A market trader who sells vegan sweet treats was one of many winners at a food and drink award show.

Tara Acton, founder of Vegan Treats, was presented with the Kate D’Arcy Award for outstanding customer service at the St Albans Food and Drink festival awards this Monday (September 23).

Ms Acton set up her stall 18 months ago and has now quit her job in the film industry to manage her business full time.

She said: “It was so overwhelming to win and I just hit the champagne, celebrating all night.

“I had a fry up breakfast the following morning to recover – a vegan one of course, with no sausage, bacon or eggs.

“Customer service is something I pride myself on so I am very pleased to get this recognition. I enjoy going at the Charter Market stall on Wednesdays and Saturdays seeing all my regulars.”

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

Tara Acton after receiving the award with her partner Glenn Rawlings photo: St Albans City and District council

Earlier this year, people in St Albans nominated almost 200 favourite food and drink businesses and producers.

There were more than 3,000 votes registered.

Other winners at the ceremony which took place at the St Albans Museum and Gallery were Darlish.

Darlish is the country’s first Persian ice cream parlour.

They were awarded the trophy for best local producer.

The business is known for its exotic Middle Eastern flavours including Tahini and Iranian Pistachio as well as its Baklava ice cream sandwich.

The Reading Rooms, a micropub selling craft beer in Wheathampsted were awarded best newcomer and the Fleetville Larder were awarded best café.

Council’s portfolio holder for business, culture and tourism Cllr Mandy McNeil said: “The St Albans Food and Drink Awards is a terrific way to celebrate our incredible independent food and drink industry.

“I enjoyed meeting and talking to all the nominees who do so much for our local economy and help make the District an outstanding visitor destination.”

The rest are the winners are:

  • Best Restaurant for Special Occasion -Tabure.
  • Best Restaurant for Everyday Dining- Per Tutti.
  • Best Pub- The Green Man, Sandridge.
  • Best Bar - The Bishop’s Cave.
  • Best Food & Drink Shop - Buongiorno Italia
  • Best Market Stall - Eat Wholefood
  • Best Takeaway - The Pudding Stop
  • Best Place to Work on the Go - George Street Canteen
  • Most Family Friendly Venue - DavVero