Norwich restaurant reaches final of national awards for frozen range

Andrew Jones and Hannah Springham launched Farmyard Frozen as a response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Andrew Jones and Hannah Springham launched Farmyard Frozen as a response to the coronavirus pandemic. - Credit: Simon Finlay Photography

A Norwich restaurant has glided into the final of a national awards for its frozen range launched in lockdown.

Farmyard Restaurant in St Benedicts Street is one of the finalists for the Innovation Award at the Foodservice Cateys 2021, which celebrates the hospitality industry.

The contemporary bistro, which also features in The Michelin Guide 2021, is up against BaxterStorey At Home, Sodexo and ISS Food Services and the winners of all the categories will be announced at a ceremony at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge in London on October 8. 

Graham Dunkley, driver for Farmyard Frozen. 

Graham Dunkley, driver for Farmyard Frozen. - Credit: Supplied

Farmyard is owned by couple Andrew Jones and Hannah Springham, who also run The Dial House in Reepham, and they began offering frozen meals in June 2020 while their restaurants were shut. 

After its success, Farmyard Frozen Ltd was launched in March this year and customers can now buy dishes from 15 locations across Norfolk and Suffolk, including farm shops, delis and The Dial House.

On offer is a range of mains, sides and desserts, including a beef wellington, crispy potato terrine and its popular chocolate bar dessert.

The Farmyard chocolate bar is part of the frozen range. 

The Farmyard chocolate bar is part of the frozen range. - Credit: Supplied

Local produce is at the heart of the menu at Farmyard, which includes meat from Swannington Farm to Fork and Fielding Cottage goat's cheese. 

From September, Farmyard Frozen dishes will also be delivered nationwide in eco-friendly packaging.

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Hannah Springham said: "We are absolutely gobsmacked as we are up against industry big dogs like Sodexo and we are tiny and brand new.

Andrew Jones and Hannah Springham stock Farmyard Frozen at 15 locations across Norfolk and Suffolk. 

Andrew Jones and Hannah Springham stock Farmyard Frozen at 15 locations across Norfolk and Suffolk. - Credit: Simon Finlay Photography

"The judges said they were really impressed with our business model.

"The innovation award is about people who have hit onto something in lockdown that has worked and we spent a lot of time researching to make sure we did it right.

"It is amazing to get acknowledgement after a horrible year and we have branched off into a totally different industry and had to learn a lot but it has paid off.

She added: "It is pandemic proof because restaurants have to shut with lockdown but food manufacture can continue, so if another lockdown happens that sees our two restaurants shut then Farmyard Frozen can continue." 

See the full list of stockists and order at farmyardfrozen.com

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