Hayloft Foods set up by Juliette Brown Forden from Langton, Malton, North Yorkshire wins the 2012 Country Homes & Interiors magazine business of the year.

The Country Homes & Interiors business competition, in association with Business Talent, is now in its third year. From opening a village shop, to developing a great new product or service, the competition aims to help develop and nurture new business talent.

Juliette Brown Forden from Langton, Malton, North Yorkshire is the winner of the Country Homes & Interiors Business competition. Juliette, a former teacher, has used her passion for cooking to transform her life and set up Hayloft Foods in April 2011. Juliette had always loved being creative in the kitchen ““ and was even a finalist in MasterChef in 1993. When she started suffering from depression, she found cooking to be to be brilliant therapy. Encouraged by her family, she set up a market stall selling her seasonal soups, pasta sauces and chutneys. With great interest from local shop owners to stock her products, Juliette decided to launch Hayloft Foods as a business last year.

Juliette makes the soups, pasta sauces and chutneys in her own kitchen. All of the products are vegetarian and gluten-free to ensure that coeliacs and those with gluten sensitivity can pick from the entire range. The soups have appealing flavours and memorable names, such as the chickpea and harissa paste Sexy ‘Chick’, Boozy Onion, and Saag Aloo & Rice. There are currently 11 soups in the range (two of which won Gold Stars at The Guild of Fine Food Great Taste awards this year). The chutneys are sold through her website and the range of products are sold through local stockists, as well as farmers’ markets and food festivals.

Juliette wins a package of advice from Business Talent to help develop her small business, valued at £6,000 and includes how to develop a business plan, website, business coaching and design.

Editor Rhoda Parry says, ‘The Country Homes & Interiors ‘Launch your own business’ competition is about finding people who have a great business idea and helping them to get it off the ground. Juliette had a great quality product that tasted just amazing.’ The winner was selected by a panel of judges that included: Rhoda Parry, Editor of Country Homes & Interiors, Linda Eziquiel, Director of Business Talent, Jo McGivern, founder of The Handpicked Collection, Nicola Elliott, founder of Neom Luxury Organics and Country Homes & Interiors publisher Belinda Cooper.