BBC Best NI Bakery Award is icing on cake for Larne’s Ann’s Pantry

Co-owner of Ann's Pantry Helen Porter. INLT-38-712-con
Co-owner of Ann's Pantry Helen Porter. INLT-38-712-con

Larne bakery Ann’s Pantry has risen to the occasion to been crowned Northern Ireland’s Best Bakery by the BBC’s Good Food Show.

Staff at the Main Street bakery and cafe are celebrating after winning the prestigious accolade, which scooped them the chance to meet celebrity chef Paul Rankin as well as a free stand at the BBC Good Food Show Northern Ireland next month.

Co-owner of Ann’s Pantry Helen Porter said that the whole bakery team was “over the moon” at the award.

“This is the icing on the cake for us, especially as we are preparing to celebrate 50 years in business next February,” she stated.

“We are a small bakery in Larne and we are overjoyed to have gotten this recognition.

“It was really good to win the award, especially since the other six bakeries in the final are so amazing.

“This is Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink and it’s important to participate in things like this to showcase our local produce.”

In order to enter the competition, the bakery firstly had to submit a short video capturing a day in the life of the bakery.

The shortlisted bakeries then sent a selection of baked goods to a tasting day with judges including Aine Kearney from Tourism Northern Ireland, Michele Shirlow from Food NI and lecturers Lorna Johnston and Mark Magee from the NI Home Bakery School at Belfast Metropolitan College.

The products were scored on a range of criteria, including taste and appearance, and Ann’s Pantry was deemed the best of the batch.

“The whole team, including co-owner and baker John Agnew and the rest of the staff, have done a great job,” Helen continued.

“We would like to thank everyone in the team and everyone who has worked for us over the years, as well as the public who continue to support us.”

The BBC Good Food Show Northern Ireland will take place at the Waterfront from October 14-16.

Top chefs including James Martin, Paul Hollywood and the Hairy Bikers will host cookery demonstrations, with Paul Rankin leading the Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink sessions.