MYRTLE’S Kitchen took first prize for the Best Food Producer, besides dairy products.

Jane Raven runs the company from Bishops Frome and her husband, Hugh, and son George picked up the award on the night from Debra Orr, ad manager at the Hereford Times.

The runners-up were Alice’s Home Bakes in the Butter Market, Hereford and Peter Cooks Bread Ltd at Bishops Frome.

Jane said: “I was thrilled - I was jumping around.

“It is lovely. We all work so hard - all of us, all of the nominees. It is just lovely to have it recognised every now and again.”

Myrtle’s Kitchen creates new and exciting preserves.

All of the products are made traditionally by hand but with a contemporary twist. They use local knowledge and their producer network to pick up the finest, freshest ingredients.

Myrtle’s Kitchen started with a mango and making copious amounts of their now award winning mango chutney for friends and family.

That was in 2014 and now they have a diverse range of 12 products include Hedgerow Chutney, Lemon and Lime Marmalade and Chuckleberry Jam.

In September they moved from Bromyard to bigger premises at The Hop Pocket Shopping Village at Bishops Frome.

Jane said: “It was a big investment for us this year. We are still producing on a small scale. We are still producing traditionally on a cooker top.

“We looked at increasing output but we are sticking with independent delis and good quality food halls. We decided not to go down the supermarket route. It is not why we went into this.

“We are about local independents.”

She thinks it is because of this that seven of her products are stocked in Selfridge’s London and they are supplying their Christmas Chutney for Liberty London’s Christmas Story range and are one of 49 small artisan producers to be selected to supply their Artisan Food Hall.

There are two permanent members of staff at Myrtle’s Kitchen - Jane and Helen Smith, and others who help out.

The labels for Jane’s products are made by Herefordshire designer Lucy Graham and specifies that the product is made in Herefordshire.

The pattern was inspired by a Victorian tiling company based in Mordiford.

There are plans to add more products to the range next year. Her Auntie Betty, who taught Jane how to cook, passed away last year.

She was head of Home Economics at a college in Somerset and Jane inherited her cook books. Most of the recipes are handwritten and Jane is going to use one of those recipes for a new product.

Jane said she believes that workers in the food industry are always coming up with new ideas.

She said: “We love ideas and we are passionate about it.”