Robin Jones, joint MD of The Village Bakery (Coedpoeth) wowed the judges to claim the much-coveted Baker of the Year title, sponsored by Vandemoortele, at the Baking Industry Awards 2010 on 8 September.

Guests at the event, held at the Park Lane Hilton, were treated to a circus-themed night, hosted by Esther Rantzen, with performances throughout the evening from the world-famous Cirque Bijou, while tribute band The Greatest Take That had everyone dancing into the early hours.

Rantzen began by getting everyone to stand up and practise how to correctly pose for a photo – “diaphragm up, shoulders down... hand on hip” – before entertaining guests with stories about meeting Joan Collins and being a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, before going on to announce the award-winners.

Jones said there wasn’t any single thing that he’d pinpoint as being most proud of in his career, but that it was an accumulation of what he had achieved over the past 15 years. “I was elated to have won the award. What made it very special was that Esther also brought my dad on stage.” He said her act really emphasised that bakery was still very much about family businesses.

Among the other winners were Park Cakes, which took home the Bakery Food Manufacturer of the Year award, sponsored by ADM Milling. MD Anne Allen said she was “utterly shocked and amazed” to have won. “We’ve never entered anything like this before, but we did it for our people.”

Confectioner of the Year, sponsored by Rich’s, went to Mark Legg, head pastry chef, Dunn’s (Crouch End), London. He said he was overwhelmed and added: “This award is going in the shop window tomorrow.”

More? The Artisan Bakery, in Cumbria took home the accolade for Speciality Bread Product of the Year, sponsored by Bakels, for its Lakeland Treacle Bread with Walnuts and Raisins. MD Patrick Moore said: “It’s a testament to the team at More? for developing something that has a real point of difference.”

Greenhalgh’s Craft Bakery in Bolton took The Craft Business Award, sponsored by Rank Hovis. Retail sales manager Sandra Ogden said it highlighted the passion of Greenhalgh’s. “The whole company will be over the moon.”

Sainsbury’s Fosse Park store in Leicester came out on top in The In-store Bakery Award, sponsored by Dawn Foods. Bakery manager Nick Grumbley said he was absolutely ecstatic. He said he and his team worked to raise the bar on performance on a daily basis, and the accolade was recognition not for him, but for his colleagues. “They’ve worked thoroughly hard and they deserve it.”

The British Baker Award for Services to the Industry:

John Renshaw was presented with the British Baker Award for Services to the Industry by Master of the Worshipful Co David Goddard. The current president of the Alliance for Bakery Students and Trainees’ said he was “bowled over” to have won the award. “It’s quite an amazing award. The point I want to make is that everybody who has gone before me (to win this award) has done a lot for the industry and have been creative experts in their own right, as has everybody here tonight. I’m not sure I’m in their league whatsoever. It’s a very humbling experience. What can I say, but thank you.”

* To order photos from the night visit

BIA 2010 winners and finalists:

Baker of the Year
Sponsored by: Vandemoortele
WINNER - Robin Jones, The Village Bakery (Coedpoeth)
Finalist - André Sarafilovic, Wm Stephen (Bakers)
Finalist - Paul Gray, Betty’s Bakery

Confectioner of the Year
Sponsored by: Rich’s
WINNER - Mark Legg, Dunn’s (Crouch End)
Finalist - Chris Bachmann, Bachmanns
Finalist - David Lee, DA & W Lee Family Baker

The Craft Business Award
Sponsored by: Rank Hovis
WINNER - Greenhalgh’s Craft Bakery
Finalist - M Ray
Finalist - Cinnamon Square

The In-Store Bakery Award
Sponsored by: Dawn Foods
WINNER - Sainsbury’s, Fosse Park, Leicester
Finalist - Tesco, Huish, Yeovil
Finalist - Morrisons, Riversway, Preston
Finalist - Asda, Hunts Cross, Liverpool

The Customer Focus Award
Sponsored by: CSM (UK)
WINNER - Halls Food Group
Finalist - Kensey Foods
Finalist - Pieminister

Bakery Supplier of the Year
Sponsored by: Sainsbury’s
WINNER - Mono Equipment
Finalist - Nicholas & Harris
Finalist - Warburtons Bakeries

Speciality Bread Product of the Year
Sponsored by: Bakels
WINNER - More? The Artisan Bakery – Lakeland Treacle Bread with Walnuts & Raisins
Finalist - Janes Pantry – Pumpkin & Raisin Seeded Bread
Finalist - Bachmanns – Olive Bread with Thyme

Celebration Cake Maker of the Year
Sponsored by: Renshaw
WINNER - Amelia Nutting, Shuga Budz
Finalist - Rachel Hill, Planet Cake
Finalist - Caroline Occlestone, The Cake Shop Liverpool

Bakery Food Manufacturer of the Year
Sponsored by: ADM Milling
WINNER - Park Cakes
Finalist - Honeytop Speciality Foods
Finalist - Greggs

The Innovation Award
Sponsored by: Asda
WINNER - Swissôtel The Howard – TLSee Afternoon Tea
Finalist - Hobbs House Bakery – The Online Store
Finalist - Puratos UK – Cryst-o-fil

Trainee Baker of the Year
Sponsored by: Improve and The National Skills Academy
WINNER - Kyle Hendry, Macphie of Glenbervie
Finalist - Pamela Ellis, Blackpool and the Fylde College
Finalist - Daniel Smith, J & I Smith