Award-winning retailer Sarah Wood has been signed up as the latest recruit to the 2015 Housewares Innovation Product Awards judging panel.
The former chairman of the CHA (Cookshop & Housewares Association) is co-director of Trevor Mottram, a cookshop in the Kent town of Tunbridge Wells, which currently holds the title of CHA Retailer of the Year. The eponymous founder of the business (which celebrates its 39th birthday in December) was Sarah’s late uncle. He wanted to keep it in the family and so sold it on to Sarah and her husband Alan, who run the independent housewares outlet together.
Sarah joined in 1998; Alan came on board in 2000. Although neither had managed a retail business before, both brought relevant knowledge. For ex-recruitment consultant Sarah, the move was a return to her roots. As the daughter of a trained chef, she grew up in hotels and restaurants, while Alan was formerly a chartered accountant.
She joins six other members of the 2015 Housewares Innovation Product Awards judging panel, with decades of culinary experience between them. They are: ‘Great British Bake Off’ contestant and author Cathryn Dresser, who was the face of Pyrex National Baking Week 2014; Trisha Schofield, head of testing for the Good Housekeeping Institute; chef, culinary innovator, TV presenter, author and British Ambassador for Food, Drink and Tourism Alan Coxon; Sally Fitzgerald, editor of the ‘Food Heaven’ series of consumer magazines and TV chef Malcolm Harradine and his wife, customer liaison director Mel Harradine.
Organised by Housewares Magazine and www.HousewaresLive.net, the Awards aim to celebrate innovation in the housewares industry. There are two categories: the Retail Awards reward businesses that go the extra mile, while the Product Awards commend the most exceptional housewares products launched in the past 12 months.
The winners of the Innovation Awards will be announced during an evening ceremony held at Wokefield Park in Berkshire on Wednesday April 22 2015. This glittering event will follow The Housewares Conference, which takes place during the day at the same venue.
The line-up of speakers at The Housewares Conference so far includes Jeffrey Siegel, ceo of Lifetime Brands; Carol Paris, director general of the HTA (Horticultural Trades Association); celebrated homeware designer Julie Dodsworth; and Tom Gill, creative director of Creative Media Solutions (CMS).
The Awards will be presented by globally acclaimed celebrity chef Ken Hom OBE, who is widely regarded as the world’s leading authority in Chinese cookery. Delegates at the conference will have the chance to meet Ken on the DKB Household stand during the day, where he will be discussing his range of cookware and signing copies of his recipe book.
Malcolm and Mel Harradine said: “What better place to get your message across and develop your business than The Housewares Conference & Innovation Awards? It’s where the like-minded gather to learn from others and celebrate the longevity of an ever-growing industry. Enter your store or your product and see the results of success first hand.”
Alan Coxon agreed: “I wholeheartedly believe that The Housewares Conference & Innovation Awards can help stimulate market interest during these challenging times, expose products and brands in a positive light, and ensure that innovation receives the full recognition it truly deserves.”
The deadline for entries to the 2015 Housewares Innovation Awards is November 14. To download your entry and booking forms, visit www.housewaresconference.co.uk. For more information, contact Laurie Marrington, sales manager of Housewares Magazine and www.HousewaresLive.net at firstname.lastname@example.org