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The prestigious Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Industry Awards was a night of celebration for Addo Food Group as brand manager Sam Benjamin, based at Riverside Bakery in Nottingham, triumphed in the ‘Rising Star’ category.

Sam was crowned at a ceremony in London by a panel of judges who were looking for an exceptional individual with the potential to go far in the industry. He was recognised for his passion in introducing innovation to the well-established pastry category. Sam has risen through the company to become the brand manager for ‘Too Good To Be’ the first range of gluten-free sweet and savoury pastry products to be created on a large scale and sold through UK retailers.

Commenting on the award win, Sam said: “I’m thrilled to have been recognised for my work with Too Good To Be’ and grateful for the opportunity Addo Food Group has given me. I am passionate about creating new products in the baking industry as it has so much potential - I am excited about its future and the part I can play in it.”

Sam’s role with ‘Too Good To Be’ involves helping to develop new and pioneering products, drawing on his experience at Riverside Bakery to suggest new product lines. Sam was fundamental in developing the distinctive gluten free pastry that is the basis for the entire brand.

Sam also developed a social media marketing campaign that has been instrumental in the brand’s success and a source of inspiration across Riverside Bakery and Addo Food Group. He has led the way in establishing and building relationships with major retailers, seeing the brand listed at Ocado, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.

The FDF’s Director General Ian Wright commented: “It is clear that Sam is a very talented and valued member of the team at Addo Food Group, with all the right qualities and attitude to go far in the food and drink sector. Addo Food Group has demonstrated real confidence in developing Samuel's natural flair, and passion for product development and brand management.” 

Praising both Addo Food Group and Sam the industry recognised Sam as an individual with outstanding talent and a company that has been successful in providing an environment that utilises and develops his skills.

Deborah Bolton, site managing director at Riverside Bakery, said:  “Sam is one of the key reasons why the brand is performing so successfully and he has helped turn ‘Too Good To Be’ into an area of future growth for the business. We are extremely proud of this achievement and delighted at Sam’s continued success in being recognised as a rising star within the industry.”

Sam is already looking ahead to new developments in savoury pastry and is dedicated to introducing exciting new products to the market.