TWO Somerton chocolate businesses are winners of Great Taste Awards 2020.

Craft House Chocolate won three stars for a dark chocolate bar. 

Owner of Craft House Chocolate, Anette Oakley-Prior said: “We are so thrilled to win a great taste three star award, we are only a small batch craft chocolate maker and it’s so exciting to be recognised for doing something we love.

“We source all our beans directly so it’s also an achievement for all the cacao farmers who do a great job preparing the beans, without those dedicated farmers we cannot make award winning chocolate.

“The bar that won the three stars was Peru Ucayali River 70% dark chocolate with flavour notes of Mocha and plum, this bar also won a taste of the west Gold award this year too.

"We roast and stone grind chocolate here in Somerton, it’s our passion, so to be rewarded for doing something we love is fantastic.

“We receive new cacao beans regularly to test, so if one of those turns out to have some great flavours, then we will enter next year.

“We also received a two-star great taste award for our Vietnam Dak Lak 68% Dark chocolate and a one star for our Ugandan Mountains of the Moon 65% dark chocolate bar, which is also a fantastic achievement for us. In total this year we have won five awards.

“I can’t convey in an email how happy we are, it’s a little overwhelming and to see ourselves in the top 50 food producer list in The Times on Saturday was the icing on the cake.”

Somerset County Gazette: Annette Oakley-Prior holding the bar that won three starsAnnette Oakley-Prior holding the bar that won three stars

As Raw As won two stars for a peanut caramel crunch slice.

Owner Emily Collett said: "I am over the moon with being awarded not one but two stars for the peanut caramel crunch bars.

"It’s really wonderful after four years of creating in my chocolate kitchen to have this recognition and I am extremely happy and grateful for it.

"All of my products are free from dairy, gluten and refined sugars and only made with natural and organc ingredients.

"I wanted to make yummy healthier goodies for as many people to enjoy as possible, whatever their dietary preferences.

"I don’t heat any of my ingredients over 42 degrees centigrade which can be classed as 'raw' .. it means that you retain as much of the nutritional benefits  of the ingredients used.

"I knew that peanut and chocolate was a very good combo so that is why I entered the peanut caramel crunch bar.

"All of the nuts and seeds that I use in my products are also activated, which makes them easier to digest and also optimises their nutritional value - I also believe it makes them taste better."

The Great Taste Awards were founded in 1994 and are organised by the Guild of Fine Food.

The team of judges blind taste test products and then rate them, providing zero, one, two, or three stars for each one.

After 14 weeks of judging, the results for 2020 were released. There were 12, 777 entries from 106 different countries and 441 of those awarded were based in the South West.

Whether it is cake, coffee, kippers or kombucha being judged, all products are removed from their packaging before being tasted. The judges then savour, confer and re-taste to decide which products are worthy of an award.

This year’s winners have been found through a combination of remote judging and socially distanced judging sessions, after the lockdown began just one week into the schedule.

The panel of judges included: cook, writer and champion of sustainable food, Melissa Hemsley; cook, writer, stylist and voice of modern vegetarian cooking, Anna Jones; celebrated Spanish chef, José Pizarro; Kavi Thakrar from Dishoom; food writer and cook, Xanthe Clay, and baker and author, Martha Collison, as well as food buyers from Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and Waitrose.

These esteemed palates have re-judged the three-star winners to agree on the Golden Fork Trophy winners and the Great Taste 2020 Supreme Champion.

Other three star winners in Somerset included Bath Soft Cheese Ltd and Swoon Gelato Ltd.

Somerset businesses that were also awarded two stars included White Lake Cheese, Brown and Forrest, Sharpham Park, Blackmore Vale Butchery, Somerset Charcuterie, GingerBeard’s Preserves, The Jolly Hog, Swoon Gelato, Olive Farm, Beard and Sabre, Black Bee Honey, Secret Orchard Cider, Healthy Recipes, Craft Nectar, Sugarcane Studio, Cowbee Bristol, House of Apres, Coombe Farm Organic and Sweet Freedom.

Waste was kept to a minimum during the judging, with unused products being donated to local food banks and hampers made up of excess products for local businesses to raffle in aid of charities.

No plastic plates or cutlery were used during the judging rounds, reducing plastic waste by almost 100%.

The Guild of Fine Food also donates surplus computer equipment, used to record the judges’ comments, to community-based projects across the UK.

To find out more or to see a lift of winners visit