Produced in Kent is a wonderful organisation that we have been proud members of for several years. They have helped us to spread the fudge gospel, provided advice and contacts and even introduced us, through their network events, to other likeminded Kent companies.

An unique support hub, then, championing food and drink, products and services from across Kent, they also, more importantly, know how to throw one hell of a party …

The prestigious 10th Taste of Kent Awards on Thursday 13th May was a glittering affair, held at the Kent County Showground and fuelled by an entirely Kent-sourced five-course menu, masterfully oiled with some wonderful Kentish wines. Hats off to the creator of the “Four play of Kentish desserts”, incidentally, which were as tantalising as the nomenclature suggests.

With 16 categories up for grabs, ranging from Best Kent Beer (won by the aptly named Goody Ales) to best gastro-pub, this was a real celebration of the impressive sweep of food and drink heroes that have helped to make Kent the UK’s foodie heartland.

Taste of Kent Award 2014 winners looking suitably pleased

Taste of Kent Award 2014 winners looking suitably pleased

Given that central premise, it was no surprise to us – if most definitely for her – that an unexpected Special Award was presented to our very own foodie hero, Fudge Kitchen MD Sian Holt.

“I only thought I was giving a talk about our journey, so I trotted along with my PowerPoint presentation, fittingly entitled A Whirlwind Journey. It wasn’t until I arrived that I realised that I was the only speaker on a very big stage in front of a very big audience.” she laughs. “That was the first surprise!”

Sian shows them how it's done on every level: from frocks to business

Sian shows them how it’s done on every level: from the frock to business strategy

Her speech engagingly charted the last three giddy years of growth here, focused on her canny development of our Butter Gourmet fudge range, the extended shelf life of which has allowed us to target high end stockists across the UK, and, increasingly, across the world.

As her throat ran dry and the final “Thank you for Listening” page (which they were to a pin-dropping degree) flashed onto the monitors, Produced in Kent MD, Ed Martin, joined Sian on stage and asked her to remain there while he presented her with a Taste of Kent Special Award – a category specially created for Sian to recognise her “Leadership and Vision” and to acknowledge Fudge Kitchen’s impressive and enterprising achievements.

“I was genuinely bowled over. A little embarrassed, but bowled over … and enormously grateful,” said Sian. “There were some truly fabulous products and businesses gathered together that evening and to be picked out as ‘ambassadors for the artisan food producers of Kent’ was a great honour.“

“It really has been “a whirlwind journey” and we have all worked incredibly hard over the last three years to take Fudge Kitchen into its next phase of growth. Quite clearly, I couldn’t have done it without my much appreciated, loyal, talented, creative and grafting team; so this award really must go to them too, with my sincere thanks.”

Aw shucks …it was nothing, Sian.

Our congratulations go to all the worthy winners that night. Keep it Kentish, as they say!