Costa Coffee; Nigel John Mills, founder of The Lakes Distillery Co; and Agnieszka Jastrzębska, marketing manager of the Coca-Cola Group.
Francesca James, founder of Food & Drink Heroes, said: “It’s been a tough time for businesses and entrepreneurs, having been in and out of lockdowns since March 2020. However, the flair shown by some smaller [firms] to pivot to the circumstances and thrive as well as just survive is nothing less than remarkable.
“Through struggle comes success and no one’s struggled more than smaller businesses and entrepreneurs during these past 18 months, though none have as many success stories of triumph either. I am really looking forward to hearing about the achievements of these courageous and deserving business-owners.”
John Fisher, founder of dehydrated expedition food specialist Firepot and last year’s Innovation Entrepreneur of the Year, said: “We were so proud to receive the award last year after our hard work building the business, but the ceremony was just the beginning!
“We’ve been so grateful for the support we’ve received from Francesca and the Food & Drink Heroes team, and are delighted to be members of a like-minded entrepreneurial community who we can learn from and be inspired by to continue growing Firepot. We look forward to welcoming a new cohort of winners into the alumni space and hearing their stories of success.”