Thousands of 'foodies' set to head for Ribble Valley for popular food festival

A dog bakery, fudge factory and celebrated Caribbean cookhouse are among the exhibitors at this year’s Clitheroe Food Festival.

By Sue Plunkett
Thursday, 30th June 2022, 7:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th June 2022, 7:52 pm

Organised by Ribble Valley Borough Council, the popular event is making a welcome return on Saturday, July 30th, after a three-year break due to the pandemic.

And it looks set to attract thousands of food enthusiasts from across the north to Clitheroe town centre.

This year’s festival will feature quality food and drink – from wild game and Biltong beef to cheese truckles and curry kits, along with a feast of fruit and vegetables packed with authentic flavours – from around 90 exhibitors.

Millie and Ruby's dog bakery will be among 90 artisan food producers at the much looked forward to Clitheroe Food Festival

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New to this year’s festival are Ribble Valley Business Award winners Millie and Ruby’s Dog Bakery, which produces dog treats handmade from locally-sourced, organic ingredients and free from artificial additives, flavourings and colourings.

Millie and Ruby’s is named after the border collies of proprietor Diane Murphy, who said: “When we rescued Ruby, she was a little hyperactive and after consultation with a nutritionist we put her on a low protein diet.

“We developed a range of biscuits to help her train without becoming more hyperactive and this is where the idea of home-baked dog treats was born.

Mama Shar’s Caribbean Cooking will be among the 90 artisan food producers at the Clitheroe Food Festival.

“We are delighted to be attending the Clitheroe Food Festival and dog-loving festivalgoers can be assured of a warm welcome at our King Street stall.”

This year’s festival also features Bacup-based the Fudge Factory, which produces some of the finest handcrafted fudge in the UK and will be pitched in the Clitheroe Market food court.

Using a family recipe handed down through generations, the Fudge Factory has travelled far from its humble beginnings making single batches in open copper pans and now sells its award-winning products across Europe.

And if fudge hits your sweet spot the Finest Fudge Company from Great Harwood will also be selling its distinctive 240g fudge blocks, including Mars and Malteser and cookies and cream, from its stall in Castle Street.

And festivalgoers can get hot, hot, hot in the Clitheroe Market bullring, where Burnley-based Mama Shar’s Caribbean Cooking will be dishing up jerk chicken, rice and peas, curried goat and fried chicken dumplings, among other specialities devised by founder Sharmen Frith-Hemmings using family recipes handed down through the generations.

Returning to the festival will be a host of the region’s best artisan producers, including Cowman’s Famous Sausage Shop, Leagram Organic Dairy, Mrs Dowson’s Ice-Cream, the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop, the Port of Lancaster Smokehouse, Real Thai Pies and the Weston Biltong Company.

Ricky Newmark, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s community services committee, said: “The Clitheroe Food Festival is back with a bang and food enthusiasts are invited to get their tastebuds at the ready.

“Ribble Valley has created a strong narrative around food over the years and we are delighted that the festival is to make a welcome return and provide vital support to food local businesses as we move into the post-pandemic period.

“Festivalgoers can expect top-quality artisan produce, as well as cuisine from further afield, a feast of entertainment and most importantly a warm Ribble Valley welcome.”

The festival is sponsored by The Compleat Food Company, Fort Vale Engineering and Holmes Mill.