Chip shop boss sees bespoke batter roll off the production line

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Gillian Jervis, owner of Oliver’s Chippy in Warton, Lancashire, has described the moment she saw her takeaway’s bespoke batter being made by Middleton Foods as “absolutely magic”.

While on a guided tour of Middleton’s state-of-the-art factory in Willenhall, West Midlands, Gillian witnessed her limited edition own brand batter being crafted, mixed and packaged. 

The experience was part of a £10,000 prize package put together by Middleton Foods for the winner of The Peter Hill award, a new initiative dedicated to the memory of its CEO and great friend, Peter Hill.

Commenting on the day, Gillian says: “Being able to visit the Middleton Foods site to enjoy a guided factory tour and quite literally press the button on the production process of our very own batter mix was absolutely magic.”

She adds: “The Middleton Foods team immediately made me feel at home, and as we started the production process, it was clear to see just how amazing the site is. 

“From start to finish I was involved, and I tell you… seeing our logo emblazed on our own bags of batter mix was something I’ll never forget – a real pinch me moment. It was actually really emotional… seeing Oliver’s Chippy feature on our very own bags of batter mix as those first bags rolled off the production line, the feeling of pride hit me and my emotions got the better [batter!] of me and the tears began to fall. 

“I know it sounds silly but seeing our logo right there in front of me, on a product we love and which has significantly contributed to helping make our business the success it is, was a little overwhelming. It’s a massive achievement. I’m enormously proud of what we’ve created with Oliver’s, and creating our own batter mix was very special. 

“I mean, what can I say, ‘thank you’ Middleton Foods”.

Commenting on the thought process behind the final prize package, Ryan Baker, sales manager at Middleton Foods, comments: “Alongside the gravitas of being crowned winner of a brand new industry award, it was really important for us – Peter’s friends at Middleton Foods – to create a truly unique prize. Something money can’t buy, which encapsulates all the aspects of the industry Peter loved so much – areas he was so knowledgeable and passionate about – which would support the winner and benefit their business ongoing. 

“We put a lot of thought and careful consideration into creating a bespoke offering, which will help keep Peter’s memory alive – something incredibly important to us, and the very reason we decided to launch The Peter Hill Award.”

Gillian says winning the inaugural Peter Hill Award has been phenomenal for her business, adding: “News of the award sparked considerable interest throughout the industry, which has meant winning it is even more special. Of course, it’s not just the kudos of being the winner, but the amazing prize is hugely beneficial to us and our business – Middleton Foods has thought of everything! The collection of prizes is incredible.”

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